Exploring Kent's Past

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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 97 NW 3
Type of record:Monument
Name:Sheerness defences

Summary

Sheerness town defences, PM.


Grid Reference:TQ 91 75
Map Sheet:TQ97NW
Parish:SHEERNESS, SWALE, KENT

Monument Types

Protected Status:Scheduled Monument KENT 172b; Scheduled Monument KENT 172a; Scheduled Monument KENT 172c

Full description

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Sheerness defences including:
TQ 97 NW 118 - Garrison Point Fort (NAT)

TQ 97 NW 109, TQ 97 NW 113, TQ 97 NW 114, TQ 97 NW 115, TQ 97 NW 116 - The Sheerness Lines

TQ 91557528 - The Moat (NAT) - TQ 97 NW 1039

TQ 91347532 - Centre Bastion (NAT) - TQ 97 NW 110

TQ 97 NW 111 - Cutain battery

TQ 97 NW 112 / TQ 97 NW 124 - Albermarle battery

TQ 97 NW 112 - Bastion No.1

TQ 97 SW 24 - Bastion No. 2

TQ 97 SW 25 - Bastion No. 3

TQ 97 SW 26 - Bastion No. 4

TQ 97 SW 13 - Battery and linear defensive ditch

TQ 97 NW 15 - The Ravelin

TQ 97 NW 14 - 20th century coastal battery (now demolished)

Detailed description:
TQ 908755 - Garrison Point Fort (NAT) - TQ 97 NW 118 (1).

TQ 908756 Sheerness Defences (2). Situated covering the Medway entrance (see plan), Garrison Point Fort is on the site of three earlier forts. A square Tudor blockhouse was followed in 1667 by a new fort, construction of which was interrupted by the Dutch, who in a raid of that year destroyed it. Rebuilt by Sir Bernard de Gomme, all that survives are two stone lions and a series of bastions and moats, though they have been mutilated by 19th century gun positions. Following the Royal Commission of 1860 the red brick fort was demolished and the present structure built. A casemated fort in two tiers protected by iron shields. The outer face is of granite and the walls and piers are 14.5 ft thick. Completed in 1872, a Brennan torpedo station was added in 1887, of which no trace exists, and new batteries in 1900. During World War II guns were installed on the roof and remained in use until 1956. The condition of the fort in 1959 was fair and almost complete.

Owned by M.O.D.a. TQ 908755: Garrison Point Fort, a casemated fort for 36 heavy guns, built following a Royal Commission report of 1860. b. TQ 915753: A surviving portion of late 17th c fortifications designed by Sir Bernard de Gomme. Largely faced in Portland ashlar to cordon. The brick parapet is later and together with the rampart has been remodelled and mutilated by 19th c gun positions. At three angles are moulded corbels which carried sentry boxes. c. Sheerness Lines (2). The defensive potential of Sheerness to command the Thames estuary and the entrance to the Medway had been recognised from an early date for bulwarks had existed in the area since 1551. Garrison Point Fort. Built in the 1860s replacing Bernard de Gomme's fortifications of 1669. A semi-circular fort of granite blocks to the seaward side with blank cambered arches and of ashlar blocks to the landward side with 2 tiers of gun emplacements. Granite parapet and end quoins. Modern look-outs in roof. LISTED GRADE II* (3).
For summary of Sheerness defences and associated buildings see (20).

The Sheerness Lines - TQ 97 NW 109, TQ 97 NW 113, TQ 97 NW 114, TQ 97 NW 115, TQ 97 NW 116
These form part of the system of bastioned earthworks enclosing the dockyards and Blue Town (see plan). Constructed in 1780 and 1796, they replaced the late 17th century defences. Ramparts unrevetted apart from within moat. Mostly in good condition but NE lines much altered in the 19th century and later. Scheduled. (The southernmost portion, No 2 & 3 bastions, not included in the scheduled area). (4-7) A branch of the Deal line telegraph system had its terminus at Garrison Point, completed in 1796 (8). (See illustration card).

In 1665 during the Second Dutch War extensive defence works were built at Sheerness and and plans drawn up to build naval facilities adjacent to the fortification (9). In 1667 a Dutch raid destroyed the partially completed fort and dockyard. In August 1667 work began to rebuild it on a much larger scale (See Illustration Card for plans of the dockyard and fort in 1698, 1738 and 1800). By the 1790s the landward defences of the fort were obsolete due to the presence of Blue Town on its flank. Construction of a 2nd outer defence system, encircling Blue Town on its landward side had therefore been started in the 1780s Fort Townsend, part of this system, existed in 1782. The obsolete defences were levelled and the land raised 6 ft, apart from a section along the shore facing the Thames, which was retained by the Board of Ordnance. (10). Additional references on Sheerness defences and links (11-23).


