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East Tilbury Blockhouse, Coalhouse Point

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Tylbery; the old Blockhouse; Tilberie Nesse

In the civil parish of East Tilbury.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Thurrock.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ691761
Latitude 51.45161° Longitude 0.43578°

East Tilbury Blockhouse, Coalhouse Point has been described as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The site of a Henrician blockhouse built between 1539 and 1541 at East Tilbury, Essex by Henry VIII as part of his chain of coastal defences. East Tilbury Blockhouse was one of five blockhouses built along this stretch of the river Thames to defend the approach to London and the dockyards at Woolwich and Deptford; the others being at Tilbury, Higham, Milton and Gravesend. East Tilbury and Higham were located at a narrow point in the river to allow for cross-fire. The blockhouse was disarmed in 1553 and was in ruins on the foreshore by 1735. It is possible that the remains of the blockhouse lie beneath the mud. East Tilbury Blockhouse was constructed from stone and timber robbed from St Margaret's Chantry nearby. It comprised of a simple gun tower with splayed embrasures for cannon, with guns in bombproof casemates and in open emplacements on the roof. It may have had a small defended enceinte or earthen rampart with guns in front. This location continued to be of strategic importance and the Victorian Coalhouse Fort was built just inshore from the Henrician blockhouse. (PastScape)

Trial trench in 1984 did not locate fort.
Depicted on the 1588 Thamesis Descriptio map as a D shaped feature with 6 artillery pieces. It may be the Thamesis Descriptio map was a proposal for defences rather than actual defenses and the Henrician blockhouse may not have been reused in 1588.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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