Derelict Fort - Kent

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blackie

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Hi, first time posting here so please be kind! Also, apologies for not having the best quality photos, as the site was only accessible by kayak after a vigorous 25-minute paddle across tidal waters, I did not feel brave enough to take my nice camera.

The history – this is a military fort built in 1870 on a tiny island in the middle of the River Medway which formed part of Britain’s extensive coastal defence system upgrade in the 19th Century, known as “Palmerston’s Forts” named after the Prime Minster who commissioned them in 1859 (or less politely as Palmerston’s Follies given the large amount of money spent on them). The fort was a circular, casemated battery, set within a large ditch and outer glacis which held 11 cannons and had a garrison of 100 men. The fort was never used in anger and was completely abandoned after WW2 during which it was used as a observation post. Since then, the fort has been left alone and as such is wonderfully preserved.

As the fort is on its own island, it is only accessible by boat. The island is surrounded by a number of sunken barges which makes access trickier, but much more fun.
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Access into the fort used to be thorugh the main gate, but since the fort was abandoned, the ditch has become flooded and the main gate is now only accessible at certain tidal times. I was able to paddle underneath the rusting portcullis by laying completely flat in my kayak.
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Once inside, the bottom layer of the fort, which were the living quarters, storage and the magazine areas, are partially submerged.
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The main level of the fort is not flooded, and this is where the gun ports for the cannons are. This is still nicely preserved, with hooks for lifting, trails for aiming cannons, chutes linking the cannons to the magazines underneath (see left side of photos below) and fireplaces. Finally, the top level of the fort is the roof, from which you can look down into the rest of the fort.

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Hope these photos are of interest
 

bassface86

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Orpington
Hi, first time posting here so please be kind! Also, apologies for not having the best quality photos, as the site was only accessible by kayak after a vigorous 25-minute paddle across tidal waters, I did not feel brave enough to take my nice camera.

The history – this is a military fort built in 1870 on a tiny island in the middle of the River Medway which formed part of Britain’s extensive coastal defence system upgrade in the 19th Century, known as “Palmerston’s Forts” named after the Prime Minster who commissioned them in 1859 (or less politely as Palmerston’s Follies given the large amount of money spent on them). The fort was a circular, casemated battery, set within a large ditch and outer glacis which held 11 cannons and had a garrison of 100 men. The fort was never used in anger and was completely abandoned after WW2 during which it was used as a observation post. Since then, the fort has been left alone and as such is wonderfully preserved.

As the fort is on its own island, it is only accessible by boat. The island is surrounded by a number of sunken barges which makes access trickier, but much more fun.
View attachment 213387

Access into the fort used to be thorugh the main gate, but since the fort was abandoned, the ditch has become flooded and the main gate is now only accessible at certain tidal times. I was able to paddle underneath the rusting portcullis by laying completely flat in my kayak.
View attachment 213694 View attachment 213722

Once inside, the bottom layer of the fort, which were the living quarters, storage and the magazine areas, are partially submerged.
View attachment 213804 View attachment 214239 View attachment 214237 View attachment 214238


The main level of the fort is not flooded, and this is where the gun ports for the cannons are. This is still nicely preserved, with hooks for lifting, trails for aiming cannons, chutes linking the cannons to the magazines underneath (see left side of photos below) and fireplaces. Finally, the top level of the fort is the roof, from which you can look down into the rest of the fort.

View attachment 214235View attachment 214240View attachment 214241

Hope these photos are of interest
wow that place looks amazing and its not that far from me as im from Orpington. Great pictures blackie
 

mctownsend

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Amazing, excellent photos! As you say, not taken with your best camera - I can't imagine any better than what you have here! It's not in the camera - it's in the beholder's eye and you are obviously an excellent photographer. Well done!! Thank you for sharing. M.
 

Wrench

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This is a cracking first report, big respect for the effort put in to get this shot and there is nowt wrong with those pics.
Nice work
 

recyclefraulein

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If I can take a kayak down the Rhine River with my 5 year old daughter not knowing how to swim with a group of army guys anybody can do it. We were even in the path of a huge cruise ship but we got out of the way. LOL Had to stop on an island to take care of business (the fire ants bit my daughters legs) but it was a fun trip and gave us lots of memories. Can't remember any of the guys names though. I met him at a club and he took my number but my mom told me he would never call and he did. She also said I was meant to go through life alone and so far she was right on that one. LOL
 

FunkyMuffin

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If I can take a kayak down the Rhine River with my 5 year old daughter not knowing how to swim with a group of army guys anybody can do it. We were even in the path of a huge cruise ship but we got out of the way. LOL Had to stop on an island to take care of business (the fire ants bit my daughters legs) but it was a fun trip and gave us lots of memories. Can't remember any of the guys names though. I met him at a club and he took my number but my mom told me he would never call and he did. She also said I was meant to go through life alone and so far she was right on that one. LOL
Wow! What an adventure that must have been, you are a brave one. Me on the other hand am a bit on the reckless side (leap before I look sort of thing) 😂 The last bit... I know about that all too well I’m afraid.
 

Darklldo

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Had to stop on an island to take care of business (the fire ants bit my daughters legs) but it was a fun trip and gave us lots of memories.
Recyclefraulein I bet your daughter's memories are different from yours 😀
Hello Blackie :) I am not a photo poster, too old and too far away in Australia, but I do love touring the old places and seeing things I would never see here. Those a great photos with your second best camera. As someone else said, it's not the camera, it's the beholder's eye, and you have it.
I bet you had to keep your eye on the tides, the water lines show it goes a lot higher.
Thank you for the tour it was most enjoyable. 😊
 

blackie

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Had to stop on an island to take care of business (the fire ants bit my daughters legs) but it was a fun trip and gave us lots of memories.
Recyclefraulein I bet your daughter's memories are different from yours 😀
Hello Blackie :) I am not a photo poster, too old and too far away in Australia, but I do love touring the old places and seeing things I would never see here. Those a great photos with your second best camera. As someone else said, it's not the camera, it's the beholder's eye, and you have it.
I bet you had to keep your eye on the tides, the water lines show it goes a lot higher.
Thank you for the tour it was most enjoyable. 😊
Glad you enjoyed it! The tides definitely made it tricky, there is only a 2-3 hour window where it is feasible as the tidal range is massive and the currents in the river are pretty strong. Well worth it though, fascinating place and very eeire! There is a sister fort an another seperate island only 1/2 Km away that I want to check out soon so will hopefully post that before too long
 

khurbanx

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kent
It's Darnet, you can tell from his picture of the 4 barges and comparing them with the overhead image on GoogleMaps. That plus Hoo is "landlocked" (y)

I knows it was one them just couldn’t remember 😅 I can see them from local park I live near lol
 
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