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COCKHAM WOOD FORT

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A 17th- century battery constructed for the defence of the River Medway and Chatham Dockyard. The fort was built in 1669 following the humiliating Dutch raid on the River Medway. It was designed by Sir Bernard de Gomme and was equipped with two tiers of guns stepped into the steep river bank and was protected on all three landward sides by a rectangular earthwork rampart, together with a ditch on its northern, western and part of its eastern flanks. Within the interior there was a tower or redoubt and a gunner's house. In 1713 the fort was armed with 44 guns, reduced to half that number by 1725. It was a disused ruin by the 1790s.

The fort was never actively engaged and fell into decline from the first part of the 18th century. A master gunner occupied the fort until 1818, when the Board of Ordnance put it up for lease. It was finally sold at the end of the 19th century and is now privately owned. The majority of the fort's outline is still visible, though the earthworks and brick structures are in an eroded condition, following years of neglect, vandalism and tidal action.

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