One of the most beautiful things about Medway is the amount of history and culture that surrounds us. From the majestic Rochester Castle, to the renowned Historic Dockyard in Chatham. There are plenty of well-known historic locations across Medway, although some are less known and equally deserving to be explored and appreciated. Medway has a rich military and maritime history, and with this comes Castles, The Royal Engineers and Forts. Slough Fort is one of these Forts located in Allhallows and has a history spanning all the way back to 1867.
I went on a visit to this fantastically preserved Fort to learn a little bit about its history, and to see if it is a hidden gem of Medway (spoiler it definitely is). When I arrived at Fort Slough I was taken aback by the impressive wood and metal door which guards the entrance, with hills surrounding the area it’s pretty well hidden, and I am told this would have been one of the ways to protect the Fort from attack. Interestingly I learned that the original structure would have been two stories taller as well, which is definitely quite something to imagine, and would seem like quite the imposing building. As I mentioned earlier, the Fort dates back to its foundation in 1867 and has served multiple functions over the past century, including a stables in 2012 and at one point it was even a zoo!
Walking around the main structure I was taken aback by how well it had been maintained. I was even shown some of the original 1860 doors on the Officer's kitchen and Guardroom. Seeing the excavation work on the wing batteries which were installed in 1897 really helps paint a picture about just how big the Fort would have been when fully active. The size certainly makes sense considering I am told that there would be a few hundred men stationed there in times of war.
When we think of Military Forts we usually envisage large defensive structures packed with large artillery pieces, and of course, this Fort was no different. The original artillery batteries could fire 3 miles! With their improved variants reaching up to 6 miles, that is a pretty impressive fact while looking out over the serene-looking River Thames.
Getting to walk around historic buildings like Slough Fort really does feel like stepping back in time. It’s quite a surreal experience at times, and to see these magnificent structures being maintained and re-established is quite something. My best advice for anyone curious about Slough Fort is to visit yourself, seeing it in person brings an extra dimension to the whole experience.
To learn more about this fantastic fort you can visit here*