The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.381341, 0.523115


This text was copied from Wikipedia on 20 July 2024 at 3:10AM.

Chatham Riverside from Sun Pier
Coat of arms of Chatham
Chatham is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Population80,596 (2020 ONS)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ765659
• London33 mi (53 km) WNW
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCHATHAM
Postcode districtME4, ME5
Dialling code01634
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament

Chatham (/ˈætəm/ CHAT-əm) is a town located within the Medway unitary authority in the ceremonial county of Kent, England. The town forms a conurbation with neighbouring towns Gillingham, Rochester, Strood and Rainham. In 2020 it had a population of 80,596.

The town developed around Chatham Dockyard and several Army barracks, together with 19th-century forts which provided a defensive shield for the dockyard. The Corps of Royal Engineers is still based in Chatham at Brompton Barracks.

The Dockyard closed in 1984, but the remaining major naval buildings are an attraction for a flourishing tourist industry. Following closure, part of the site was developed as a commercial port, other parts were redeveloped for business and residential use, and part was used as the Chatham Historic Dockyard museum. Its attractions include the submarine HMS Ocelot.

The town has important road links and the railway and bus stations are the main interchanges for the area. It is the administrative headquarters of Medway unitary authority, as well as its principal shopping centre.


The name Chatham was first recorded as Cetham in 880. The Domesday Book records the place as Ceteham.

Most books explain this name as a British root ceto (like Welsh coed), plus Old English ham, meaning a forest settlement.[2][3] The river-valley site of Chatham is, however, more consistent with cet being an Old English survival of the element catu, that was common in Roman-era names and meant 'basin' or 'valley'.[4]

The A2 road passes by Chatham along the line of the ancient Celtic route. It was paved by the Romans, and named Watling Street by the Anglo-Saxons. Among archaeological finds here have been the remains of a Roman-era cemetery.

Chatham was long a small village on the banks of the river. By the 16th century, warships were being moored at Jillingham water (Gillingham), because of its strategic sheltered location between London and the Continent. It was established as a Royal Dockyard by Queen Elizabeth I in 1568, and most of the dockyard lies within Gillingham. Initially a refitting base, it became a shipbuilding yard; from then until the late 19th century, further expansion of the yard took place. In its time, many thousands of men were employed at the dockyard, and many hundreds of vessels were launched there, including HMS Victory, which was built there in the 1760s. After World War I, many submarines were also built in Chatham Dockyard.

Looking from the river at Sun Pier along the Great Barrier Ditch, to the Gun Platforms at Fort Amherst

In addition to the dockyard, defensive fortifications were built to protect it from attack. Upnor Castle had been built in 1567, but had proved ineffectual; the Dutch raid on the Medway in 1667 showed that more defences were required. The fortifications, which became more elaborate as the threat of invasion grew, were begun in 1756 as a complex across the neck of the peninsula formed by the bend in the River Medway, and included Fort Amherst. The threat of a land-based attack from the south during the 19th century led to the construction of more forts.

The second phase of fort-building (1806–1819) included Fort Pitt (later used as a hospital and the site of the first Army Medical School). The 1859 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom ordered, inter alia, a third outer ring of forts: these included Fort Luton,[5] Fort Bridgewood, and Fort Borstal.[6]

These fortifications all required military personnel to man them and Army barracks to house those men. These included Kitchener Barracks (c 1750–1780), the Royal Marine Barracks (c 1780), Brompton Artillery Barracks (1806)[7] and Melville Barracks (opened 1820 as a Naval hospital, RM barracks from 1905).[8] H.M.S. Collingwood and H.M.S. Pembroke were both naval barracks.

In response to the huge manpower needs, the village of Chatham and other nearby villages and towns grew commensurately. Trams, and later buses, linked those places to bring in the workforce.[9] The area between the High Street and Luton village illustrates part of that growth, with its many streets of Victorian terraces.

The importance of Chatham Dockyard gradually declined as Britain's naval resources were reduced or moved to other locations, and eventually, on 31 March 1984, it was closed completely. The dockyard buildings were preserved as the historic site Chatham Historic Dockyard (operated by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust[10]), which was under consideration as a World Heritage Site[11][12] the site is being used for other purposes. Part of the St Mary's Island section is now used as a marina, and the remainder is being developed for housing, commercial and other uses, branded as "Chatham Maritime".[13]


Medway Council Building at Gun Wharf
Chatham Town Hall (opened in 1900) now serves as a theatre.

