It was established by Screaming Lord Sutch, an eccentric character who became the leader of the Monster Raving Lunatic political party in the 70s and 80s. Imagine holding your very first radio show on one of these monster structures out in the middle of the sea!! This may of all seem ineffective considering how much time, effort, and resources were put into the Maunsell project. Maunsell sea forts, built in the Thames estuary and operated by the Royal Navy, were to deter and report German air raids following the Thames as a landmark, and attempts to lay minesby aircraft in this important shipping channel. Live a life of freedom and purpose on YOUR terms. However I found it cheaper to use Airbnb. They were built during the Second World War at the mouth of the Mercy and Thames rivers. There is an effort called the Redsands Project whose objective (as of 2018) is to renovate the Redsands Army Fort and turn it into a museum since it is considered to be in the best condition of the surviving forts. The supposedly impregnable Belgium fort of. Description Maunsell Sea Forts. Related Stories » Fury from the Deep [4-6 Feb 1968] The sea forts are located about 11 km from the Suffolk coast and there are boat tours organized with departure from Whitstable Harbour. Sunk Head (U2) 3. The location of this spectacle are former defense platforms of the now rusty Maunsell Forts, which at a height of 25 meters are located a few miles off the coast of Great Britain. The supposedly impregnable Belgium fort of Eben-Emael and the huge 280-mile long French Maginot line proved that large static defenses could be quickly over-run or bypassed. and the huge 280-mile long French Maginot line proved that large static defenses could be quickly over-run or bypassed. It still has 6000 tonnes of explosives on board, with. The 30 enormous wind turbines made a gentle wooshing noise in unison. For those that love off-beat travel, they provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to some surreal, awe-inspiring structures. Construction started on them in 1942, and they were all completed by 1943. They also visited another favourite location of mine, Dungeness, for the same video). All the Forts are in quite a dangerous state of disrepair. Read another story from us: Total Surprise! All in all, it’s an amazing day of exploration – highly recommended as an off the beaten track adventure. Already in the late 50-ies of the last century the structures were out of order and stopped being used. The Maunsell Forts are a group of nine WW2 army and navy defence forts located off-shore near the South East coast of England. I’m not going to lie to you – these Forts are not easy to access… there are no Instagrammers at dawn here! The Maunsell towers were constructed to help gunners shoot down opposition aicrafts. All three Liverpool bay forts were demolished by 1955 as they were deemed to be a hazard to shipping. The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. Destinations / October 6, 2019 by Samantha / 4 Comments. Finally, make sure you pack enough food and water for the entire trip because meals are not provided. Knock John (U4) The design was a concrete construction; a pontoon barge on which stood two cylindrical towers on top of which was the gun platform mounting two 3.75-in… By World War Two, large permanent fortifications were seen as mostly obsolete and not suited to the fast flowing pace of modern warfare. Today, the forts are abandoned and … Four of the new structures became Navy Forts run by the Admiralty. The crew had some wonderfully interesting characters which really added to the whole experience. They were named: These forts consisted of a steel platform over 100 feet (30 meters) long, that was perched on top of two giant 60 foot (18 meter) reinforced concrete towers. Two of the four Navy forts in or around the Thames still survive today. Wells, the Maunsell Army Forts in the Thames Estuary are decaying reminders of the darkest days of World War II. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for leaving a comment ?? In other words, perfect photography material. Outnumbered 10 to 1: German Paratroopers Took Down Belgian Fortress Eben-Emael. But sea fortifications were going to prove their worth, particularly around the Thames (London) and the Mersey (Liverpool) estuaries, where there were two main problems. They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. Although things are no longer that simple, which as always we will get to later. The maximum ceiling of a German Heinkel III was only 21,000 feet (6,400 meters). Three of these Forts were based in the Liverpool Bay and were called: Originally there were going to be a further three more forts in the Liverpool Bay Area, but they never materialized. The Maunsell Forts are offshore defence forts which protected the UK from aircraft attack during WW2. The initial requirement was for a set of Naval Forts further out to sea than the Army forts. #chronocollectiv, experts divided as to what to do about this, other destinations of interest to over 40 nomads, SS Richard Montgomery – a wrecked ship which sank in 1944. The idea was to ward off any invading army before they could reach your shore. By 1943, Maunsell designed a new concept fort system consisting of several interconnected steel platforms in a defensive array around a central control tower. Sat not too far off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary, they were originally built in 1942 during World War II to help deter and defend against