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Author Topic: Fort Townsend, Sheerness  (Read 5858 times)

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Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2012, 13:46:57 »
The most likely candidate for the fort's name seems to be George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, 1724-1807, brother of Charles the politician. GT was a soldier, reaching Field Marshall. He was Mater General of he Ordnance 1772-1784, responsible for construction of fortifications.

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2012, 00:15:16 »
Have you noticed that the name of the fort is spelt with h - Townshend - on the reproduced and linked original documents?

Linguists talk about hypercorrections - letters are introduced, or pronunciations amended, in the erroneous belief that the new form is correct. For example, h-dropping is frowned on, and many h-droppers add an extra h in the wrong place, e.g. 'urricanes 'ardly hever 'appen. Is town's hend the end of the town?

There's an old word shend meaning shame. Were these marshes the shame of the town, the town shend?

Most likely Townshend is a surname, someone the fort is named after. A Charles Townshend was a Lord of the Admiralty around 1750, and died as chanceller of the exchecquer in 1767. The name is apparently pronounced townzend.

But presumably someone knows why the name of the fort is spelt Townshend - where did the h come from?

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2012, 00:43:47 »
Would this have been built around the same time as the proposed fort on Deadmans Island? The one we were debating last year.

S4.

Fort Townsend was built 1780-82 to defend Sheerness dockyard. The plan for Swaleness fort is dated 1574.

More infomation on the well at Fort Townsend taken from 'The Water Supply of Kent,' W. Whitaker BA. See links.

"Later information, given by Lt.-Col. E. O. Sim, in 1880, shows that the well was carried deeper:-Shaft 336 feet, and bore-pipe, of 9 inches diameter, to 112 feet further. Water-level about 75 feet down. The bottom of the well has been loaded with shingle, to a depth of 80 feet, to prevent the sand from choking the bore-pipe. On February 8th, 1878, at about 1.30 p.m., a loud noise was heard coming from the bottom of the well. It continued until 2.45 p.m., and immediately afterwards the water rose from 162 feet to 107 feet from the surface."

"The following is from an article, "The Water Supply of Sheerness," in the Building News of July 8th, 1864, pp. 514, 515:-"About the year 1800 the Board of Ordance decided to sink a well in a marsh within the fortifications, and since known as 'Well Marsh.' This well is......carried to the depth of 333 ft. (Presumably, therefore, it is the one at Fort Townsend.) When the water began to accumulate in this well, the....supply of water in the wells at Southend [about eight miles across the estuary of the Thames] was materially diminished." It is interesting to have this story of communication between Kent and Essex from two of the Sheerness wells. See also p. 193."

And page 193.
"This well" is the old Sheerness Dockyard well about 240 yards west of the chapel.
"It has been recorded, by the Admiralty Department of Works, that when the Shoeburyness boring, on the opposite coast of Essex, was being made, the level of the water in this well (or other Government one) was lowered 17 feet. The distance is about 6 miles. The Essex boring (at South Shoe-bury) is described in the Essex Naturalist, vol. vii., pp. 56-58. It reaches the chalk at a depth of 587 feet, and continues in the chalk to 1,048 feet."
Padstow May Song Lisa Knapp

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 19:12:26 »
Would this have been built around the same time as the proposed fort on Deadmans Island? The one we were debating last year.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 13:16:10 »
Digging the King's Well, Fort Townsend, Sheerness 1781-1782.

Descriptions of the Kings wells at Sheerness, Languard-Fort, and Harwich, by Sir Thomas Hyde Page. Read November 13 1783.
A detailed description of the digging of the wells with drawings.
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London.
http://archive.org/details/philtrans09699171
Various downloads available at left.
The drawings are at the very end.
Padstow May Song Lisa Knapp

Offline Paul

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Re: Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 17:27:34 »
Nice Plan :)
Maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner. :{

Offline kyn

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Fort Townsend, Sheerness
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 14:02:16 »
An earthwork fort now built over by the Steelmill.

A plan of 1796 from NAtional Archives - File MPI 1/208.  This plan shows where the "New Lines" cuts through the old fort.

 

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