First an introduction to Tilbury Fort...
The distinctive star shaped walls of the Fort were designed to make it easy to defend. In this configuration all of the external walls could be seen
from more than one location within the Fort, making it easy to pick off would-be invaders. It was designed by Dutch engineer Sir Bernard de Gomme,
King Charles II’s chief designer.
The event that guarantees Tilbury Fort its place in English history was the speech made here by Queen Elizabeth I. The year was 1588 and Spain was
battling England for control of trade with the ‘New World’. In a brave attempt to settle the matter once and for all, King Philip II of Spain sent
an Armada of ships to invade the country, colonise it and win control of the trade routes. The English saw this coming and prepared for a battle that
after nine days saw off the invading armies. As they prepared for the battle, though, Elizabeth came to the Fort to bolster morale. She rode to
Tilbury in full armour and on horseback, and gave the following speech:
My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear
of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people.
Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will
of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the
battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust.
I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma
or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will
take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid
you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your
obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my
God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
Perhaps the strangest battle to involve the fort, and maybe it is the most notable battle in Essex history, occurred in 1776. This was not part of a
larger war, but a dispute over a cricket match. A team from Kent took a disliking to one of the members of the Essex team. An argument broke out,
which soon got out of hand, and one of the Kent team members stole a gun from an officer stationed there. He used it to shoot dead one of the Essex
players. More guns were stolen from the soldiers, one was bayonetted, and the Fort commanded was shot. Both died.
So today, being sunny and kids school holidays, I decided to visit the fort for the day. Within the fort are tunnels used originally for various
purposes including storage of gunpowder and later shells for larger fixed guns at the fort. Here's an entrance...
For fun, and to fill time, I dared the kids to go into the tunnels by themselves. They came running back at one point with my 14 year old niece saying
she had sensed a presence in the furthest room (she is quite sensitive to paranormal experiences, as I am too) and asked me to come and look. We went
back into the tunnels and the room and I indeed felt a familiar uncomfortable sensation that something was in the room with us. I asked out loudly
for whoever was with us to show themselves. I then took three photos on my mobile. This is the second one...
Be interested in what people think. I personally think we caught something very real. The girl crouched on the floor to the right is my niece by the
edit on 31-5-2017 by kuraijanai2013 because: Typo