German forces. It wasn’t long before we were visiting the last site of the day, Red Sands Fort. They were constructed in dry dock and assemble… This allows army trainees and film companies to access on a regular basis. The locations of the seven Maunsell Forts off the east coast of England Secondly, enemy bombers were using these rivers as landmarks to navigate themselves into the center of these cities. With two sailing trainees he could afford to take a little post lunch nap, propped up against the window of the wheelhouse . But this never happened. X-Pilot’s Grand Forts Tour is a 7 to 8 hour boat trip departing from Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Maunsell Forts: The full story behind the bizarre abandoned structures off the east Kent coast; ... Medway was an important military location for the country with Chatham Dockyard then in its prime. What a baptism of fire for a teenage DJ! The Maunsell Army and Navy forts were built and placed in the Thames Estuary in 1942 to help protect London from airstrikes and sea raids during World War II. All rights reserved. Maunsell Sea Forts Located off shore on the Thames estuary, the Maunsell Sea Forts are some of the most bizarre-looking structures. Non-regular services are also offered by X-Pilot but you need to call to inquire about the dates the boat goes to … (I found out that The Prodigy filmed a video here in 2008. [1] The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. Would you like to get a free copy of my new eBook, Become location independent over 40? Every single structure on each Fort site will take at least £1m of investment to make safe again. Their purpose was to provide anti-aircraft fire within the Thames Estuary area. The days of trekking through the water with little to no rewards are over! But don’t let this put you off. Bear in mind it’s a 7 to 8 hour trip on the North Sea, which can be rough at times. Two were placed in the Thames estuary in south-east England, while the other two were placed nearby, slightly further up off the Essex coast. Now whilst Roughs became its own country and Red Sands has a group trying to preserve it, Knock John is not only the most “Sealand” type, as in far out to sea, it is also unclaimed. Book in advance: only 12 people are permitted per sailing, and places sell quickly. There were four naval forts: 1. P.S. One of the Forts on this site is now accessible with the help of a winch. Rough Sands (HM Fort Roughs) (U1) 2. The solution was obvious - build more defences. Red Sands had had some investment thanks to the charity’s efforts to restore it. He told us how he frequently used to give shout outs to the passing container ships. The 40mm could fire at a rate of 120 rounds a minute up to a height of 23,500 feet (7,162 meters). Carry waterproof outer clothes and a change of clothes in case they get wet. Join me as I take a trip out to visit the abandoned WW2 Army Maunsell forts - (Red Sands Fort) in the Thames Estuary on a beautiful, still October day in 2018. In this post I will show you how to safely view them with the help of a local boat tour company, X-Pilots. X-pilot can organise local accommodation for you to enable you to make the 8.45am sailing. The name of each Fort is derived from the sandbank it is situated on. #chronoco, From the series L’Impasse. ... Given that there are 11 structures on just Shivering Sands and Redsands, it seems like a valiant but futile battle against entropy. The Maunsell naval forts were built in the Thames Estuary and were operated by the Royal Navy. The Maunsell Forts are a group of nine WW2 army and navy defence forts located off-shore near the South East coast of England. Captain Alan was a 72 year old local boy from Kent who runs an extremely tight ship. Ships passing in the English Channel. Not a l, The white cliffs of Dover, luminescent on the ferr, Untitled, from the L’Impasse series. But I greatly admire the fighting spirit! My favourite Fort was Shivering Sands, partly because of the pirate radio history that Bob told us about. After the war the forts were placed on ‘care and maintenance’. Shivering Sands Fort – a Maunsell army defence Fort, built in 1943. 2021 trips to the Maunsell Forts - History up close! These buildings were the beginnings of what we would come to think of as traditional castles. There’s no way to climb on to them unless you’re willing to do some volunteer work through Project Redsand CIO. When I … Long abandoned, their rusty exterior gives a sort of mad max aesthetic which photographs beautifully. The Maunsell forts are small sea forts built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during WWII. In Britain, during the Iron Age (about 800 BC to AD 100), they made giant hill forts like Maiden Castle in Dorset, England that ended up covering 47 acres. The construction on these forts started a little earlier than the Navy ones, the first one beginning in October 1941. The sea forts of Maunsell are one of the most unusual military installations, that are by fate in ruins. The company is affiliated to Project Redsand CIO, a registered charity which aims to preserve the Forts in the future. Built seven miles off the Kent coast near Whitstable, they later hosted pirate radio stations in the 1960s, transmitting pop hits deemed too risque for Britain's then-monopoly broadcaster the BBC. Bob started his broadcasting career when he was just 15 years old. There was an unsuccessful attempt to set up an independent nation on one of these remaining forts. From there we sailed