New Tavern Fort

Hello everyone, BTP Liam is in the Caribbean for the next week so I’m in charge and am ready to write some blog posts! A couple of weeks ago Beyond the Point ventured over the Thames to Kent where we began a two day trek along the coast. We will writing 4 articles for the website on our visits! We started off by being dropped off at New Tavern Fort in Kent, along with our two guests, Alex Evans and Jack Swestum. With the sun being relatively hot, we ventured on with our bags full of camping equipment and started to explore!

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New Tavern Fort is the remains of an 18th century fort which was built in the 1780’s to defend the Thames against a naval attack from France. By the 1530s around 80% of English exports passed along the river and by the 19th century, London and the River Thames had evolved into a shipping hub. Defence of the Thames in time of war was essential.

4Artillery forts were first established in 1539/40 under Henry V111’s order and were improved upon over the coming centuries. Between 1865 and 1879, the fort was extensively rebuilt by General Charles Gordon. In 1904, the fort was re-armed and the some of the guns still remain today.The site also has tunnels, however due to the weather (which was wrong!!) we visited the site on a Friday, with the tunnels being closed.

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Volunteers of the New Tavern Fort Project who are in partnership with the Gravesham Council have undertaken work at the fort since 1975 and the fort and magazines are an ongoing dedicated project or restoration and presevation of history to visitors. They aim to promote the fort from a defence and military view as well as to explain it’s role within local history. The opening times for the rest of 2013 are weekends only April – September 12noon – 5pm for a ticket price of £1 per person. Upon arriving, children and adults can receive an audio tour kit from reception at the fort for absolutely nothing, it’s free! School visits can be arranged and people should contact them here for any inquiries.

After leaving the site (photos available at our Facebook page) we headed on for about 30-40 minutes through an industrial estate before we stopped for lunch.

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Passing the Met Police specialist training centre (ooooh!) we had a great view of the Tilbury Power Station whilst eating.

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When then stopped for a well earned rest for an hour or so before heading onwards and upwards! Check back soon for part two and if you can’t bear to wait, then check out out YouTube Video!

Sources: http://www.discovergravesham.co.uk/gravesend/new-tavern-fort.html and http://www.gravesham.gov.uk/services/leisure-and-culture/tourism-and-travel/local-attractions/new-tavern-fort

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