Chatham lost its independence as a borough under the Local Government Act 1972, by which, on 1 April 1974, it became part of the Borough of Medway, a non-metropolitan district of the county of Kent; under subsequent renaming the Borough became the Borough of Rochester-upon-Medway (1979); and, from 1982, the City of Rochester-upon-Medway. Under the most recent change, in 1998, and with the addition of the Borough of Gillingham, the Borough of Medway became a unitary authority area, administratively separate from Kent.[14] It remains part of the county of Kent for ceremonial purposes.

Medway Council has recently relocated its main administration building to Gun Wharf, the site of the earliest part of the Dockyard,[15] a former Lloyd's office building.[16] It was built between 1976 and 1978 and is Grade II listed.[17]

Chatham is currently part of the parliamentary constituency of Chatham and Aylesford. Prior to 1997, Chatham had been included in the constituencies of Mid Kent, Rochester and Chatham and Chatham.

Chatham has proven to be a marginal parliamentary seat. Since 1945, the members of parliament for Chatham have been as follows:

Election Member Party
1945 Arthur Bottomley Labour
1959 Julian Critchley Conservative
1964 Anne Kerr Labour
1970 Peggy Fenner Conservative
Oct 1974 Robert Bean Labour
1979 Peggy Fenner Conservative
1983 Andrew Rowe Conservative
1997 Jonathan Shaw Labour
2010 Tracey Crouch Conservative
2024 Tristan Osborne Labour


(1) Chatham Dockyard, seen from Fort Pitt, ca. 1830.[18]
(2) Chatham Town Centre from the Great Lines
(3) Luton Valley, from Darland Banks
Chatham Naval Memorial
The A2 road at Luton Arches. The New Road runs underneath the Luton Arches Footbridge.
Sir John Hawkins Flyover, which was demolished in 2009.
Chatham Waterfront bus station

Chatham is situated where the lower part of the dip slope of the North Downs meets the River Medway which at this point is flowing in a south–north direction. This gives the right bank, where the town stands, considerable advantages from the point of view of river use. Compared with opposite bank, the river is fast-flowing and deep; the illustration (1), an early print of the settlement, is taken from the point where Fort Pitt now stands. The town lies below at river level, curving round to occupy a south-easterly trending valley (The Brook"), in which lies the High Street. Beyond the Chatham Dockyard was marshy land, now called St Mary's Island, and has several new developments of housing estates. The New Road crosses the scene below the vantage point of the illustration.

Illustration (2) is taken from the opposite side of the valley: the Pentagon Shopping Centre is to the right, with the building on the ridge left of centre, Fort Pitt and Rochester lies beyond that ridge; and Frindsbury is on the rising ground in the right distance.

The valley continues southeastwards as the Luton Valley, in which is the erstwhile village of that name; and Capstone Valley. The Darland Banks, the northern slopes of the Luton Valley above these valleys, are unimproved chalk grassland. The photograph (3), taken from the Banks and looking south, shows the village in the centre, with the rows of Victorian terraced housing, which unusually follow the contour lines. The opposite slopes are the ‘'Daisy Banks'’ and ‘'Coney Banks'’, along which some of the defensive forts were built (including Fort Luton, in the trees to the left)

Until the start of the 20th century, most of the south part of the borough was entirely rural, with a number of farms and large tracts of woodland. The beginning of what is now Walderslade was when a speculative builder began to build the core of the village in Walderslade Bottoms.[19]


Chatham became a market town in its own right in the 19th century, and a municipal borough in 1890. By 1831 its population had reached more than 16,000. By 1961 it had reached 48,800.[20]


The closure of the Royal Navy Dockyard on 31 March 1984 had the effect of changing the employment statistics of the town. About 7,000 people lost their jobs. The unemployment rate went up to 23.5%.[21] From early April 1984 to December 1985, and onwards, the Medway Towns began to have an increase in alcohol and drug related, anti-social behaviour, which many residents then realized had largely been caused by the closure of the Royal Navy Dockyard in 1984, and the resulting mass redundancies which occurred. There has been a concerted effort to revitalise the Thames Gateway area and one of the largest employers in Chatham is now Vanquis Bank Ltd, a subsidiary of Vanquis Banking Group.[22]


