Coalhouse Fort

Built by the Victorians in the 1860s as a river Thames defence, this now retired and defunct fort stands in its own park at Coalhouse Point.

Manned by the Royal Garrison Artillery during WWI and later used as an anti-aircraft battery in WWII, the fort soon fell out of favour when peace fell being  decommissioned in 1949.

After being used as a shoe factory storage facility, the fort and surrounding area was turned into a park by the local council. In 1985, The Coalhouse Fort Project leased the building and began restoration with donations from the Lottery Heritage Fund.

Sadly, in 2020 the project closed and the fort left to ruin. A real shame as there must be some fantastic big guns inside. Apparently it still opens on special days.

For film buffs, in 2005 scenes from Batman Begins were filmed here.

Although the fort is now looking untidy and unloved, the park is a decent enough spot for a picnic and a bit of ship spotting as they leave Tilbury Docks for open water. Coalhouse Point is tricky to find but worth the effort.