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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 NW 33
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of the Lower Hope Point battery, Cliffe

Summary

Lower Hope Point Battery was constructed in 1898 on the site of an older battery. It housed a number of 12 pounder quick-firing guns. The guns were present in 1905 and most likely during World War I. They were withdrawn shortly after the end of this conflict and the position abandoned. No trace now remains.


Grid Reference:TQ 716 787
Map Sheet:TQ77NW
Parish:CLIFFE AND CLIFFE WOODS, MEDWAY, KENT

Monument Types

  • BATTERY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1898 AD to 1918 AD)

Full description

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[TQ 716 787] Lower Hope Point Battery. Housing 12 pounder quick-firing guns. Constructed 1898. (1) The earlier Hope Point Battery was revised in about 1898 and provided with two 12-pounder QF guns and a number of searchlights. They were certainly in position in 1905 and probably during the course of World War I, but they were withdrawn very soon after the war and the posititon abandoned. There is now no trace of the emplacements to be found (2). Lower Hope Point Battery is located at TQ 716 787. It was constructed between 1796-1799. By December 1902 it was equipped with two 12-pounder quick-firing guns. (3-4)

Lower Hope Point Battery has been removed and aerial photography from 1970 shows that the site is occupied by industrial workings and a shorefront area. (5)

The foundations of a up to seven dispersed buildings, one pair at the north-eastern end (at TQ 7122 7822) with traces of earthen embankments corresponding in plan and location to historic plans of the Lower Hope Battery (at a different location from that indicated by previous sources) were seen on 1953 RAF aerial photographs and mapped as part of the of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project. The buildings were centred as a group at TQ 7116 7814, and were seen to extend along the former sea front for c. 260m. Also visible were the traces of three branching tracks enting the site from the south-east from the the causeway of the a former sea wall. The site of the battery has been destroyed by the the realignment and strengthening of the the sea defences after the major floods of 1953. (6-8)

Hope Battery, a small coastal battery complex active in the early 20th century (c1900-1926), centred on TQ 7116 7810 on the Thames foreshore at Cliffe Marshes. Only scant surface remains survive.

Previous authorities 3, 4 & 5 appear to have partially confused this battery with 'Lower Hope Point Battery' (uid 416710), a separate and earlier battery of Napoleonic date, which was constructed c800m north-east of here on the same stretch of river frontage.

Hope Battery was constructed in 1900 on War Department Land as an examination battery providing observation and firearm capabilities as part of the River Thames Defences. The battery was the only ‘fort’ constructed at this time on the river, and it is thought to have been unusual for its design, which incorporated steel plates, and for its use of electric searchlights (9a). Documentary records and historic aerial photographs show that the battery comprised two main structures with protective earthen traverses around their seaward side along with a small number of support buildings. The battery was only in operation for a short period of time: it appears to have been decommissioned by 1907, had domestic occupants by 1911, and in 1926 the site was advertised for auction.

A set of five large constructional engineer’s drawings, dated May 1900, comprise measured plan and section for the location, size and make-up of the planned building foundations, palisade fences, earthen traverses and broad enclosing drainage ditches (9b). A further plan, dated 16 April 1904, shows the constructed layout of the Hope Battery complex on War Department Land. Individual structures are labelled as: Battery, Engine House, Mens’ Shelter, Officers’ Shelter, and two outlying electric light placements (9c).

In 2005, as part of the North Kent Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (RCZAS), Wessex Archaeology undertook a field assessment of features along the foreshore on behalf of Kent County Council. Results of this assessment included production of a brief description for part of the early 20th-century remains of Hope Battery (WA MonUID WX18724), albeit misinterpreted as an unidentified military structure dating from the Second World War (9d).

In 2011, members of the former English Heritage Archaeological Survey and Investigation team undertook accurate measured ground survey of surface remains and assessment of any available documentary evidence, undertaken as part of the wider Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project. Ground survey revealed that several scant parts of the site survive. Structures at the north end of the complex were destroyed during realignment of the sea wall during the 1980-90s and all superstructures had likely been dismantled long before this. The few surviving building elements at the south end have all been reduced to their concrete foundations and many are partially concealed beneath a thin skin of estuarine mud. The site is in a hazardous inter-tidal location, any intention to visit must only be undertaken with due consideration of the risks to health and safety. (9)

Site photographs (3-22).

This feature is recorded in the English Heritage Historic Area Assessment for Cliffe Parish. The report states: "Some vestige of the 1890s Lower Hope Point Battery remains either side of the concrete-capped earthen seawall" (23-25)


1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11062.

<1> A Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 11 (D Bennett) (OS Card Reference). SKE32797.

<2> Coast Defences of Eng and Wales 1856-1956 1974 110 (IV Hogg) (OS Card Reference). SKE39031.

<3> 1946, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9466.

<4> 1946, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9634.

<5> 1946, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX9635.

<6> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11000.

<7> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11003.

<8> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11004.

<9> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11005.

<10> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11006.

<11> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11011.

<12> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11016.

<13> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11017.

<14> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11024.

<15> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11035.

<16> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11037.

<17> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11038.

<18> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11039.

<19> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11040.

<20> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11041.

<21> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11042.

<22> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11043.

<23> historic england, 2014, Hoo Peninsula Outline Historic Area Assessment: Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Parish. Research Report 2014-54 (Bibliographic reference). SKE31591.

<24> 1994, Photograph (Photograph (Print)). SWX11062.

<25> Wessex Archaeology, 2005, North Kent Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey: Phase ll: Field Assessment Year Two Report (Unpublished document). SWX12323.

<26> Wessex Archaeology, 2005, North Kent Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey: Phase ll: Field Assessment Year Two Report (Unpublished document). SWX12323.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
---Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/7. print.
<1>XYOS Card Reference: A Handbook of Kent's Defences 1540-1945 11 (D Bennett). [Mapped feature: #25409 Battery, ]
<2>OS Card Reference: Coast Defences of Eng and Wales 1856-1956 1974 110 (IV Hogg).
<3>Photograph (Print): 1946. Photograph. 4024. print.
<4>Photograph (Print): 1946. Photograph. 1073. print.
<5>Photograph (Print): 1946. Photograph. 1076. print.
<6>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/1. print.
<7>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/12. print.
<8>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/13. print.
<9>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/14. print.
<10>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/15. print.
<11>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/2. print.
<12>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/3. print.
<13>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7178/4. print.
<14>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/1. print.
<15>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/2. print.
<16>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/21. print.
<17>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/22. print.
<18>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/23. print.
<19>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/24. print.
<20>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/25. print.
<21>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/26. print.
<22>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/27. print.
<23>Bibliographic reference: historic england. 2014. Hoo Peninsula Outline Historic Area Assessment: Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Parish. Research Report 2014-54.
<24>Photograph (Print): 1994. Photograph. TQ7278/7. print.
<25>Unpublished document: Wessex Archaeology. 2005. North Kent Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey: Phase ll: Field Assessment Year Two Report.
<26>Unpublished document: Wessex Archaeology. 2005. North Kent Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey: Phase ll: Field Assessment Year Two Report.

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