The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

West Tilbury Blockhouse, Tilbury Fort

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Hermitage Bulwark; Thermitage Bullwark; Johne's Bulwark; Tylbery

In the civil parish of Chadwell St Mary.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Thurrock.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ65157543
Latitude 51.45238° Longitude 0.37357°

West Tilbury Blockhouse, Tilbury Fort has been described as a certain Artillery Fort, and also as a Chain Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Situated on low lying ground on the north bank of the River Thames, south east of the modern outskirts of Tilbury. The monument includes the buried remains of an Henrician, D shaped, blockhouse, the far larger and more complex fort and battery which succeeded the blockhouse in the late C17, the late C19 and early C20 alterations to the fort, and a World War II pillbox. The blockhouse was constructed in 1539 as part of Henry VIII's campaign to improve the coastal defences. West Tilbury Blockhouse was two-storeys high and D-shaped. The rounded side faced the river and was pierced with gun-ports to provide covering fire. After 1588, the building was encircled by a ditch and counterscarp bank. (Derived from PastScape)

Depicted on the 1588 Thamesis Descriptio map as a feature as a star shaped feature and with a pier or boom into the river. No artillery pieces are portrayed for the fort itself although the 'pier' seems to be portrayed with several pieces. It may be the map is a plan of proposed rather than actual structures, the 'pier' features in particular seems a difficult and unlikely construction.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact