Coalhouse Fort was built between 1861 and 1864 on the site of an earlier battery that evolved into a fort. Coalhouse Fort was intended to work in conjunction with Shoremead Fort on the opposite bank of the River Thames, and prevent any hostile vessels moving up the river.
As with Shoremead Fort, Coalhouse Fort has a semi-circular casemated front for 12 heavy guns in casemated positions with iron shields. Additional barbette emplacements were built on the roof for lighter guns.
By 1895 the number of 11-inch RML guns had been reduced by three, with four 6-pdr QF guns mounted as replacements. (It is assumed this is the separate battery by the shoreline).
By the start of World War I the battery was redundant.
Coalhouse Fort had a Detached Wing Battery with four 6-pdr QF guns and to the north East Tilbury Battery built in 1891 with two 10-inch BL HP and four 6-inch BL HP guns.