The Chatham Naval Memorial commemorates the 18,500 officers, ranks and ratings of the Royal Navy who were lost or buried at sea in World War I and World War II. The Chatham Naval Memorial was originally constructed from March 1924 to October 1924. The addition of the obelisk and Portland stone plaque walls and surroundings were constructed between June 1952 to October 1952. It stands on the Great Lines, the escarpment ridge between Chatham and Gillingham. The Grade II listed building Chatham Town Hall was built in January 1900;[23] it stands in The Brook, and is of a unique architectural design. With Chatham being part of the Medway Towns, it took on a new role as the Medway Arts Centre in April 1987, with the promotional motto "Putting The Arts Back into The Medway". There were many events held within the Medway Arts Centre, including many stage plays, themed nights and snooker tournaments. Likewise during May 1990, the Medway Arts Centre organized a large parade, composed of dancers, musicians, artists and sculptors, who stood upon theatrical lorry floats. The vehicles were initially parked up next to the entrance into the Theatre Royal Cafe, that was a popular restaurant in the Chatham Town Hall, on Whiffens Avenue, and then started to travel into Chatham, Rochester, Strood and Frindsbury, where sweets, chocolate, posters, badges, leaflets, stickers and t-shirts were handed out to the crowds, to promote the Medway Arts Centre. Then in April 1997, the Medway Arts Centre became the Brook Theatre.[24] The Pentagon Shopping Centre stands in the town centre and serviced the old Pentagon Bus Station that was closed in September 2011.[25] Chatham Waterfront bus station opened in October 2011, replacing the town's previous Pentagon Bus Station which was opened in 1970, before the Pentagon Shopping Centre was opened in 1975, and was considered an unwelcoming environment for passengers. This was because of the diesel fumes from the buses, coaches and minibuses, and because the waiting areas would sometimes become very crowded, whenever large groups of customers from the Pentagon Shopping Centre used the stairs and escalators, to get on board the green buses, coaches and minibuses that were managed by Maidstone & District Motor Services.


The Medway, apart from Chatham Dockyard, has always had an important role in communication: historically it provided a means for the transport of goods to and from the interior of Kent. Stone, timber and iron from the Weald for shipbuilding and agricultural produce were among the cargoes. Sun Pier in Chatham was one of many such along the river. By 1740, barges of forty tons could navigate as far upstream as Tonbridge.[20] Today its use is confined to tourist traffic; apart from the marina, there are many yacht moorings on the river itself.

The position of the road network in Chatham began with the building of the Roman road (Watling Street, which passed through the town. Turnpike trusts were established locally, so that the length from Chatham to Canterbury was turnpiked in 1730; and the Chatham to Maidstone road (now the A230) was also turnpiked before 1750. The High Street was bypassed in 1769, by the New Road (see illustration (1)) leading from the top of Star Hill Rochester, to the bottom of Chatham Hill at Luton Arches. This also became inadequate for the London cross-channel traffic and the Medway Towns Bypass, the M2 motorway, was constructed to divert through traffic south of the Medway Towns.

Chatham is the hub of the Medway Towns. This fact means that the existing road system has always proved inadequate for the amount of traffic it has to handle, and various schemes have been tried by Rochester-Upon-Medway City Council, to alleviate the congestion. The High Street itself is traffic free, so all traffic on Best Street and Railway Street has to skirt around it. The basic west–east routes are The Brook to the north and New Road to the south, but the additional problems caused by the situation of the Pentagon Bus Station meant that conflicting traffic flows were the result, from 1975 and onward. From April 1986 and onward until October 1987, the town centre remodelling of Chatham began, and Railway Street was realigned into becoming part of an inner ring road, that became a one-way system. This redevelopment included the demolition of the House of Holland department store in January 1987, and the construction of the Sir John Hawkins Flyover in Chatham, that was opened in February 1989, so the traffic could be carried from south to north over the High Street.

In September 2006, the one-way system was abandoned and two-way traffic reintroduced on most of the ring-road system.[26] Further work on the road system commenced early in 2009, and as of early 2010, the demolition of the Sir John Hawkins Flyover has been completed. It was replaced by a street-level, buses only, road coupled with repositioning of the bus station. The new Waterfront bus station opened in October 2011.[27]

Medway Towns Rail
Bromley South
Sole Street
Hoo Junction
Staff Halt
Higham and
Strood Tunnels
3931 yd
3595 m
(Old Terminus)
Goods station
Rochester Common
Chatham Central
Fort Pitt Tunnel
428 yards (391 m)
Chatham Tunnel
297 yards (272 m)
Gillingham Tunnel
897 yards (820 m)

Chatham railway station, opened in 1858, serves both the North Kent and the Chatham Main Lines, and is the interchange between the two lines. It lies in the valley between the Fort Pitt and the Chatham Tunnels. There are three trains an hour to London Victoria, two trains an hour to London Charing Cross, two trains an hour to Luton (via London Bridge, St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway) and two services an hour to St Pancras via High Speed 1. The former services run to Dover and Ramsgate; the Charing Cross services terminate at Gillingham and the High Speed services terminate at Faversham.

