Save The Maunsell Forts
An ambitious project is underway to stop a set of Second World War structures off the East Kent coast from crumbling into the sea.
History of The Maunsell Forts
The Maunsell Forts are a series of armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey Estuaries that operated as army and navy bases to protect London from sea and air strikes. Designed by civil engineer, Guy Maunsell, The Maunsell Forts helped to defend against devastating German bombing raids in 1943, to the conclusion of the war. The Thames estuary forts shot down 22 enemy aircraft and 30 V1 flying bombs
Redsands Forts, are the only complete remaining examples, with all 7 towers intact. 4 towers were mounted with a 3.7 inch gun, 1 tower with 40mm bofors guns, a central control tower and a searchlight tower.
A State of Disrepair
Since being decommissioned in 1958, the Maunsell Forts have been left in a state of disrepair, with no active plan for preserving this vital part of Britain’s heritage and history. Despite playing such a key role in protecting Britain during one of the darkest periods in our history, they have largely been neglected since they became redundant.
After carrying out initial inspections of The Red Sands Fort it is apparent that the towers are deteriorating and have structural defects with elements already lost to the sea. The main defects currently recorded are concrete delamination, missing or corroded support bracing to the legs, and corrosion to the tower structures.
The forts remain treasured parts of our history and we know there are many people, including our team, who want to see their heritage preserved for future generations. We are still confirming if there is a future for each tower, and are continuing to complete in-depth surveys and structural integrity inspections.
We are under no illusions towards the enormity of the task involved. We hope to work closely with heritage experts, our suppliers, corporate partners and public donors to ensure a bright future for the Maunsell Forts.
Port of London Authority Approval
The PLA have had a meeting with Structural Repair Solutions Ltd about their plans regarding these forts in the Thames Estuary. This focused on their ideas about works required to improve structural integrity and maintain these historic structures.
The PLA have said; “As the navigational safety authority for the Thames our main concern is to ensure any work to these structures does not affect nearby shipping routes – and that any workboats or other vessels involved are safely operated. The PLA will continue to engage with Structural Repair Solutions Ltd on their ambitions and with other agencies as appropriate. The Maunsell forts are an important historic feature of the Thames and, subject to safe access, potentially offer a unique historic destination on the Thames.”
If you are interested in contributing to the restoration and preservation of the Maunsell Forts, get in contact. We would love to hear from you! Whether you are in the media and looking to cover the project, a potential corporate partner or a member of the public that is looking to donate – simply fill out the form below or use our contact information to get in touch!