About Coalhouse Fort Park
Coalhouse Fort was built between 1861 and 1874 partly under the direction of General Gordon of Khartoum, and was built to fortify the Thames estuary. It was set up to counter the threat of French seaborne invasion as recommended by a Royal Commission instigated by Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minster of the time.
Coalhouse Fort Park is one of Thurrock’s finest open spaces. Since becoming a Thurrock Council run park in 1962, it has also developed into a well-used and highly regarded focal point for local communities and groups such as the Coalhouse Fort Project, which has helped restore the fort since the 1980s.
For more information about the history of the Fort and the Coalhouse Fort Project visit http://www.coalhousefort.co.uk/history.html
The Fort is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, stands within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is a RAMSAR conservation wetland site. In 2010, these characteristics were recognised by the conferment of the prestigious Green Flag award, distinguishing Coalhouse Fort Park as one of the best open spaces in the country. The Park is located adjacent to the River Thames and offers a unique combination of saltmarsh and grassland habitat, historic features, parkland, play provision and wildlife.
Today, with thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Veolia Mardyke Trust, the packed story of Coalhouse Fort Park is now able to fit into your pocket. The Mobile Explorer app gives you a digital tour of the fort and the park and can be downloaded from the App Store. Further funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Veolia is going towards the build of a café on site, new toilets and an office. Education and Community Development Officers have also been appointed to promote events, education and volunteering opportunities at the fort and park.
There is a regular programme of activities that run all year round. The fort is open to the public on last Sunday of every month between March and November, including Bank Holidays.
If you would like to find out more during your visit to the park, ask in at the office for an Explorer App Mobile which will guide you around the park and reveal its hidden secrets so that you can understand a little better its unique place in the national story.