Coalhouse Fort from the air
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aerial photograph of Coalhouse Fort, constructed in the 19th century to defend the River Thames. There had been an artillery fort in this vicinity since the 16th century when a blockhouse was built by Henry VIII. The site of this fort has since been eroded away by the Thames. Coalhouse fort was originally constructed in 1799 and then rebuilt 1847-55 and then rebuilt again in 1861. The last rebuilding was supervised by Colonel Charles George Gordon, better known as Gordon of Khartoum. The fort was manned during WWI and rearmed during WWII, initially by regulars but from 1944 it was manned by the Home Guard. The forts military used finally ended in 1949 and today it is preserved by volunteers.