Tilbury Fort (Essex - England)

Just like Old Sarum, Tilbury fort too has moats all around it! Just like Belur & Halabidu, its almost star shaped!
This was built in 1700 by Sir Bernard de Gomme who was the chief engineers of King Charles II. In 1539 King Henry VIII built the first blockhouse fort here as a response to the invasion threats from Europe. 
Right from the entrance there are about 3-4 cannons at various places within the fort.
Later in 1667, the Dutch naval squadron did a humiliating attack after which this was built as a major fort. By 18th C this became a gunpowder magazine (storage place of artillery) and its presently the oldest existing one. I hope you can feel the star shape of the fort to some extent in the above panorama. 
There are 2 moats just like Old Sarum. The inner moat is just after this point and a wooden lifting bridge connects the inner space and star shaped island around, surrounding which is the outer moat. 

However unlike Old Sarum, (probably since this is connected to the Thames), these are filled with water till date. Connecting the island and outer space across the outer moat is another wooden lifting bridge. Perhaps that's the trial behind the Tower Bridge. See how the land takes an angle on either sides of the bridge - that's again due to the star shape of the fort.
The entrance of the fort faces the river Thames. As soon as I entered, I felt there is no fort at all coz there was one huge ground which once served as Parade Ground. On one side was the soldiers barracks where no masonry exists today, just the ground plan. Perhaps they had built it out of perishable materials. 

Straight ahead is the Gunpowder magazine. Between the East & West wing is the Master Gunner's Store which served as the mortuary for half of 19th C.
Opposite to the soldier's barracks is the officer's barracks. Here are also the gun emplacement for 9" rifles. 
Tiny little passages to the Magazine & Shell Cartridge store rooms are accessible from the ground. In olden days these should have been lighted with medieval fire torch. Today just in the same style, electric bulbs light up the place. Jaali walls at certain places, make the place a bit airy.

Ahead along the Thames River are the breach loading guns which are similar to cannons. A path goes within to a hidden room from where the guns can be loaded with magazines and operated. 
Pic Courtesy: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tilbury-fort

Again, just like Old Sarum, the beauty of this place can be fully felt only when seen from above, from a helicopter. No matter how many pics I put up from ground level, it can never bring out the true awesomeness of the place as seen from sky! 

TO GET THERE:
Nearest Railway station: Tilbury (c2c line)
Nearest railway station that comes under London Transport: Upminster (zone 6)

Entrance to the property is at £4.80 for single adult and its free for English Heritage members about which I've explained here.

P.S: Check out here to know what I wore to the trip.

Dedicated to Venkat, Kishore, Jay, Sharmi & Vivek

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

22 comments:

  1. The place is so historical, never been to a place like this. Really spectacular buildings. Absolutely stunning, some of the detail on the buildings is remarkable. There are loads of buildings to see in this complex, plus it includes the Thames river. A must see place!

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  2. I love the aerial photo. It's like an art that was used for war before. I am always fascinated with history of men and wondered how they could achieve such beauty with just few tools on their hands.

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  3. The fort looks formidable. Those cannons! I would love to visit this place of history.

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  4. What a great place to revisit the past! I've always wanted to go to Essex! Gosh, it looks so cold during this time.

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  5. The place looks so clean and huge. Was there a tour guide to explain the history of the fort while you're exploring around it?

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  6. I know I told you this before but I just love places that have a lot of history. I love learning about it and just taking in all the mystery and excitement. I feel like a little kid inspecting every detail no matter how small. Lol Thank you for sharing. Love your pictures.

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  7. Now these are the kind of place I want to see whenever I tra rl. Full of history

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  8. The place looks so out of this world - totally serene! Thanks for sharing this Bhushavali.

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  9. This is place is so cool. I couldn't help but think of ways to infiltrate this place. Lol. This has a lot of history in it and I am envious that you got to go. I'm the kind of traveler who loves history so this one is right up my alley.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this place, the surrounding at TILBURY FORT are so relaxing and plesant. Wish can visit this place.

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  11. Amazing how most of the site is still in a good condition, always love history and probably could make this as a travel destination next.

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  12. I love visiting historical spots. They're always worth the time. And it's good to know that they are well preserved. These are great photos. The aerial shot is so cool.

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  13. This post is very mesmerising. The photos are amazing. I would love to visit this place in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Lovely post and essex is such a beautiful place love this place and your post remind me of the day I have lived there.

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  15. I really like these wide open spacious places. I may not really see this place in real life, but these photographs and your description have brought me there virtually.

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  16. The places looks great to make visit.Thank you so much for this wonderful share.

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  17. wow, i agree with you that the beauty of the place can only be truly felt when viewing from the sky! the place felt pretty normal to me until i saw the final picture!

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  18. It's always nice visiting the Fort. It really tells you a lot of the heritage of the place.

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  19. I guess the picture couldn't really tell us how the place it's like until we experience it ourselves. I love the bird eye's view of the fort... it was amazing...

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  20. I admire the maintenance effort for Tilbury Fort. You can see it even in pictures how the place is given respect and dignity.

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