This week in Down Memory Lane, we take a trip back to Coalhouse Fort East in Tilbury

Built between 1861 and 1874, the fort has been a notable landmark in Thurrock for more than 100 years.

But the area where the fort sits has an intriguing history dating back well before the fort was built.

In 1402 earthen ramparts and towers were nearby just behind the church.

Tudor king, Henry VIII built a D shaped blockhouse in 1540.

This was disarmed in 1553 and played no part in the Spanish Armada in 1588 – a battle which saw the Spanish try to unseat Queen Elizabeth from the throne without success.

By, 1735 it had decayed and fallen into the sea.

When the fort, as we know it today, was built in the nineteenth century, it became known as Palmerstone Follies. It was partly built by General Gordon.

However, when the Second World War ended, the fort was no longer needed as a defence building and it was finally decommissioned in 1949.

The bottom photos shows a group of soldiers building a memorial to their fallen comrades

It was unveiled in 1917 only to be destroyed by the war department as it had not had requisite authority.

There followed a outcry from the public on this decision which led to all towns in England putting up memorials after the war.

Work also stopped on rebuilding a church tower destroyed by Dutch invasion in 1667.

The Coalhouse Fort Project has been run entirely by volunteers since 1983.

*All pictures and images are provided to us by Philip Edgar.