Tilbury Fort

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach 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 realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall 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, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid.”

Linked from English Heritage.

That was perhaps the most famous words uttered by the first Queen Elisabeth, in front of her troops while expecting the Spanish armada in 1588, wearing a plumed helmet and a steel cuirass over a white velvet gown. What a scene that would have been to see!

IMGP0957 (2)We went to Tilbury by train on a very nice and sunny day. We have never been out that way before; Tilbury was the fort that defended the mouth of the river Thames, and London. It was built in the 14th and 15th Centuries, and the Tudors shaped it the most. It wasn´t demobilized until 1950, and now it is a museum in the care of English Heritage. It´s quite a way out from London, and I was surprised to see so many visitors there, particularly young girls and young families. It´s a real gem, though. Lots of space to run around and nothing terribly precious.

IMGP0878I tried to relax with the pen in hand, defying the impulse to try and see it all. I´d like to learn to just sit down and work the scene onto paper without thinking about time or anything else. Looking at my drawings now – from the entire vacation, really – I find much fault, and either I was still in too much of a hurry, or I have become a better sketcher since. Possibly it´s a little bit of each. I think most, if not all these photos were taken by the husband.

You can take a bus almost to the gates, but we walked; it´s not that far.
You can take a bus almost to the gates, but we walked; it´s not that far.
I love the windturbines, and yes, you have probably seen all these drawings before.
I love the windturbines, and yes, you have probably seen all these drawings before.
The entrance of the fort.
The entrance of the fort. More 19th Century than Tudor, is my guess.

 

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I think I drew this gun just because it was hard.
I think I drew this gun just because it was hard.

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The husband started exploring.
The husband started exploring.

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A ravelin.
A ravelin.

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This interesting rooftop in Gravesend, across the river, belongs to Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, a Sikh temple.
This interesting rooftop in Gravesend, across the river, belongs to Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, a Sikh temple.

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We had dinner at the local pub, which was a real, non-touristy place where working class people go after work.
We had dinner at the local pub, which was a real, non-touristy place where working class people go after work. I just read that a couple of weeks before we visited, a man was stabbed there!

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Apparently,Pepys mentions this place in his diary! It has all kinds of interesting paraphernalia on the walls.
A bit blurry, but a nice, no-nonsense dinner: a curry for the husband and a shepherd´s pie for me. Yum!
A bit blurry, but a nice, no-nonsense dinner: a curry for the husband and a shepherd´s pie for me. Yum!
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2 thoughts on “Tilbury Fort”

  1. Beautiful photos by your husband and lovely to see you sketching, as well as the sketches you shared. That gun you drew was unbelievable. So much detail. I can’t believe you accomplished all this in one day.

    One thing that took me by surprise was the photo of the powder barrel. Why I thought it was a whiskey cellar is beyond me, but I was blown away when I realized what I was looking at.

    That first interior shot of the pub reminded me of a pub used in the Gentry mystery series. I really enjoyed the tour, and gladly followed your husband around as he shot photo after photo of the fort.

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