Thames Estuary World War Two Maunsell Forts

Looking out into the Thames Estuary, strange objects rise from the sea. These are the Maunsell Forts, part of the defence of Britain in World War Two.

Designed by Guy Maunsell, the Forts have led a varied life after the military abandoned them; hosting pirate radio stations and an independent nation, the self declared Principality of Sealand.

X-Pilot Boat Tours

These pictures were taken on 17th April 2017 on a Grand Forts tour aboard X-Pilot, a boat which regularly plies these waters taking visitors far out to sea to experience the forts up close. I’ve also been aboard meeting a tug and paddle steamer.

Maunsell Fort Web Links

Wreck of Richard Montgomery

If departing from Queenborough, the tours pass the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery. In World War Two the ship sank in the River Thames whilst still carrying its cargo of bombs – which are mostly still there today, protected by a closely monitored exclusion zone.


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