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featured Wiki of the Day Episode 326
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Tue, 2018-Mar-27 00:58 UTC
Length - 3:02
Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.
The featured article for Tuesday, 27 March 2018 is Coalhouse Fort.
Coalhouse Fort is an artillery fort built in the 1860s to guard the lower Thames from seaborne attack. It stands at Coalhouse Point in Essex on the north bank of the river, at a location near East Tilbury that was vulnerable to raiders and invaders. It was the last in a series of fortifications dating back to the 15th century and was the direct successor to a smaller mid-19th century fort built on the same site. Constructed during a period of tension with France, its location on marshy ground caused problems from the start and led to a lengthy construction process. The fort was equipped with a variety of large-calibre artillery guns and the most modern defensive facilities at the time, including shell-proof casemates protected by granite facing and cast-iron shields. Its lengthy construction and the rapid pace of artillery development at the time meant that it was virtually obsolete for its original purpose within a few years of its completion.
The fort's armament was revised several times during its seventy years of military usage, as its role evolved in the river's defensive system. It was initially a front-line fortification, supported by Shornemead Fort and Cliffe Fort located to the south and east respectively on the Kent shore. Over time, as batteries and forts further downriver became the front line of the Thames defences, Coalhouse Fort was stripped of its main weapons and its fabric was altered to support smaller quick-firing guns intended to be used against fast-moving surface and aerial targets. The fort’s last military usage was as a training facility; it was then decommissioned and used as a storehouse for a shoe factory before it was purchased by the local council. The surrounding land was developed into a public park but the fort itself fell into dereliction, despite its historical and architectural significance. Since 1985 it has been leased to a voluntary preservation group, the Coalhouse Fort Project, which has been working to restore the fort and use it for heritage and educational purposes. It can be visited by the public on regular open days and houses reconstructions, small military museums and open-air displays of military equipment. Funding for its restoration has been provided in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Warner Bros. film studio, which used the fort as a location for the opening scenes of the 2005 film Batman Begins.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:58 UTC on Tuesday, 27 March 2018.
For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalhouse_Fort.
This podcast is produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
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This has been Russell. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.
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