Saturday, 3 September 2011

Tilbury Fort

I had hoped to have this post written yesterday, but one thing led to another and time disappeared - what was I doing?  Do you know I can barely remember!!  There was a lot of preparation for school next week, and of course the usual taxi service to keep running as one daughter went in one direction and the other daughter in another direction - then back later to pick up.

Anyway, I digress, back to Tilbury Fort - the present fort, situated in a defensive position on the Thames estuary was built in 1672 during the reign of Charles II and is on the site of an earlier fort built by Henry VIII.

The entrance doorway - known as the Water Gate because it was accessed from the river - which was originally closer than it now is.

This was a room in the north-east bastion which would have stored cartridges - the passageway outside was quite dark so we didn't venture very far!!

The Bernard Truss collection of military items and wartime memorabilia is held in one of the houses which formed the Officers' Quarters - we were lucky enough to meet these handsome men!

I love a man in uniform!

The fort has also played host to 268 prisoners who had sailed from Inverness for Tilbury enduring appalling conditions of starvation and disease aboard small transport ships - on 11th August 1746 these surviving prisoners landed at Tilbury and were imprisoned in the powder magazines of the fort - 303 had sailed from Inverness, 268 arrived at Tilbury - within a month 45 had died, mainly of typhus.  Those that survived were tried in London in 1747 - some were executed but many were transported to Barbados and Antigua as slave labourers on sugar plantations - only a few men were released.  There is a memorial stone to the bravery and suffering of the Jacobite prisoners which stands in the lea of the river wall at Tilbury - a very sad reminder of shameful and cruel times.

Great place to visit for an afternoon - take your own afternoon tea though because the shop only sells drinks from a machine and there are no tables or chairs or cakes!


  1. There is now a proper coffee machine and plenty of tables and chairs both inside and out!

    1. That's really good to know. Do they also have a good selection of delectable cakes?

  2. No cakes but flapjacks and similar, especially in the summer. Less choice in the winter.