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They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The four naval forts were Rough Sands, Sunk Head, Tongue Sands, and Knock John. 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. Built in 1892 the Greta explores the Maunsell Forts at a very leisurely pace. The first Maunsell Fort we visited was Knock John Fort, 9 miles off the coast of Essex. What a baptism of fire for a teenage DJ! I’m not going to lie to you – these Forts are not easy to access… there are no Instagrammers at dawn here! This may of all seem ineffective considering how much time, effort, and resources were put into the Maunsell project. This allows army trainees and film companies to access on a regular basis. It’s advisable to take some sea sickness medication before boarding, if you feel you might benefit from this. . But don’t let this put you off. After the war, the forts became the headquarters for pirate radio stations. The 94mm could fire around 15 rounds a minute up to a height of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters). Four are still standing off the South East coast of England, in the estuary of the River Thames. Wells, the Maunsell Army Forts in the Thames Estuary are decaying reminders of the darkest days of World War II. But this never happened. NEW!!! Book in advance: only 12 people are permitted per sailing, and places sell quickly. Imagine holding your very first radio show on one of these monster structures out in the middle of the sea!! 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. Nore Fort was demolished in 1959 … Although things are no longer that simple, which as always we will get to later. There was talk of constructing more of this type of fort off the Humber estuary as well as in the seaports of Portsmouth, Rosyth in Scotland, and Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Captain Alan took the time to speak to everyone on board the sailing. The sailings take place on occasional days between April and October and they cost between £69 and £89. Long abandoned, their rusty exterior gives a sort of mad max aesthetic which photographs beautifully. The Maunsell Forts are offshore defence forts which protected the UK from aircraft attack during WW2. Radio City asked him to take over a regular shift aboard Shivering Sands. They housed a crew and garrison of 400 soldiers. The maximum ceiling of a German Heinkel III was only 21,000 feet (6,400 meters). However I found it cheaper to use Airbnb. 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. Read another story from us: Total Surprise! Then there were the Maunsell Army forts which were run by the Army. 2021 trips to the Maunsell Forts - History up close! In the 1960s, several of the Forts were used as bases for pirate radio stations. They are truly bizarre looking structures, which look like they belong in a sci fi film. After sailing through Shivering Sands Forts, we made our way to Kentish Wind Farm. (This isn’t advertised on their website, by the way. #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. Copyright © 2021 Samantha Brown | GenerationXit. The Maunsell sea forts in the Thames estuary were originally built as anti-aircraft defences during the Second World War. The Fort is incredibly beautiful with layers of rust and green lichen decorating its study legs. It’s a wonderful place. Captain Alan was a 72 year old local boy from Kent who runs an extremely tight ship. Carry waterproof outer clothes and a change of clothes in case they get wet. Red Sands had had some investment thanks to the charity’s efforts to restore it. 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. 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. and the huge 280-mile long French Maginot line proved that large static defenses could be quickly over-run or bypassed. There were eight Forts originally. They’re named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. X. I’m so happy you like it Fariba. Live a life of freedom and purpose on YOUR terms. From there we sailed over to Shivering Sands Fort. 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. One of the Forts on this site is now accessible with the help of a winch. 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. It is situated on Rough Sands, a sandbar located approximately 11 kilometres from the coast of Suffolk … When I … Bob started his broadcasting career when he was just 15 years old. All rights reserved. But this was outlawed by the Marine Broadcasting Act in 1967. The forts had a very short but intense life during World War II when Great Britain faced serious attacks from the Luftwaffe. They played an essential role in protecting London and its ports during the war. ... 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. The crew had some wonderfully interesting characters which really added to the whole experience. 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. » Underground Kent - Maunsell Army Sea Forts history. The idea was to ward off any invading army before they could reach your shore. The Maunsell Forts are a group of nine WW2 army and navy defence forts located off-shore near the South East coast of England. There was an unsuccessful attempt to set up an independent nation on one of these remaining forts. The Army forts were vacated in 1945 but maintained until 1955. These buildings were the beginnings of what we would come to think of as traditional castles. But perhaps their true value was more as a deterrent, as well as serving as useful intelligence-gathering posts. All the Forts are in quite a dangerous state of disrepair. My favourite Fort was Shivering Sands, partly because of the pirate radio history that Bob told us about. Tongue Sands (U3) 4. Learn from others who have done the same. (The other is Shivering Sands, but that’s likely to be demolished at some point because it poses more of a hazard to shipping.) Description Maunsell Sea Forts. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. 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. Two of the four Navy forts in or around the Thames still survive today. 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. As for the Army ones, five of the six forts still exist today in various states of disrepair. Most of the Forts were abandoned in the 50s and since then they’ve gradually faded and corroded over time. And their fate? 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. Given that there are 11 structures on just Shivering Sands and Redsands, it seems like a valiant but futile battle against entropy. Already in the late 50-ies of the last century the structures were out of order and stopped being used. The solution was obvious - build more defences. 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. 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. With two sailing trainees he could afford to take a little post lunch nap, propped up against the window of the wheelhouse . The initial requirement was for a set of Naval Forts further out to sea than the Army forts. The sea forts are located about 11 km from the Suffolk coast and there are boat tours organized with departure from Whitstable Harbour. 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 sea forts of Maunsell are one of the most unusual military installations, that are by fate in ruins. Rough Sands (HM Fort Roughs) (U1) 2. There’s an urban explorer blog (28 Days Later) which shows photos of rooms inside the legs (these are filled with Greenpeace gear and 50s pin up posters). This new custom Rust monument for your custom maps will bring an amazing new mid-tier monument out in the depths of the newman ocean that will bring you to loot or to death. Non-regular services are also offered by X-Pilot but you need to call to inquire about the dates the boat goes to … It wasn’t long before we were visiting the last site of the day, Red Sands Fort. In the 11th Century, these earthworks began to evolve into wooden motte and bailey forts, which eventually were rebuilt or fortified with stone. His well organised galley kitchen impressed me. 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… X-Pilot is the Project Redsand CIO, UK registered charity No.1172590, Official Supply Vessel. He proposed a series of fortified sea towers armed with anti-aircraft guns be built on land and then towed out and placed in strategic positions along the mouth of both estuaries. P.S. The energy supply goes directly to households in Kent. They were simply abandoned by the military. The 6 hour tours of the Thames estuary commence at Whitstable Harbour, just seven miles north of Canterbury. They are named after the civil engineer that designed them, Guy Maunsell. Destinations / October 6, 2019 by Samantha / 4 Comments. Fort, 9 miles off the coast of England s no way to Kentish Farm. Only 21,000 feet ( 13,716 meters ) fate in ruins creating a bottlehead defence Mersey. 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