Page 16 - Medway Forts
P. 16

Victorian Forts                                             Medway                           7

                                         Grain Wing Battery

          Commenced            1890                                 Armament
          Completed            1895 ?
          Cost                  £                                   1898 2 x 4.7-inch Q.F.
          Map Reference        TQ 891764                            2 x 11-inch R.M.L.
          Position             On shoreline 400yards south of       1911/12  Nil
                               Grain Fort Barbette
          Type                 Sea Battery
          Ditch                none
          Guns                 4
          Barrack Accom. none
          Present use          Filled in

          History              Built to supplement armament of
                               Grain Fort
          Disposal             Abandoned as obsolete by 1914
          Condition            Filled in 1962
          Access               open access to site
                               Gulvin, ‘Chatham’s Concrete Ring’  R. Crowdy,
                               ‘Medway’s Island Forts  ’ P.MacDougal ‘ Victorian
          Sources              Forts of the Medway’ RCHME survey report

          History and Description

           In R.A./R.E. Works report no.107, dated 1890 in connection with the re-arming of Grain Fort it is stated that
           Grain Wing Battery is under construction. As this report deals with the then current experiments with
           searchlights it would appear that the new battery was to supplement the guns at Grain and  Garrison Point
           Fort, in connection with the new strategies being worked out for the defence of booms and minefields during
           the hours of darkness.

           The battery was situated to the south of Grain Fort on a gradual slope towards the sea. Its armament consisted
           of two 4.7-inch  QF guns to provide defence against fast moving destroyers and torpedo boats and a pair of
           11-inch RMLs for use against heavier vessels. These emplacements formed a line along the east facing
           seaward side of the battery. The R.M.L.s occupied the northern half with the Q.F.s to the south. Both pairs of
           emplacements had the usual magazine arrangements for their type beneath. The battery had an outer defensive
           enceinte and a central linear hollow dug into the hillside for the gun emplacements, magazines and crew
           shelters. The outer defence consisted of an elongated irregular hexagonal earthwork with a ditch and
           unclimbable fence. On the western side was the military road connecting Grain Fort with Dummy Battery to
           the South. The main entrance was to the south-west with a second one at the north-west angle. To the east and
           south-east the ditch formed a counterscarp.  The BC post incorporating one of two DRF positions was on a
           bank running along the inside of the western ditch. The second DRF was on the northern corner of the battery.

           In 1911/12 the  2 x 4.7-inch Q.F. guns were removed and remounted on Grain Tower. Before this the 11-inch
           R.M.L.s had been removed. In WWI the battery was occupied by troops in temporary accommodation. In
           1960 the battery was still in good condition and a tall observation tower stood on the right flank, which might
           indicate that the battery was rearmed in some way during World War Two. Today the battery is discernible
           amongst the scrub but the gun emplacements and magazines were filled in post 1961.

   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21