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Sea towers

Maunsell Sea Forts......................(2967.jpg)

They look like Imperial AT-AT Walkers out of The Empire Strikes Back, but these nautical oddities have nothing to do with George Lucas' imagination. They're naval sea forts, located in England's Thames Estuary, and were designed by Guy Maunsell in 1942 to provide anti-aircraft fire for the London area.

Maunsell Sea Forts......................(2968.jpg)

Today they're in less than perfect condition, so if you were hoping they housed boutique hotels, you're out of luck. In fact they're pretty dangerous to enter at all. They've been buffeted by storms and crashed into by ships, and although they were used as pirate radio stations in the 1960s, they're a little too rickety to be used any more.

Maunsell Sea Forts......................(2969.jpg)

Of the forts that were built, only Red Sands and Shivering Sands remain, standing as eerie relics of a bygone age. If you want to know more about them, Barry Stewart has documented them, as well as many other curious historical sites, on his intriguing website, Underground Kent.

Maunsell Sea Forts......................(2970.jpg)

He lists countless military fortifications, underground tunnels and caves, ammo sites and Cold War submarines. It's well worth a trawl. Though many of the locations are on private land and not visitable, some are – and could make a great alternative tour of southern England. RM

Images: copyright Undergroundkent.co.uk

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  • Antiques

    June 11, 2008

    so intense

  • oryx

    May 30, 2008

    these towers are totally steam punkalicious!

  • Private Islands

    May 29, 2008

    It wouldn’t be the first time an

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