Part of the industrial railway in what is now Chatham Historic Dockyard is still in operation, run by the North Kent Industrial Locomotive Society.[28]

Buses are operated by Arriva Southern Counties and Nu-Venture to various destinations. They serve other towns in Medway including Gillingham, Grain, Strood and Rochester and also to other towns in Kent including Maidstone, Gravesend, Blue Bell Hill and Sittingbourne. There is also an express bus via Strood and Rochester and A2 to Bluewater in Greenhithe.


In the 19th century the ecclesiastical parish of Chatham included Luton and Brompton and also Chatham Intra (land on the river that was administered by the City of Rochester).[29] Chatham's parish church, St Marys, which stood on Dock Road, was rebuilt in 1788. St John's was a Waterloo church built in 1821 by Robert Smirke, and restructured in 1869 by Gordon Macdonald Hills;[30] it ceased being an active church in 1964, and is currently used as an art project.[31] St Paul's New Road was built in 1854; declared redundant in 1974, it has been demolished. St Peter's Troy Town was built in 1860. Christchurch Luton was built in 1843, replaced in 1884. The Royal Dockyard church (1806) was declared redundant in 1981.

St Michael's is a Roman Catholic church, that was built in 1863. There is a Unitarian Chapel built in 1861.

Chatham is reputed to be the home of the first Baptist chapel in north Kent, the Zion Baptist Chapel in Clover Street. The first known pastor was Edward Morecock who settled there in the 1660s. During Cromwell's time Morecock had been a sea-captain and had been injured in battle. His knowledge of the River Medway is reputed to have preserved him from persecution in the reign of King Charles II. There was a second Baptist chapel founded about 1700. The Ebenezer Chapel dates back to 1662.

Chatham Memorial Synagogue was built by Simon Magnus in 1867 on the Chatham end of Rochester High Street in Rochester.[32]


For a full list of schools serving Chatham visit List of schools in Medway


The town's Association Football club, Chatham Town F.C., plays in the Premier Division of the Isthmian League having gained two successive promotions in the 21/22[33] and 22/23[34] seasons. Lordswood F.C. plays in the Southern Counties East Football League. The defunct Chatham Excelsior F.C. were one of the early pioneers of football in Southern England.[35] Football league side Gillingham F.C. are seen to represent Medway as a whole. Holcombe Hockey Club is one of the largest in the country, and are based in Chatham. The men's 1st XI are part of the England Hockey League.[36]

Kite Flying is possible, especially power kiting on the Great Lines Heritage Park (between Gillingham and Chatham) and at Capstone Farm Country Park.[37]

Skiing is also possible near Capstone Farm Country Park at Capstone Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre.[38]

Panorama of the River Medway

On a cultural level, Chatham gave birth to several movements in literature, art and music. In the period from 1977 until 1982 the Medway Delta Sound emerged. The term was coined as a joke by Chatham born writer painter and musician Billy Childish after Russ Wilkins' Medway based record label, Empire Records, used the phrase "From The Medway Delta". Several Medway Delta bands gained international recognition, including The Milkshakes, The Prisoners (see also James Taylor Quartet) and The Dentists.

Out of the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD), now the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) came the band known as Wang Chung. The vocalist and guitarist with Wang Chung, Jeremy Ryder, who is better known as Jack Hues attended KIAD. Alongside such individuals was Alan Denman, who became a well established lecturer at KIAD, and who founded The Flying Circuits in 1984, which became an urban theatre movement in the Medway Towns. Many students from KIAD played various acting roles within The Flying Circuits, in Chatham, Gillingham and London. The scenes that were performed by The Flying Circuits, were entirely based upon excerpts from the screenplay by Alan Denman, called the Electronic Town, that he wrote between January 1984 to October 1984, and which concerned a futuristic science fiction dystopia. Alan Denman also helped to form The Medway Poets with Billy Childish, Robert Earl, Bill Lewis, Sexton Ming and Charles Thomson. The Medway Poets used to meet regularly at the York Tavern & Railway Inn, in Ordnance Street, within Chatham, from 1974 to 1985, near to the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD) at Fort Pitt in Rochester, and Chatham railway station. Chatham has always had a strong musical and creative arts heritage that has remained centred on local groups, many of whom were also part of the KIAD. Charles Thomson and Billy Childish went on to create the artistic movement known as Stuckism in 1999.[39][40]

