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East Tilbury Battery

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: East Tilbury Battery

List entry Number: 1013880


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Thurrock

District Type: Unitary Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Aug-1990

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Sep-1995

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12708

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The East Tilbury battery is an exceptionally rare coastal example of the `Twydall Profile' form of defensive installation, of which it is the best and most complete in this country. The Twydall Profile represented a complete change in defensive tactics in the late 19th century from massive and starkly outlined fortifications (eg. Coalhouse Fort) to disguised installations. Furthermore, the unusual survival of the concrete sunken emplacements for disappearing guns, which add to the invisibility of the battery, adds greatly to its importance. Historical documentation for the use of the battery exists in the form of written and photographic records which depict the organisation of the battery and the manner of operation of the disappearing guns. The battery at East Tilbury was built to support the guns at Coalhouse Fort and hence holds an important place in the complex evolutionary sequence of defensive installations both at East Tilbury itself and in the wider context of the turn of the century defence of London.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


East Tilbury battery, separate from the nearby Coalhouse Fort, was built in 1889/90 to support Coalhouse Fort with long-range fire. Its form rejected the stark outline of its predecessors, instead being blended into the landscape by means of a long and sloping earthen frontal area so that from a distance it was invisible (`Twydall Profile'). The guns at the battery, two 10-inch and four 6-inch, extended the tactical doctrine of invisibility, being mounted on `disappearing carriages' which lay flat in deep emplacements for reloading and aiming but which were raised above the parapet for the few seconds of firing. Below the gun mountings were magazines and accommodation blocks, and to the rear of the battery were a cookhouse and the battery office. Unclimbable `Dacoit fencing', set in a steeply-sided ditch, surrounds the battery. Although the guns were removed when the battery was decommissioned before the First World War, the remainder of the fortification is remarkably well- preserved. Many structural details are discernible and machinery used to raise shells and cartridges from the magazines to the emplacements is virtually intact.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Smith, VT C, 'Coalhouse Fort Project' in Coalhouse Fort and the Artillery Defences at East Tilbury, (1985)
Smith, V T C and Catton, J, Recommendations for Scheduling of Several Military Structures, 1984, Unpublished report

National Grid Reference: TQ 68657 77424


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013880 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Aug-2018 at 08:11:18.

End of official listing