Fort Darnet

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Fort Darnet
Medway, Kent, England
Fort Darnet.JPG
A disused Napoleonic fort in the River Medway
Fort Darnet is located in Kent
Fort Darnet
Fort Darnet
Coordinates 51°14′33″N 0°21′18″E / 51.2424°N 0.3549°E / 51.2424; 0.3549
Type Napoleonic Fort
Site information
Owner Private, Medway Ports
Condition Intact
Site history
Built 17th century
Built by Captain Siborne, R.E.,[1]
Materials Concrete skirts and brickwork
Events Never used

Fort Darnet, like its twin Fort Hoo, was built on the recommendations of the 1859 Royal Commission on an island covering the inner navigable channel of the River Medway, Kent.

Building started on the island in 1870 and then finished in 1872.[2] Originally designed for two tiers of guns mounted in a circle, with a boom strung between them, there were many problems with subsidence, and after extensive cost overruns the forts were completed in 1872 with one tier, and 11 guns : a mixture of 9-inch and 7-inch rifled muzzle-loaders, and no boom.[3] It was originally designed for a garrison of up to 100 men.[1]

The forts were used for gunnery practice until one of the guns cracked in its casemates and this was reported in ‘The Chatham Observer’ on the 25th January, 1879.[1]

The forts were never used in anger, and were disarmed before the First World War.[2] In the Second World War the fort was used as observation posts, with platforms and pillboxes built on top.[1] The fort is still in fair condition, however the magazine level seems to have been deliberately flooded to minimise access and vandalism. The island can be freely visited by boat, though the landing is muddy.

Up to the 1980s, the island was used for picnicing and other leisure pursuits.[4]

It is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.[3]

Fort Darnet

See also[edit]

  • Crowdy, R, Medway's Island Forts, (1979)
  • Gulvin, K R, The Medway Forts, (1976), 18-19
  • Smith, V T C, Strategic Study of Kents Defences - Fort Darnet , (1999)


  1. ^ a b c d "Site Name: Hoo Fort". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Exploring Kent's Past". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Fort Darnet, Darnet Ness". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Darnet Fort.". Retrieved 19 January 2017. 

External links[edit]