Gravesend Blockhouse

Ever wanted to see what the Gravesend Blockhouse would have looked out? Now you can rebuild it from its ancient foundations.

Choose the Instagram or Facebook button below to open the AR experience.

Open your rear camera and position the outline of the foundations above their real world counterpart. Then tap the Blockhouse button to rebuild it. Walk around the foundations to view the exterior of the Blockhouse.

This experience will open your camera feed. This experience works best in a large open space.



Set within a lawn on the riverside of the former Clarendon Royal Hotel at Gravesend is the foundations of the Gravesend Blockhouse. For over 300 years until demolition in 1844, this building was a prominent feature of Gravesend’s river frontage and a familiar sight to incoming and outgoing seafarers. Throughout this period, the blockhouse was mentioned in the accounts of visitors to the town, in guidebooks and histories and was portrayed in numerous contemporary maps, views and panoramas. The foundations of the blockhouse are important in offering the visitor the only visible remains of the first system of artillery defence established for the River Thames by Henry V111 in 1539/40. It is a scheduled ancient monument. The remains of the blockhouse are a reminder in brick and stone, of an age in which England and the states of Continental Europe settled their disagreements with each other by force of arms. The risk of raiding or invasion during a period of war led to a need to provide ports, coasts and strategic rivers with land based defences, as a second line behind the Navy. Foremost among the rivers was the Thames.

Thanks to Victor T. Smith for providing historical information.

Gravesend Blockhouse via Victor T. Smith