Erith artillery fort

Has been described as a Possible Artillery Fort

There are no visible remains

NameErith artillery fort
Alternative NamesErithe
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Bexley
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishErith

16th century map showing Armada defences along Thames includes Gun emplacement at Erith, location unknown. Defences also included gun emplacement at Woolwich and Boom between Blackwell and Blackwell Point. (Greater London HER)

The Thamesis Descriptio Anno 1588 is a map showing the defence along the River Thames from London to Tilbury in case of attack from the Spanish Armada. The plate was produced in the 18th Century from an original survey made by Robert Adams at the end of the 16th Century. The map features title in cartouche with royal arms above the plan, compass rose at top right and scale bar in cartouche below the plan. It shows the fortifications and points of observation along the river, the pontoon between Gravesend and Tilbury, the main defence against the advancing Armada, and the military encampment at Tilbury chosen by the Earl of Leicester, commander in chief of the land forces. (British Library Online Gallery)

Gatehouse Comments

Leland includes Erith in a list of places in Kent with a castle which includes a number of artillery forts and the 1588 plan may be interpreted as a round Henrican artillety fort. Possibly depicted as the site of 6 pieces. Erith was the site of a Tudor naval dockyard where Great Harry was fitted out in 1515. It may be the map is a plan of proposed rather than actual structures although these royal dockworks should have had access to artillery pieces, gunpowder and gunners.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ515782
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Calculate Print


  • Adams, R., 1990, 'Thamesis Descriptio' in Barker, F. and Jackson, P., 1990, The History of London in Maps (Barrie and Jenkins) p. 16-17


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 250
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 47 online copy

Primary Sources