North and South Boom Batteries

The North and South Boom Batteries were a pair of Gun Batteries on the River Medway.
Between them was a boom to prevent Motor Torpedo Boats continuing up the Medway.

The North Battery was located on Grain,but now no trace of it remains as it was destroyed in the 1950's when the Grain Oil Refinery was built.
The South Boom Battery is still recognisable but much damage has been done due to erosion and flooding of the Burntwick island site.

South Boom Battery
The South Boom Battery was started in 1899 and finally completed with the construction of a pier in 1903.
It was armed with 2x12 pdr Quick Firing guns which were mounted on steel box like structures with concrete piles due to the marshy ground and risk of flooding.
Below the gun platforms was accomodation for the crews and magazines. (North Boom Battery was almost identical in layout)
Local defence was provided by fixed machine gun positions on the sea walls and later searchlights were added to assist against night attacks.
Nearby in a protected compound was an engine room with three generators,oil store with fourteen tanks and a caretakers house which in war time would be used for extra troop accomodation,it was not the intention to man the batteries in peace time.
Also nearby was a barrack block with cook house and ablution close by. The combined cost of the two Batteries was £10,226.

Both Batteries were operational during the early months of WWI until a new boom was constructed between the Grain tower and Garrison Point during 1915 as part of a review of anti invasion defences.
After this the Battery became surplus to requirements and it was used by the Navy as a base for mine clearance operations.

Today at the site of the South Boom Battery are significant remains of the searchlight and machine gun emplacements and the bases of the 12 pdr gun emplacements.
The engine room and its chimney still stand,and the ruins of the cookhouse.
All traces of the Caretakers house has gone.

Burntwick Island where the South Boom Battery is located is privately owned but open to access by boat.

Caution must be taken if you visit the site due to the decayed nature of the site.

Most of the info obtained from "The Medway Forts" by K.R. Gulvin.