<1> OS Card / NAR index entry, OS 1:10000 1974 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<2> OS Card / NAR index entry, DOE(IAM) Record Form 1982 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<3> OS Card / NAR index entry, DOE(HHR)Borough of Swale, Kent (30-JUN-1978) 34 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<4> OS Card / NAR index entry, DOE(IAM) Record Form plan (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<5> OS Card / NAR index entry, The Medway Forts 1976 (KR Gulvin) plan 24-26 31 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<6> OS Card / NAR index entry, Hist of Kings Works 4 pt 2 1982 478 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<7> OS Card / NAR index entry, Coastal Defences of Eng & W 1856-1956 (IV Hogg) 115-7 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<8> OS Card / NAR index entry, Old Telegraphs 1976 (G Wilson) 19 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<9> OS Card / NAR index entry, DOE(IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 112 (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<10> OS Card / NAR index entry, Arch Cant 101 1984 245-76 plans (TM Harris) (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<11> Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort and the Indented Lines/ink survey (Graphic material). SKE6431.


<12> Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort and the Indented Lines/overlay (Graphic material). SKE6432.


<13> Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines/overlay (Graphic material). SKE6434.


<14> Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines/ink survey (Graphic material). SKE6433.


<15> Sheerness Defences, No 2 Bastion/ink survey (Graphic material). SKE6435.


<16> Sheerness Defences, No 3 Bastion and No 4 Bastion/ink survey (Graphic material). SKE6436.


<17> Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort (Bibliographic reference). SKE6437.


<18> Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines (Bibliographic reference). SKE6438.


<19>
John Potter, 1725, Plan of Sheerness at the mouth of the River Medway, 1770 (Chart). SWX9273.


<21> Royal Commission on Historic Monuments in England, 1995, Sheerness: The Dockyard, Defences and Blue Town (Unpublished document). SWX6974.


<22> RCHME: Sheerness Defences, Kent (Collection). SKE6533.


<23> Oxford Archaeological Unit, Feb 1995, East Thames Corridor archaeological study: archaeological framework for Thames Gateway. Draft report (Bibliographic reference). SWX9336.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. OS 1:10000 1974.
<2>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. DOE(IAM) Record Form 1982.
<3>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. DOE(HHR)Borough of Swale, Kent (30-JUN-1978) 34.
<4>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. DOE(IAM) Record Form plan.
<5>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. The Medway Forts 1976 (KR Gulvin) plan 24-26 31.
<6>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Hist of Kings Works 4 pt 2 1982 478.
<7>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Coastal Defences of Eng & W 1856-1956 (IV Hogg) 115-7.
<8>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Old Telegraphs 1976 (G Wilson) 19.
<9>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. DOE(IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 112.
<10>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Arch Cant 101 1984 245-76 plans (TM Harris).
<11>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort and the Indented Lines/ink survey. PER. PEN.
<12>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort and the Indented Lines/overlay. PER. PEN.
<13>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines/overlay. PER. PEN.
<14>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines/ink survey. PER. PEN.
<15>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, No 2 Bastion/ink survey. PER. PEN.
<16>Graphic material: Sheerness Defences, No 3 Bastion and No 4 Bastion/ink survey. PER. PEN.
<17>Bibliographic reference: Sheerness Defences, Garrison Point Fort. PAP. TYP.
<18>Bibliographic reference: Sheerness Defences, the Sheerness Lines. PAP. TYP.
<19>Chart: John Potter. 1725. Plan of Sheerness at the mouth of the River Medway. 1770.
<21>Unpublished document: Royal Commission on Historic Monuments in England. 1995. Sheerness: The Dockyard, Defences and Blue Town.
<22>Collection: RCHME: Sheerness Defences, Kent.
<23>Bibliographic reference: Oxford Archaeological Unit. Feb 1995. East Thames Corridor archaeological study: archaeological framework for Thames Gateway. Draft report.

Related records

TQ 97 NW 1084Parent of: GARRISON POINT FORT (Listed Building)
TQ 97 NW 113Parent of: The Indented Lines, Sheerness (Monument)
TQ 97 NW 109Parent of: The Sheerness Lines (Monument)
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