over to Shivering Sands Fort. The Maunsell sea forts in the Thames estuary were originally built as anti-aircraft defences during the Second World War. Sealand has its own passports, currency and stamps (despite not being recognised by the UN). » Underground Kent - Maunsell Army Sea Forts history. The Maunsell Forts were constructed during the second world war for defense. They now make a great target for aerial photography sorties. These hill forts were primarily earthworks with embankments, ramparts, and ditches. All the forts proved the feasibility of the proposed Mulberry Harbours used off the Normandy beaches after D-Day in 1944, which were suggested and worked on by Guy Maunsell. One of the Forts (Rough Sands) is situated in International Waters. They also achieved one naval victory: the sinking of a Kriegsmarine E-boat (a fast torpedo armed light attack craft). Each of these forts carried four heavy 94mm and two light Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft guns, so they were slightly better armed than the naval-designed forts. Red Sands is one of two remaining Maunsell sea forts built by the army in the Thames estuary, and during World War II it housed six anti-aircraft guns. ... The Fort is incredibly beautiful with layers of rust and green lichen decorating its study legs. The forts had a very short but intense life during World War II when Great Britain faced serious attacks from the Luftwaffe. NEW!!! Most of the Forts were abandoned in the 50s and since then they’ve gradually faded and corroded over time. For those that love off-beat travel, they provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to some surreal, awe-inspiring structures. So for most people, the 7 to 8 hour Grand Forts Tour with X-Pilot is the best way to access the Maunsell Forts. Their role was to detect, deter, and report German air raids and military movements around the River Thames, such as attempts to lay water mines along the estuary and sabotage this important shipping channel. The energy supply goes directly to households in Kent. The first Maunsell Fort we visited was Knock John Fort, 9 miles off the coast of Essex. He had served in the Royal Engineers in World War One. Nore Fort was demolished in 1959 … Firstly, there was the danger of German aircraft mining the entries to these ports, thus disrupting a significant amount of shipping that was bringing in vital war material. The Red Sands Sea Forts were built in the Thames Estuary in 1943, off the coast of Whitstable, Kent. Guy Maunsell was a civil engineer and an expert in the new field of prestressed concrete. Copyright © 2021 Samantha Brown | GenerationXit. Secondly, enemy bombers were using these rivers as landmarks to navigate themselves into the center of these cities. 27 May 2015: Canterbury Times - "Red Sands sea forts off Whitstable coast could be converted into luxury hotel and spa complex" Further links about the location: » Project Redsand - Plans on how Red Sands Sea Forts will be redeveloped. In the 11th Century, these earthworks began to evolve into wooden motte and bailey forts, which eventually were rebuilt or fortified with stone. Thanks Dan! This 4,500 ton artificial naval installation is similar in some respects to "fixed" offshore oil platforms. It’s a wonderful place. They played an essential role in protecting London and its ports during the war. These towers were 24 feet (7 meters) in diameter and were divided into seven floors each consisting of: On the steel platform itself, there were two heavy 94mm and two light Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft guns. Become location independent through remote work or online business. At various stages during the 1960s, both types of forts were used as pirate radio stations. The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom.They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. In the 1960s, several of the Forts were used as bases for pirate radio stations. Captain Alan took the time to speak to everyone on board the sailing. As a result, he had a good understanding of an integrated approach to design and construction coupled with a comprehension of the unique needs of the military. Verlassene OrteAbandoned BuildingsMaunsell FortsMilitärs BilderKriegsmaschine Three sets of Maunsell Forts, named after their designer Guy Maunsell, were built in the Estuary to this design: the Nore forts off Sheerness, now … ... Fort Darnet was built on the other end of the Medway creating a bottlehead defence. The Army forts were vacated in 1945 but maintained until 1955. I thought they would make really good old military locations, I don't know the back story for the island but they could add them around the island as old WWII installations constructed similarly to the ones built to defend the UK. One of the forts is managed by the unrecognised Principality of Sealand; boats visit the remaining forts occasionally, and a consortium called Project Redsands is pl… He had served in the Royal Engineers in World War One. After sailing through Shivering Sands Forts, we made our way to Kentish Wind Farm. Knock John Fort – a Maunsell naval fort built in 1943, located 9 miles off the coast of Essex. I found myself wondering what I would have said if I was in the younger Bob’s shoes: “Shout outs to the Maersk mothership coming up on starboard – this one’s for you fellas – On a Ragga Tip by SL2.”, (That’s me by the way, pretending to be a pirate radio DJ on Shivering Sands Forts. 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