Timeline

1859 Royal Commission on the defence of the United Kingdom established.

1860 Royal Commission reports to Parliament and recommends five forts to protect Chatham’s eastern flank.

1880 Building work commences using convict labour from Borstal prison.

1889 Works completed.

1890 to 1961 Fort Horsted continuously occupied by the military, Royal Ordnance Corp and Royal Artillery.

1890 Fort Horsted equipped with machine gun emplacements in counterscarp galleries.

1907 Siege war game from July 1st to August 2nd.

1914 Great War. Fort Horsted used as garrison and munitions store.

1940 Second World War. Light anti aircraft battery installed comprising 3.7” and Bofors guns. On September 15th 1940 an observer watching the skies over the Horsted valley reports sighting six enemy aircraft being shot down in flames by the curtain of steel fired from the defending forts. Fort Horsted was also used as garrison and munitions store.

1961 Fort Horsted sold for £10,000 to development company.

1961 to 1997 Fort Horsted changes hands many times gradually deteriorating.

1972 Application to demolish and build 120 houses denied.

1976 Great tyre inferno burns for weeks.

1997 Sold at auction to Avondale Environmental Services Ltd.

1997 to 2001 Major clearance and grinding of over 100,000 tyres. Renovation of casemates into office accommodation.

2001 to date renovation works continue bringing Fort Horsted back to life.