Shornemead Fort

So after our tasty lunch, our next destination was in sight faintly – Shornemead Fort. After swapping bags (and me getting the heaviest/more awkward bag) we trekked on for about an hour. Shornemead Fort was one of many which was built to protect against an invasion in the Thames. The fort was built on the site on a previous battery which started to be built in 1847 and after six years of intense building, the marshes could not support the weight so this new fort was built. The design is very similar to nearby ones including Cliffe and Coalhouse fort with tunnels lying beneath them. The casemates (A casemate is a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired. Originally, the term referred to a vaulted chamber in a fortress.) housed 11 inch Rifled Muzzle Loading guns, but the fort was later armed with Breech loaders and Quick Firing guns. Guns were also mounted at the fort during WW2. Unfortunately, much of the fort, including the barrack block, was demolished in the 1960s, and only the fronts of the casemates and underground passages and magazines remain.

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Curtsey of Doverpast – Flickr

First arriving at the site, we were quick to put our bags down and wait a minute before exploring! The size of the site is quite big and is open land.

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Walking around, unaware that there was tunnels, we came across this passage way. There were man-made footmarks at the entrance however a two foot drop after that. After debating whether or not we should go down we decided not to. Only MYSELF did!

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When I was down there, there was a main corridor leading to the 20 magazines connecting to it. Having a phobia for spiders, I’m pleased to say that there was very few down there! I couldn’t get to any of the rooms due to them being covered in water however I did get some photos. The arrows indicate the entrance/exit.

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Below are some amazing images of the tunnels from Flickr.

This was the end of our visit at Shornemead Fort and we then progressed onto a long, long and very long (or it felt like it!) walk to Cliffe Fort, which was worth the walk! Check back soon for the post on that! Our photos of Shornemead can be seen here.

Sources: http://www.subterraneanhistory.co.uk/2007/04/shornemead-fort-gravesend.html and http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=19933#.UgunrZLCZcY

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