Exploring Coalhouse Fort – East Tilbury, Essex | History Video

Exploring Coalhouse Fort - East Tilbury, Essex | History Video
Exploring Coalhouse Fort – East Tilbury, Essex | History Video

Exploring Coalhouse Fort – East Tilbury, Essex | History Video

Coalhouse Fort occupies a strategic location on the north bank of the River Thames, fronted by salt-marshes. Construction begun in 1861 to counter the threat of a French invasion and is one of the most important military sites in Essex. The strategic importance of this area was recognised as far back as 1402 when a system of earthworks was erected to defend from a possible French attack. Then in 1540, Henry VIII built a blockhouse armed with 15 cannon as part of his system of coastal defences. Henry’s blockhouse is now underwater due to erosion of the river bank. Coalhouse was just one of several coastal forts to be built or strengthened in the mid-19th century, along with nearby Shornemeade and Cliffe. The enhancements at Coalhouse were intended to counter the threat of new iron-clad ships developed by the French navy. To deal with the iron-clad threat, Coalhouse was supplied with massive guns that could fire armour-piercing missiles. The guns were so powerful that the when they were fired, the shockwaves could break windows 1/2 mile away. In 1865 Lt. Col. George Gordon (later to become General Gordon of Khartoum) supervised the completion of the forts along the Thames, including Coalhouse. The fort was completed in 1874. In its final configuration it held 3 9-inch shell-firing guns in an open battery, and 11-inch guns in bombproof casements. The casements were built of granite reinforced with iron, and 5 foot thick roofs of brick and concrete. Interestingly, Coalhouse has become a popular destination for paranormal investigators; visitors have reported hearing eerie voices, and heavy footsteps following them down tunnels. Strange figures have appeared and disappeared, and objects move without anyone near them. One spectre dubbed ‘Harry’ by volunteers, seems to inhabit the washroom area and has been known to throw chairs. #coalhousefort #essex #historyvideo

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  • Published: 6 October 2022
  • Location: Essex, England
  • Duration: 11:00
  • Photography – Stephen Robert Kuta
  • Written by – Stephen Robert Kuta

Music –

Music Licensed by Epidemic Sound

Exploring Coalhouse Fort – East Tilbury, Essex | History Video

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