Shornemead Fort was one of many built along the Thames to protect London from an invasion. The fort was built on the site on a previous battery which started to be built in 1847 but after six years of intense building, the marshes couldn’t support the weight so Shornemead Fort was built.
The design is similar to that of nearby forts including Cliffe and Coalhouse – all with a complex of tunnels beneath the surface. The casemates (a fortified gun emplacement) housed 11 inch Rifled Muzzle Loading guns, but the fort was later armed with Breech loaders and Quick Firing guns. Guns were also mounted at the fort during WW2. Unfortunately, much of the fort, including the barrack block, was demolished in the 1960s, and only the fronts of the casemates and underground passages and magazines remain.