Historic fort on the road to restoration

An historic strategic defence position is now two steps closer to becoming fully accessible to the public, thanks to the help of an ancient bridge charity.

Slough Fort in Allhallows now has a watertight education area and an improved access road thanks to funding and support from Rochester Bridge Trust and its main contractor on the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project.

A grant of £10,000 from the Rochester Bridge Trust paid for the replacement of doors and windows to the magazine – a former ammunition storehouse that will be used as an education space – while site works from FM Conway transformed an unmade road into a fully usable access road.

Andrew Freeman, Operations Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “We were pleased to be able to support the Fort’s renovation efforts. By paying for the works to make the magazine watertight, we have enabled the Fort to begin hosting education activities, so making it more accessible to the public while the remainder of the refurbishment work continues.

“We were also able to introduce FM Conway to the Fort, which led to the work to significantly improve the access road.”

Previously accessed by an unmade road, FM Conway – lead contractor on the bridges refurbishment project – gave time and people power to lay the road using donated materials.

Colin Davis, Vice Chair of The Slough Fort Preservation Trust, said: “We are very grateful to both the Rochester Bridge Trust and FM Conway for their contributions towards our refurbishment project. These works have made a positive difference to our progress, bringing us two steps closer to improving the Fort’s offering to the public.”

Slough Fort was built in 1867, to protect Chatham Dockyard from attack at a time when Britain was engaged in a naval arms race against the French. It is now a Grade II* listed building and undergoing a £25,000 restoration project which will include the rebuilding of chimneys and a wind pump, as well as the restoration of a World War One Fort Gun.

Matt Smith, Director of Structures at FM Conway, added: “We were pleased to visit Slough Fort and carry out the work to re-level their approach road. The team really enjoyed the work and the knowledge they were making a difference to an important piece of community heritage.”

Please visit www.sloughfort.org.uk for more information.