Barton’s Point Battery and Military Canal

The current gun battery at Barton’s Point was built between 1889-1891 to defend the mouth of the River Medway.

The armament was approved and in 1895 two 9.2”BL’s (breech loaders) and two 6”BL guns were installed on disappearing carriages. Also at the time it was proposed to install two machine guns, this didn’t happen but in 1905 two Hotchkiss guns were installed.

All of the guns were removed in the 1920’s and the battery was used as a training battery. You can see the remains of light anti-aircraft gun emplacements and also some of quick firing guns and machine guns on the top of the battery.

Only two of the gun pits remain, the rest have been filled in either by concrete or earth, the two that remain are accessible but have been made into store rooms. The magazines between the gun pits can be made accessible with permission, in these you will find two ammunition lifts and original writing on the walls.

Also on site is a building possibly used by the territorial services in training here and a three-storey observation post.

The gun battery is adjacent to the military canal, which runs from Barton’s Point to Westminster. Initially at either end a fort was proposed, but only Barton’s Point Battery was built. The canal closed off Sheerness to the rest of the island and access could only be gained by a bridge on Halfway Road, this was guarded by soldiers. The canal was built in 1860 by extending a Napoleonic moat built to protect the gun battery, it is believed the canal was used for military training and moving stores. Along the canal on both sides of St Georges Avenue you can find the remains of a magazine, which is now a pile of bricks, and a flattened area where a building once stood. Also you can find the remains of possibly four air raid shelters, these have been sealed. On the current bridge is a large concrete square with a hole through it, I believe this may have been a WWII defence to stop intruders crossing in to Sheerness town.

Also in the area of the gun battery are the remains of the rifle range. There was once a covered way for people to safely walk from Barton’s Point to Minster.

Designed & built by - Kevin Ali