Link to printer-friendly page

It should not be assumed that this site is publicly accessible and it may be on private property. Do not trespass.

Monument details

HER Number:TQ 77 SE 21
Type of record:Monument
Name:Remains of Cockham Wood Fort, Gull Down Plantation, Hoo St. Werburgh

Summary

This battery, on the left bank of the Medway, was built between 1668 and the early 70s as part of Bernard de Gomme’s scheme for strengthening the defences of the river following the Dutch Raid in 1667. It crossed its fire with Gillingham Fort on the right bank of the river.

Cockham Wood Fort consisted of two levels of gun emplacements stepped into the slope of the riverbank, one above the other, within a rectangular earthwork rampart and a ditch. There was a brick tower redoubt in the centre of the rear rampart. The entrance was on the east side of the work, within which there was a gunner’s house. The lower level of gun emplacements terminated in a pair of slightly raised brick bastions.

In 1713 the fort was armed with 44 guns, reduced to half this number by 1725. It was a disused ruin by the 1790s. Following sale into private ownership in the later 19th century, the decay of the fort continued, with much robbing of building materials and the erosion of its river front by tidal action.


Grid Reference:TQ 7763 7126
Map Sheet:TQ77SE
Parish:HOO ST WERBURGH, MEDWAY, KENT

Monument Types

  • FORT (Post Medieval - 1668 AD to 1668 AD?)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1239077: Cockham Wood Fort

Full description

If you do not understand anything on this page please contact us.

[TQ 77407125] Cockham Wood Fort (1) Cockamwood Forte 40 gunns (2). This fort is situated on the steep wooded escarpment of the N. bank of the R. Medway at Hoo. Its principal remains comprise a dry moat, a stretch of 17th c. brick walling fronting the river, and the remains of some underground structures, probably magazines. Surveyed at 1:2500 (3). Additional bibliography (4). Additional index entries and relevant references from field reports (5-8). Site indicated on early charts (9-11). Site photographs (12-13) and for references in context of defence sites see (14).

"This battery, on the left bank of the Medway, was built between 1668 and the early 70s as part of Bernard de Gomme’s scheme for strengthening the defences of the river following the Dutch Raid in 1667. It crossed its fire with Gillingham Fort on the right bank of the river.
Cockham Wood Fort consisted of two levels of gun emplacements stepped into the slope of the riverbank, one above the other, within a rectangular earthwork rampart and a ditch. There was a brick tower redoubt in the centre of the rear rampart. The entrance was on the east side of the work, within which there was a gunner’s house. The lower level of gun emplacements terminated in a pair of slightly raised brick bastions.
In 1713 the fort was armed with 44 guns, reduced to half this number by 1725. It was a disused ruin by the 1790s. Following sale into private ownership in the later 19th century, the decay of the fort continued, with much robbing of building materials and the erosion of its river front by tidal action." (15)


<1> Map of Medway Defences 1724 (IP Desmarets) (OS Card Reference). SKE46527.

<2> Map of Medway Defences 1688 (G Collins) (OS Card Reference). SKE46523.

<3> F1 FGA 31-MAR-65 (OS Card Reference). SKE43004.

<4> A Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 1977 13 (D Bennett) (OS Card Reference). SKE32804.

<5> DOE(IAM)AM's Eng 2 1978 112 (OS Card Reference). SKE41457.

<6> DOE(IAM)SAM's 1988 Kent 17 (OS Card Reference). SKE41462.

<7> PM Arch 10 1076 104-5 (VTC Smith) (OS Card Reference). SKE48528.

<8> Field report for monument TQ 77 SE 21 - March, 1965 (Bibliographic reference). SKE4272.

<9> Anon, c.1690, A draught of the River Medway (Chart). SWX9272.

<10> Anon, 1760, River Medway (Chart). SWX9277.

<11> D. Steel, 1802, Medway and Thames (Chart). SWX8090.

<12> 1946, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9510.

<13> 1947, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9870.

<14> Kent County Council, 1999, Survey of Kent post-1500 defence sites, KD99 (Index). SWX11828.

<15> Victor Smith and Andrew Saunders, 2001, Kent's Defence Heritage (Unpublished document). SKE6956.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: Map of Medway Defences 1724 (IP Desmarets).
<2>OS Card Reference: Map of Medway Defences 1688 (G Collins).
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 FGA 31-MAR-65.
<4>OS Card Reference: A Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 1977 13 (D Bennett).
<5>OS Card Reference: DOE(IAM)AM's Eng 2 1978 112.
<6>OS Card Reference: DOE(IAM)SAM's 1988 Kent 17.
<7>OS Card Reference: PM Arch 10 1076 104-5 (VTC Smith).
<8>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 77 SE 21 - March, 1965.
<9>Chart: Anon. c.1690. A draught of the River Medway.
<10>Chart: Anon. 1760. River Medway.
<11>Chart: D. Steel. 1802. Medway and Thames. chart.
<12>Photograph (Print): 1946. Photograph. 3119. print.
<13>Photograph (Print): 1947. Photograph. 4100. print.
<14>Index: Kent County Council. 1999. Survey of Kent post-1500 defence sites. KD99.
<15>Unpublished document: Victor Smith and Andrew Saunders. 2001. Kent's Defence Heritage.

Related thematic articles