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Author Topic: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend  (Read 16239 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 22:07:32 »
A 36 page paper on New Tavern Fort.

New for Old: The Development of New Tavern Fort at Gravesend in the Industrial Age.
Victor Smith. Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 133. 2013.
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Pub/ArchCant/133-2013/133-06.pdf  179 KB.

merc

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 12:34:24 »
Thursday, December 29, 1859

During the past week the old guns at New Tavern Fort, Gravesend, have been replaced by a new battery of 68-pounders. The Volunteer Artillery Corps have rendered great service in the operations; indeed as the Master Gunner had but five regular artillerymen at his disposal, it is probable that a long time would have elapsed before the new battery was mounted, had it not been for the aid of the volunteers.

From The Birmingham Daily Post.

merc

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 21:53:24 »
In 1778 a contingency plan was made which included extensive gun lines along the river at Gravesend, and fortified lines (forming a sort of triangle) linking to a strong citadel on Windmill Hill. Inside would be an entrenchment camp for a field army in case of a French invasion. This proposal was not carried out though. New Tavern Fort was built and gun positions near the old Gravesend Blockhouse were remodelled.

Offline kyn

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 10:50:50 »
I found this reference in a book recently, does anyone have a plan showing the bastions/batteries?

Gravesend Fort

Blockhouse Battery - 19 x 32 pounder guns
Newhaven Battery - 2 x 32 pounder guns, 14 x 24 pounder guns, 1 x 9 pounder gun
Thornmead Battery (bear in mind Shornemead Fort is spelt wrong in the book) - 4 x 24 pounder guns
Hope Point - 4 x 24 pounder guns

Offline kyn

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 15:51:56 »
After our trip to Shornemead Fort we popped along to New Tavern Fort for a look!  Was still cold...


















merc

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 23:35:15 »
I think that the "New Inn" is still there Pete.

I've now found out that "New Tavern" refers to an Inn establishment that was there before the fort was built.
which included Bowling Greens,an orchard and various other structures,including the Milton Chantry,which is the only remaining part.The rest was demolished to make way for the Fort.

seafordpete

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 19:41:42 »
Piggotts directory 1824 lists only the "New Inn". There is/was a New Inn at the top of (I think) Queen St on its corner with the main drag. Certainly an old building (C17 or C18?) and not a great distance from the Fort especially when they were probably open fields. The directory mentions the fort as " A small battery of 16 guns more for show than defence"  It also mentions that a fort was built by Henry V111 but that it had fallen into disrepair and its exact site is unknown.

david

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 17:16:30 »
The fort was originally called Gravesend Fort at the end of the seventeenth century. In 1779 a new fort "to be known as New Tavern Battery" was begun. The 1860 report recommended its improvement. If there was a "Tavern" there it was a long way back!

merc

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Re: New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 19:27:26 »
I've just found out the fort was possibly named after the Milton Chantry which is in the fort's grounds.

"Milton Chantry   The oldest surviving 14th Century building in the Borough of Gravesham. Housing a fascinating insight into Gravesham's heritage with the aid of high quality displays and contemporary artefacts.

The building fell into disuse after the Reformation and the chapel became an inn towards the end of the 17th century and later became part of the fort and defence works erected on the site. Today the building is promoted as the Chantry Heritage Centre, housing a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of Gravesend, Northfleet and the nearby villages.

The origins of the Chantry date back to a leper hospital founded on the site in 1189. Aylmer de Valence was the Earl of Pembroke, he endowed land on the north side of the Thames in Essex to maintain the hospital and build a chapel in 1321. The purpose of the Chantry was to say prayers for the souls of the dead, Aylmer de Valence an important man in the14th Century probably had little time for the saying of prayers himself and therefore employed the services of two Chaplains to say prayers on behalf of him and his family so that their souls did not end up in purgatory."

Source: http://www.towncentric.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3244

I did think there was another reason it was called "New Tavern" after reading some info in a book,but i think that info was slightly misleading o:)


merc

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New Tavern Fort,Gravesend
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 23:40:10 »
Here's a write up i've done about New Tavern Fort for my website. The information is from various sources.

New Tavern Fort was first started in 1778 at Gravesend on the banks of the River Thames. It was to co-operate with Tilbury Fort on the other side of the Thames in Essex,to defend the approach to London and the Gravesend-Tilbury Ferry crossing.

In 1780 an exercise was carried out when thousands of troops were ferried across the river between the two forts and back again in less than twelve hours. Tilbury had become a main transit depot for the area but it was an unpopular posting,so many of the officers for Tilbury Fort lived at Gravesend and regullarly used the ferry crossing.

There was already defences at Gravesend before the fort was built but these were now out of date,the fort was remodelled in 1895 and a Caponier was added at one end of its ditch.

As well as the New Tavern Fort there was also a gun line built which extended east from Henry VIII's Blockhouse.

The Fort was built in an iregular zig-zag plan and the guns faced downstream so as to direct  strong long-range fire against enemy warships before they could bring there own guns  to bear at shorter range. The forts plan was later remodelled,although the only feature remaining from its original construction is the brick skin of the medieval Milton Chantry in the forts grounds,which became an Artillary Barracks.

New Tavern fort was originally armed with 15 cannon,then in the 1840's it was rearmed with cannon on traversing platforms.

General (Charles) Gordon came to live at Fort house between 1865-71,he was there to take control of updating and the building of new forts on the Thames. While he was there New Tavern  fort was remodelled for 10 heavy Rifled Muzzle Loading guns between 1868-72. General Gordon had been to China in 1860 and led an Anglo-French force,which helped establish British trade rights in the country. When these rights were threatened by a rebellion Gordon formed a force of mercenaries and fought to save the ruling regime. He then became known as "Chinese Gordon".

 While at the fort he also did a lot to help the local poor children and often found them positions as apprentices or in the forces. He later donated the gardens at the fort to the people of Gravesend. Gordon became Governor of Sudan and died at the hands of the Mahdi in 1885 at the age of 52. A statue of General Gordon stands in the fort gardens.

In 1904 the fort was altered for two 6"  Breech Loaders for defence against a German invasion. They could fire a 100 pound (45kg) shell to a range of about 7 miles at 7 rounds per minute.

In 1930 the Fort was purchased from the War Office by the Coporation of Gravesend and then in 1932 the Fort Gardens were opened by the Earl of Darnley on the 8th June 1932,with a dedication by the lord Bishop of Rochester.

For a while early in WWII a light Anti-Aircraft  gun and a Searchlight were mounted on the infilled 6 inch gun emplacements. There was also temporary sandbagged Light Machine gun positions nearby overlooking the river. Fort House became an office for the administration of local food rationing,but a German V2 Rocket fell nearby and the building was badly damaged and had to be demolished. The Victorian and 1904 Magazines were used as Air-Raid shelters for a while,then reportedly the Victorian Magazines were used as a temporary Civil Defence Control Centre and then as a radio relay or  monitoring station,two high steel pylon towers were constructed for this purpose. An Air Raid Wardens post was also built near the ditch at the south end of the Fort,this was demolished in the 1980's.

After the war the Fort again became public gardens.

Today the fort and gardens are still open to the public,as well as some guns on display including a 3.7" heavy anti-aircraft gun removed from Tongue Sands Fort (a Maunsell Naval Sea Fort in the Thames Estuary). At present the forts tunnels and magazines are closed for safety reasons.

 

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