Yough Pioneer Tours

Maunsell Forts: Knock John

Maunsell Forts

We’ve previously written about Roughs Tower/AKA Sealand as well as Red Sands, both of which fall under the weird category of Maunsell Forts. Now whilst Roughs became its own country and Red Sands has a group trying to preserve it, Knock John is not only the most “Sealand” type, as in far out to sea, it is also unclaimed. Although things are no longer that simple, which as always we will get to later.

Knock John, as per all the other forts was built as an armed defense tower during WW2 to protect against Nazi ships and indeed Nazi invasion. Following the war, some were torn down, others turned into countries and others still essentially left to rot. We bring you Knock John.

To make said forts is a bit similar to early forms of oil platforms, with a rectangular hollow pontoon base fixed with two hollow towers used for all the military razzmatazz. On the top you’d have a steel platform deck from where other structures could and would be added to the medley of things.

Alas the War ended quite a long time ago and whilst the structures have survived, without protection and indeed maintenance they are in parts structurally unsound and will certainly not last forever.

That being said, during the pirate Radio Boom of the 1960’s, Radio Essex briefly sent out the tunes of the day from Knock John.

Today the structure survives, welded shut and in our minds at least, if not ready for someone to take it over and declare it a micro nation, it is at least fit for some intrepid Pioneers to go exploring it and maybe bring it back to its glory days of yore.

So, should YPT try and plan a trip to Knock John?

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