Tilbury Fort (English Heritage)
No. 2 Office Block
The artillery fort at Tilbury on the Thames estuary protected London's seaward approach from the 16th century through to World War II. Henry VIII built the first fort here, and Queen Elizabeth famously rallied her army nearby to face the threat of the Armada. The present fort was begun in 1672 under Charles II: it is much the best example of its type in England, with its complete circuit of moats and bastioned outworks still substantially surviving.
The fort mounted powerful artillery to command the river, as well as landward defences. Later, two magazines were constructed to store vast quantities of gunpowder. In one of these a new exhibition traces the role of the fort in the defence of London. Visitors can now enter one of Tilbury's 19th-century magazines through dark and atmospheric passages in the north-east bastion.
Heritage site, Castle or defences
1 Apr-1 Nov, daily10am-5pm / 2 Nov-31 Mar, Thu-Mon 10am-4pm / Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan
- English Heritage
Defence and the Home Front Discovery Visit
Tilbury Fort has been an important part of the capital's defence for hundreds of years. Its strategic location near the docks made it an ideal base for anti-aircraft guns during the Second World War. What was life like for the soldiers and their families who lived, worked and were sometimes imprisoned here? Find out in this interactive tour using site evidence, photographs and artefacts.
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Key Stage: Foundation, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, History
How to obtain
Call 01223 582732 to arrange a 1 1/2 hour session on weekdays during term time from Easter to the end of October, or on Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays between November and Easter. Price £60 per group of up to 30 pupils until April 2009, £75 per group after April 2009. Visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.19497 for more information.