Exploring Kent's Past

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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 87 NE 9
Type of record:Monument
Name:Remains of wing battery, Isle of Grain

Summary

Wing Coastal Artillery Battery, built in 1895. Constructed to counter the threat from new fast-moving torpedo boats. It was not armed after the First World War. By 1966 the battery remains had become infilled or sealed.

Summary from record TQ 87 NE 1087:

Coastal artillery battery for 4.7" quick firing guns.


Grid Reference:TQ 8914 7638
Map Sheet:TQ87NE
Parish:ISLE OF GRAIN, MEDWAY, KENT

Monument Types

  • BATTERY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1895 AD to 1966 AD?)
  • COASTAL BATTERY (Destroyed 1962, Modern - 1905 AD? to 1918 AD?)
  • SLIT TRENCH (Modern - 1914 AD to 1966 AD (at some time))

Full description

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[TQ 891764] Wing Battery (NAT) (1).

Wing Battery, 1890, to house rifled muzzle-loading guns, later resited for 4.6" breech-loading guns (2).

Site photographs (3-5).

References of other sites in the context of defence sites in Kent (6).

Built to counter a new threat from fast moving torpedo boats, this battery was armed with modern quick firing smaller calibre guns. Built on the south flank of Grain Fort [TQ 87 NE 8], it featured a low visibility design (to make the battery invisible from the sea) with mountings for two heavy calibre and two of the new smaller calibre guns. By 1911 the two smaller calibre guns had been moved to Grain Tower [TQ 87 NE 7]. Wing battery had no weaponry after the First World War. After the removal of the quick firing guns, the battery was occupied by infantry in temporary accomodation during World War One and the parapet between the emplacements converted into a series of breastworks. By 1966 the battery remains had become infilled or sealed. The field survey has recorded the surviving elements of the battery. Many of the principal features have survived, as the battery was only in service for a short time before becoming obsolete and was not significantly altered. It consisted of a large irregular hexagonal earthwork, defined by a ditch with an unclimable fence, surrounding a central linear hollow, dug into the hillside, for the emplacements, magazines and crew shelters. The report details the remains of these internal features, the battery command, range finding posts and emplacements. Slit trenches of first world war date were also recorded. [7].

Description from record TQ 87 NE 1087:
Former coastal defence battery, earth works mainly complete with some concrete structures still visible. Magazine level buried.
Owner : Public
Publicly accessible : Yes
How accessed for survey : Public open space.
Tourism Potential : Yes, as part of Grain heritage trail.
Condition : moderate
Date of visit : 14/01/07

Mentioned in Isle of Grain Historic Area Assessment conducted by English Heritage in 2014. Built in 1895, the second of three batteries built around Grain Fort, and "designed for faster-firing less conspicuous guns" (8).


War Department., 01/01/1909, Medway defence scheme. (Collection). SKE14371.


War Department., 01/01/1909, Medway defence scheme. (Collection). Ske14371.


MMRG, 07/01/14, Wing Battery (Photograph). SKE14629.


MMRG, 07/01/14, Wing Battery (Photograph). Ske14629.


<1> OS Card / NAR index entry, OS 25" 1933 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<2> OS Card / NAR index entry, Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 1977 14 (D Bennett) (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<3> 1946, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9555.


<4> 1942, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9998.


<5> 1942, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX10000.


<6> Kent County Council, 1999, Survey of Kent post-1500 defence sites, KD94 (Index). SWX11828.


<7> RCHME, 1998, Coastal Artillery Fortifications on the Isle of Grain, Kent (Unpublished document). SKE12515.


<8> English Heritage, 2014, Isle of Grain, Hoo Peninsula, Kent: Historic area assessment (Monograph). SKE29397.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
---Collection: War Department.. 01/01/1909. Medway defence scheme..
---Photograph: MMRG. 07/01/14. Wing Battery.
<1>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. OS 25" 1933.
<2>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 1977 14 (D Bennett).
<3>Photograph (Print): 1946. Photograph. 4018. print.
<4>Photograph (Print): 1942. Photograph. 27. print.
<5>Photograph (Print): 1942. Photograph. 32. print.
<6>Index: Kent County Council. 1999. Survey of Kent post-1500 defence sites. KD94.
<7>Unpublished document: RCHME. 1998. Coastal Artillery Fortifications on the Isle of Grain, Kent.
<8>Monograph: English Heritage. 2014. Isle of Grain, Hoo Peninsula, Kent: Historic area assessment.

Related records

TQ 87 NE 1058Parent of: Coast Artillery searchlight, east of Grain Fort, Isle of Grain (Building)
TQ 87 NE 8Part of: Grain Fort and associated coastal artillery fortifications, Isle of Grain (Monument)
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