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Welcome to Sealand

Issue: 1 Dated: 7th January 2010

The Worlds smallest island known as "The Principality of Sealand"

Having spent January 2003 aboard the fort here's a preview of a few of the pictures taken

A VCD to play on your DVD player is available with over 150 photographs & soundtrack tour of the whole of Roughs Fort

To order your copy & other related items go to the Offshore Shop

Sealand looking east

Looking East "Sealand" is based on Roughs Tower, it was the first of four World War 2 Navy forts built on the banks of the Thames in Gravesend Kent at Red Lion Wharf

Sealand looking west

Looking West construction of fort number 1 Roughs began on 4th September 1941

Originally the fort had a control top-house & radar lookout built on what is now the Heli-Pad

Control room plan

Original plan of the Control Room Deck

Since the removal of the teak radar section & control room in the 1960's the fort has continued to be modified

* The VCD has the whole story

Today there's a powerful crane, a gantry for radar, the weather station, satellite dishes, & the masts for Sealand Radio

At night the fort is lit by high intensity IQ lamps

Naval fort pontoon plan

Original design section of a Navy fort foundation

Hollow pontoons on which the structures were raised to be floated to location & sunk in position

Naval fort sinking diagram

Sinking or rather grounding of Roughs took place on 11th February 1942

Fort number 2 Sunk Head, Tongue 3, & Knock John 4 were built & then grounded throughout the summer of 1943

Sealand chart position

Sealand Radio gives the position today as 51 53'42" N & 01 28' 51" E

That's around 7 nautical miles of the Suffolk coast "Salty" marks the position on the chart above

Naval fort in line & tone

A line & tone drawing of a Navy fort in 1943

Naval fort elevation

Elevation showing the landing Dolphin that was constructed as an after thought to aid transfer of the 120 serving ratings officers & supplies

RiB on deck

The RiB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) Sealand 1 the fort tender hauled up onto the South main deck end by the former Southend Pier Lifeboat winch

Naval fort deck plan

The Navy fort original platform main deck plan

Naval fort bulwark

Last original bulwark under the forts East wing looking towards the East Cardinal Buoy

Gardner lw generator

Last of the forts three original 30 KVA Gardner LW generators in deck level 1 (A) of the North Deep leg

Of the others one was cannibalized for spares the block then disposed off & the other found its way into a local fishing boat

All the Wartime forts were all equipped with these units, whilst this one is preserved & functional it's uneconomic to run for long periods

Naval fort generator deck plan

Original plan of deck level 1 (A) the Generator Room

The third generator set would have been in deck level 1 (H) of the South Deep leg

Sealand SW leg from deck

Easy to forget that you're on a fort the swirling winter seas are a reminder

Roughs east cardinal buoy Roughs west cardinal buoy

The East & West Cardinal Buoys just off the fort can easily be heard pulling at their mooring chains in heavy seas

* The VCD contains the eerie audio

Derrick on deck

Redundant Derrick on North West rear end of fort

See the elevation drawing above for its original location

NW end of generator house

North West rear end showing wooden Generator House with empty 40 gallon diesel drums

Perkins generator

Within Generator House a Perkins with its own AC converter sits between a pair of Gardner 180's

The row inside corridor main deck

Inside looking along the main deck known as "The Row" from South to North

Sealand Radio by the left of the open galley door

The row inside corridor deck plan

Selective plan of the Navy forts showing how "The Row" was originally designed

Much modified today the Galley remains

The officers cabin & office now comprise the lounge picture below

On Knock John Radio Essex used the office as a small but functional studio

The CO's cabin is the fort office & painted is known as the Blue Room

This was used as the transmitter room on Radio Essex on Knock John

From lower left to right left half of the Crew's WC is now the Shower Room. Crew's Wash, PO's WC's & Wash, Officers Bath & the left Officers WC cubicle are now Sealand Security Crew Cabins. The WC far right remains in use

Sealand lounge

The lounge on "The Row" at main deck level

Engineers workshop & store

Mechanics & engineers store at deck level 2 (B) of the North Deep leg

Machine room

Machine Room in deck level 2 (I) of the South Deep leg once Roy & Joan's state room

Conference room

Conference room at deck level 5 (E) of the North Deep leg

Deck plan levels 2,3,4 & 5

Original design of decks 2, 3, 4 & 5 (B,C,D & E)

Magazine deck plan

Original design Magazine deck 6 (F)

Magazine room

Magazine Room at deck level 6 (F) North Deep leg today. Looking through the flash doors from ammunition stowage to the old flooding valves, now used to pump salt water to the heads on the main deck

Store room plan

Original design of Store deck level 7 (G)

Deck 7 north leg

North Deep deck level 7 (G) today looking towards the bottom of the lift shaft

Bofors gun deck now heli pad

Top deck former Bofors gun position looking South towards Essex

Drawings supporting this feature by J A Posford the fort builders from "The Construction of Britain's Sea Forts"

Sealand emblem

The Principality of Sealand the Forts website, history, pictures, current weather & Haven Co navigate from here or the logo above

This is part one of a two part feature on Sealand both contain only a small sample of the pictures continues in Sealand Two

A VCD sanctioned & approved for release by Prince Michael of Sealand is available with over 150 photographs & history soundtrack tour of Sealand to order your copy go to Offshore Shop

For all the Sealnd Features navigate from the ScrapBook Index

Additional material provided by Michael Barrington

Article approved for release by Prince Michael of Sealand

Just a long overdue thank you for sending my order for the Sealand VCD. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I wait to see what your next production will be maybe a compilation disc of all your wonderful offshore photos would be very nice. Thanks again Phil Grainger

Loved looking at your web site today, I am fascinated by Sealand and also the Maunsell Forts. Is it still possible to get onto the Red Sands Forts? I would love to try. Also, have you ever been on Gunfleet? Best regards Andrew

Hi Andrew, Thanks for your mail & nice comments. All of the forts ladders are all but rusted away, but 1 or 2 of the towers are in isolation on Red & Shivering Sands very difficult & dangerous to board so not advised. The catwalks between them incidentally were pulled down with grappling hooks by the ministry in the 70's. The only other remaining Navy Tower Knock John which is virtually impossible to board

Boarding Red Sands Southern Gun Tower when we're aboard, Re-Gunfleet no not boarded but sailed past it. N.B There are Towers of a similar design to Gunfleet off Harwich, one actually just a few metres off the foreshore

Thanks for the Sealand VCD, I thought it was brilliant enjoyed the tour of the fort very much. Amazing it's still there and being used. Ted

I am facinated with things to do with Sealand. It was a bold step to claim it and an ardurous task to maintain it all these years. John Wright, Nashville, TN

Check out details of other related items in the Offshore Shop

Navigate from from here to learn more about the Thames Navy & Army Sea Forts

For all related features navigate from the ScrapBook Index

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2003