Tilbury Fort - English Heritage

An aerial view of Tilbury Fort, Essex

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.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Castle or defences

Opening hours

3 November 2014 - 29 March 2015
Monday - Friday, Closed
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Admission charges

Adult £4.70
Child (5-18 years) £2.80
Concession are you eligible? £4.20
Family (2 adults, 3 children) £12.20


  • English Heritage
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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.

Tilbury Fort - English Heritage
No. 2 Office Block
The Fort
RM18 7NR




01375 858489

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.