News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
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Author Topic: Fort Luton, Chatham  (Read 56987 times)

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merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2015, 13:33:54 »
A small group of Fort Luton photos pre- model museum/tourist attraction days:

http://www.southeast-defencephotos.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=19

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2015, 19:16:08 »
27th February 1961

News in Brief

Woman Rescued from Moat – Firemen were lowered into a dry moat yesterday to rescue Mrs. Jane Frid, aged 75, of Sturla Road, Chatham, Kent.  She had gone for a walk near Fort Luton, a disused Army fort, at Chatham, when she fell more than 40ft. to the bottom of the moat.  She was detained in hospital with shock and bruises.



merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2015, 23:26:22 »
Report of the Commissioners of Prisons and the Directors of Convict Prisons - 1900 (Snippet from Google Books)

Fort Luton. — Taking up and relaying drains, and making good leaks in roof of casemates, and making good parapets over same.

I found another small snippet that directly follows on from the above quote:

General. — Repairing wagons and tools, making fittings and furniture for officers' quarters and mess-rooms.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2015, 23:19:33 »
Fort Luton in relation to 3 of the Medway forts.  Fort Luton is to the right.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2015, 23:18:38 »
Siege works to the right of the fort.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2015, 23:18:03 »
The railway and further siege work remains to the left of the fort.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2015, 23:16:42 »
Siege works to the left of Fort Luton

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #63 on: December 18, 2014, 08:45:28 »
It was the 'other stuff' that worried me!  :)

cliveh

merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #62 on: December 16, 2014, 13:06:20 »
Indeed Cliveh, it was full of old things from the museum days and other stuff :)

Maybe next year sometime we can clear it out completely. I know there's other jobs that need doing at the fort first though.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2014, 12:30:32 »
That was a lovely job clearing those out Merc I seem to remember!!  :)

cliveh

merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2014, 13:23:02 »
The old toilets. The corrugated iron covering at the front (pic 2.) was possibly added in WWII, as that part was probably unroofed originally.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2014, 13:53:36 »
Good write-up Merc!  :)

cliveh

merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2014, 12:15:23 »
I've just realised I haven't mentioned the Medway fort's railway, so will put it in later...

merc

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2014, 11:44:00 »
I have just completed a small write-up about the fort for my website. The information is from various sources (including the KHF). I have tried to put it into my own words where possible.

Please feel free to comment or let me know if you see any  wrong information, or any other mistakes :)

Fort Luton in Chatham is the smallest of the main forts built in the second half of the 19th century to defend Chatham Dockyard from a land attack, via the Luton Valley. It was built between 1876 and 1892 using convict labour. Construction work stopped in the early 1880's but started again in 1886. The fort was constructed at a reduced size and cost due to lack of funds and possibly changes in ideas about fortification design.

Although they were in the orignal plans, no ditch flanking defences were actually built, so the fort has no counterscarp galleries or caponier. Access was provided by a roller bridge type drawbridge, and parts of this still remain. Inside the entrance is a row of bomb-proof casemates. The casemate at the end, on the left side, was converted into the forts main magazine. Either side of the casemates are semicircular tunnels that lead to the parade ground. In the tunnels are expense magazines, with ammunition serving rooms directly above them. Like the other Chatham Victorian forts there were no fixed guns, as movable artillery would have been brought into the fort if ever needed. At the rear of the fort were the soldiers ablutions and a small water reservoir which was supplied by pipe from Fort Horsted.

In 1891, while convicts were carrying out excavations near the fort, an ancient grave was uncovered. Inside were mens bones dating back to possibly pre-Roman times. Some members of the Kent Archaeological Society were of the opinion they had probably been there for nearly 2000 years. The bones belonged to tall men, one of whom must have been about 7ft. in height. Near the grave was an ancient cave dwelling.

The fort was used during the1907 siege operations (military war games). Here's a newspaper article from August 1907 that was printed in The Times:

"The Secretary of State for War visited the siege works on August 2. At Fort Luton the attack had reached the counterscarp wall with two of their four mining galleries, driven from the trench formed by the craters of former explosions. Galleries 3 and 4 had been damaged by the countermines of the defence and had therefore been abandoned. The attack placed five charges each of 200lb. of black powder behind the counterscarp wall. When these were fired they made a very good breach 111ft. broad, the debris filling the ditch and forming a practicable passage. Some men crossed over it into the fort immediately afterwards."

During World War I the fort was used as a transit barracks for troops en route to Europe. Then in World War II the fort was converted into the anti aircraft Gun Operations Room for the whole Thames and Medway "South" area. A hutted camp, to provide extra accomodation, was built on the land between the fort and Magpie Hall Road. After the war the site was used for Territoral Army and Cadet camps. Kent County Council bought the fort and surrounding land for just £1 in 1961 to build the nearby former High School. The actual fort remained unbuilt on though and stood derelict for many years. In 1988 Kent County Council sold the fort to a developer, but they could not get planning permission due to its listed building status. The developer sold the fort at a reduced price at auction in 1990. The new owners restored the fort and turned it into a tourist attraction and model museum. This was very popular but unfortunatly it later closed.

The fort is currently being restored by its owners and dedicated volunteers. The left hand tunnel is being turned into an exhibition area to show the history of the fort. The plan is to tidy and restore the fort as much as possible, and open it up for the use of various groups and the general public once again.



Offline Longpockets

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Re: Fort Luton, Chatham
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2014, 15:56:16 »
David,

There was no criticism intended, I have also had experience of trying to keep databases, records and datasheets up to date, yes, not an easy task. Thank you for your detail and knowledge.

 

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