I know it has been reported on a million times and I nearly didn't bother to post this.....but here is my take on an explore I am chuffed to have finally knocked off the list.
Couldn't have asked for better weather & company and the yummy homemade burgers in the Hogarth Inn pub round the corner finish the day off perfectly.
History: A reduced version of information from Wikipedia.
Grade II listed
Originally built to protect the dockyards at Chatham & Sheerness from a perceived French naval threat the 1850s but by the time it was completed improvements to artillery meant it was more or less obsolete.
By the end of the 19th century the tower had gained a new significance as a defence against raids by fast torpedo boats. It was used in both the First and Second World Wars, when its fabric was substantially altered to support new quick-firing guns. It was decommissioned in 1956 and remains derelict today.
Privately owned since 2005 and it is said to have been sold for £400k in 2014.
Standing approximately 500 metres offshore on the tidal sandbank at the eastern tip of the Isle of Grain.
Construction began in 1848 although problems with the laying foundation meant works were delayed until 1853 and then finally completed in 1855.
The tower stands three storeys high, faced in granite ashlar, and is roughly oval in shape. Its base is 21.8 by 19.3 metres, its original height was 12.9 metres, and it has walls 3.6 metres thick.
The gun crews lived in barrack accommodation within the tower, which also housed stores and ammunition.
Initially mounted with three 68-pdr smoothbore guns. The development of a new generation of more powerful RML guns (one 56-pdr. and two 32-pdrs.) These were withdrawn as late as 1910, when the tower was repurposed as a communications tower.
In 1915, two 4.7-inch quick-firing guns were moved from Grain Wing Battery and installed on Grain Tower to counter the new threat of fast torpedo boats. This required the construction of a raised concrete and stone structure on the tower's roof within which the new guns were emplaced, and a shelter was created to provide room for detachments, stores and fire control. The body of the tower was also altered to upgrade the ammunition storage.
In 1939 a concrete emplacement was built on the roof to house a twin 6-pdr quick firing gun with a tall directing tower at its rear. A Defence Electric Light Emplacement was also added to the fabric of Grain Tower. At the tower's rear, a brick and concrete barrack block standing on stilts was constructed to house the gun detachment. It is a freestanding structure but is connected to the tower via catwalks. In 1944 the tower was reduced to care and maintenance status before being decommissioned in 1956.
Onto the pics.....