Garrison Point Fort is a rare two-tiered fort in Sheerness, built in the 1860’s over concerns of a French invasion. The fort was constructed in a prime location, providing the first line of defence for both the River Thames and the Medway, less than a mile away from Grain Tower Fort.
In 1860 a report was released by Government stating that many existing forts should either be upgraded or rebuilt entirely to keep up to date with the advances in weaponry. A fort had existed on the site of Garrison Point as early as 1547 when King Henry VIII was on the throne, and several new additions were added over the centuries when in 1861 construction started on a new fortification which took 11 years to build and is still standing today.
The fort had two gun floors, each with 17 casemates, in which 36 heavy guns were mounted behind 2,000 tons of iron shields. The magazines are in the basement of the fort and a parade ground is in the centre. Similar to Cliffe Fort, Garrison Point had a Brennan Torpedo station installed in 1884, which remained in use until around 1906.
During the First World War a search light emplacement was installed and by the Second World War it was re-armed with two twin 6-pounder Quick Firing (QF) guns with various gun towers and magazines also added however by 1944 the threat of a seabourne invasion was decreasing and the fort was stood down.
After the war, the fort was used by the Royal Navy Auxiliary Service as an emergency port control centre in the event of a nuclear war with some of the magazines converted into a bunker which could have housed nuclear defence officials. It was later decommissioned in 1956 and sold to the owners of Sheerness Docks. Unfortunately the building isn’t open to the public and is has been listed on the Heritage at Risk Register.