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Author Topic: Swaleness Fort  (Read 29135 times)

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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 18:07:10 »
Hi there.
          I think my very rough hexagon, I was going on the fact that the remaining wall is almost three sides of a hexagon, came out to close on 560yrds. Not far off of your calculation.  :) I was only pratting about on GE and not doing an intense study, it was very rough. :) :) :) Also if you back GE to a past date there is a low tide exposure and it seems that the mudbank is not too deep underwater at high tide. I like the idea of a hexagon, look at the remains and you can see corners, as it has a nice geometric quality about it. How easy is it to get out to the spit? Also is anyone brave, or mad, enough to go out there at low tide and get some pics?
                                                                                    Sentinel S4.
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Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 17:34:47 »
... It came out closer to 600yrds than 500 ... none of Kyns plans show a hexagon ...

SentinalS4, I took the circle as a model as it's easy to calculate and easy to see in one's mind. We have the total length of wall actually constructed before they gave up and assuming a circle we get a diameter around 500 or even 550 yards (for a quicky in the head, 5000/3 is around 1660 feet or 550 yards). I'd expect the builders on the spot had to be practical and make use of local features, especially for circumferance walls, especially in those wet conditions at Swaleness. At the other end of the hierarchy, whoever is paying can also adjust plans to cost.

I found a page on Wikipedia that said the name Deadmans Island came into use during the 19th C. Documented burials are quoted from the hulks at Sheerness. I'd previously heard the RN had used it for burials from the Nore especially French prisoners with cholera. The name could come from the exposure of bones by erosion.


Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 16:59:50 »
Hi, Sylvaticus.
     I have just done a very rough hexagon on GE with the wall (2) providing the base line dimension. It came out closer to 600yrds than 500 but is possible. However, and this is the biggie, none of Kyns plans show a hexagon. They all show other shapes ot incomplete walls. I thought that the earthwork that looks like part of a compass (as in circle drawing) was part of it all on Deadmans Island. As for Deadmans Island I thought that the name came from the days of the black death and those inhabitants of the Island infected were left there to die. I am probably very wrong in that but it is what I heard.
                            Sentinel S4
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Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 16:27:32 »
Paul suggested to SentinalS4 that the fort would have been near Queenborough Spit, just north of Deadmans Island, and referred to this Bing map:



the blue arrow 1 marking the spot.

Do you have evidence of this? Were you thinking that owing to erosion the shoreline would have been out there 400 years ago, or were you expecting the fort to be on the mudflats in tidal water? Assuming you're correct I have evidence of erosion to the N and E sides of Deadmans Island, and there's a wall fragment right on the shore today (arrow 2 on the Bing map above).

Paul's liink to the KCC page reveals that some 5000 foot of wall were constructed and paid for. That corresponds to a circular feature with a diameter of 500 yards or so. To judge 500 yards, that's about the distance across the West Swale from the Deadmans Island shore to the Queenborough seawall immediately opposite (map above). It would also fit nicely between the north shore of Deadmans Island and Queenborough Spit, with the wall fragment in the right place for the southern boundary. At this point I need to find some early 19th c OS maps to compare the shoreline then, and where that wall fragment continued to.

SentinalS4 suggested a location he found on GoogleEarth, presumably south of Shepherds Creek and south of my arrow 3 above, an enclosure with walls intact. The 500 yd diameter circle would fit into that enclosure but I haven't measured the actual total length of those walls. Within that enclosure is a mound (my arrow 4), and other earthworks not shown on the Bing map. There are similar mounds in various places on the Sheppey marshes and I've always understood they were refuges for sheep during floods.

Does anyone know more about the name Swaleness. Are there other references apart from the fort? I haven't searched yet, it would be nice to know if it was an established name or invented for the fort. Deadmans Island is a recent name, dating from the 19th c.



This is a map of the same area, illustrating a booklet published by Settle Speakman & Co in 1957. It looks like a 6 in. OS map, with additions to show the company's business. The map is basically from around 1920 or 1930 (anyone familiar with Queenborough will recognise that there are no houses in Borough Road or Dumergue Ave, and there are no playing fields at the end of Castlemere Ave). Coronation Crescent is outlined but in a different style from the OS map itself as though it might be a later modification of the original.

I've put my arrows in the same places with the same numbers.

The north shore of Deadman.s Island has more salting north of the wall fragment (2), confirming erosion over the past 50-70 years. That shore takes all the storms, with a mile of open water across the Medway to Grain opposite, and much more NE out to the Thames Estuary. The wall fragment is about the same, nibbled by the sea at each end, especially in the NE. This map also shows the earthworks near the mound (4). There's a water basin immediately to the W, and a wall ending in a ring to the NW, all within the enclosure.

Erosion is less obvious in Shephers Creek and along the Swale.



This is from Google Earth, of the mudflat from Deadmans Island north to Queenborough Spit dated 2010. This is the site proposed by Paul. Note that I've turned it round so that North is at the bottom. I did this to get the shadows right and improve the sense of 3D. This would be how the satellite took the photograph. (1) is where Paul put his arrow at Queenborough Spit, (2) is the wall fragment, now right on the shoreline. The tide looks as though it's nearly in. (5) is the site of the Flushing Pier (Queenborough Pier on the second map above), marked by piles out in the water. It's about 500 yards from the seawall at (5) to the nearest end of the wall fragment (2). So there's also about 500 yards across these flats for Paul's site.

[To be continued]

Offline Paul

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 11:53:15 »
Found that info about the Fort..I'd love it to be wrong... :)

http://extranet7.kent.gov.uk/ExploringKentsPast/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MKE3250
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Offline LenP

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 22:44:15 »
How wonderfully evocative:

'A mayne bank for the sea in raging tempest.'

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 20:37:42 »
It looks like they started to build this design. There is a similar shape in the marsh. I just checked it out on GE. I really wish this would have been built then we would have had best part of 500 years of water forts to compare.
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Offline kyn

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 20:31:37 »



Offline Paul

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2011, 14:31:02 »
Cant wait :)

I bet He had to drag you there (NOT!) :)

Meanwhile I found that Zoomify link fing... http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/unvbrit/a/zoomify82828.html

It shows the location and the Fort layout is totally different ... Cant find the article I read though :(
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Offline kyn

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 14:21:30 »
Paul, the plans are from National Archives.  Still a couple more to come  :)

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Offline Paul

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 13:17:09 »
 :) Where did you find them?
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Offline kyn

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 13:08:43 »
Couple more from roughly the same date as above



Offline Paul

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Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Swaleness Fort
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 09:11:23 »
Sorry, and embarresed to ask, where was/is Swaleness? I don't know Sheppy as well as I could or should being as I have lived in the Canterbury area most of my life. Sentinel S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

 

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