There was a resurgence in the live music scene in early 2001, with an initial focus on the Tap 'n' Tin venue in Chatham. The essence of the original greatness of the Medway Delta Sound was revived by music and poetry evenings promoted by David Wise's Urban Fox Press, which also published several books by Medway poets and artists. In 2008. the independent arts organisation Medway Eyes was founded, specialising in music and photography. It had promoted several arts exhibitions and gigs at The Barge, that was located at 63 Layfield Road, in Gillingham (now closed) and The Nags Head at 292 High Street, in Rochester, but then in 2013 it disbanded.[41]

The Medway Poets were formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1982 having performed at the Kent Literature Festival and many others in South East England and on TV and Radio. They became a major influence to writers in the Medway Towns. From the core of this group the anti conceptual/pro painting movement of Remodernism came into being.

Recent Medway artists of note include Kid Harpoon, Crybaby Special and The Monsters, Red Light, Underground Heroes, Tyrannosaurus Alan,[42] Pete Molinari, Lupen Crook, Brigadier Ambrose, Stuart Turner and Theatre Royal.[43]

The term 'Chav', research suggests, does not derive from Chatham's name ("Chatham Average"), but is derived from the Romany word for 'youngster'. Before the Chatham Dockyard was closed down on 31 March 1984, the cultural idea of the Chav did not actually exist in the Medway Towns.[44][45]

Local media


Local newspapers for Chatham include Medway News and Medway Standard, both published by Kent Regional News and Media; and the Medway Messenger, published by the KM Group. The town also has free newspapers in the Medway Extra (KM Group) and yourmedway (KOS Media).


The local commercial radio station for Chatham is KMFM Medway, owned by the KM Group. Medway is also served by community radio station Radio Sunlightbased in Richmond road between the high street and the River Medway. The area can also receive the county wide stations BBC Radio Kent, Heart and Gold, as well as many radio stations in Essex and Greater London.


Local news and television programmes are provided by BBC South East and ITV Meridian from the Bluebell Hill TV transmitter, supplemented by a low power relay transmitter in the town centre.[46]

Notable people

Ordnance Terrace in October 2007

Charles Dickens lived in the town as a boy, both in 'The Brook, Chatham' and in Ordnance Terrace before Chatham railway station was built just opposite. He subsequently described it as the happiest period of his childhood, and eventually returned to the area in adulthood when he bought a house in nearby Gad's Hill. Medway features in his novels. He then moved to Rochester, a nearby town, also part of the Medway Towns.

Others who were born or who lived or live in Chatham:


Twin towns

See also


  1. ^ Population figures for all major UK towns and cities
  2. ^ A. D. Mills, A Dictionary of British Place-Names, 2003, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852758-6
  3. ^ Judith Glover, The Place Names of Kent, 1976, Batsford. ISBN 0-905270-61-4
  4. ^ "Was Catu- really Celtic for battle?" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  5. ^ Now a heritage site
  6. ^ "Fortified Places > Fortresses > Chatham". Archived from the original on 17 February 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
  7. ^ Although the postal address of Brompton Barracks (now the headquarters of the Royal Engineers) indicates Chatham as its location, Brompton village lies in Gillingham
  8. ^ "Medway lines website". Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  9. ^ Harley, Robert J. (1994). Maidstone and Chatham Tramways. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-873793-40-5.
  10. ^ "The Historic Dockyard Chatham – Your Big Day Out in Kent". Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  11. ^ "Chatham Naval Dockyard". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  12. ^ Masters, Sam (9 January 2014). "Chatham dockyard's bid for Unesco World Heritage Site status is blocked". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Chatham Maritime" Archived 26 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine article on SEEDA website. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  14. ^ Rochester, The past 2000 years, Published Privately City of Rochester Society 1999.
  15. ^ "Character Area 5: Gun Wharf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Medway Matters" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  17. ^ Historic England
  18. ^ From W. H. Ireland's History of Kent
  19. ^ Walderslade Online: A Short History of Walderslade Village Archived 25 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ a b Jessup, Frank W. (1966). Kent History Illustrated. Kent County Council.
  21. ^ "Can Sandwich learn from the Chatham Dockyard closure?". BBC News. 3 February 2011. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Suspicious package containing white powder sent to Vanquis Bank call centre in Chatham Maritime". Kent Online. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  23. ^ "Former Town Hall and Medway Arts Centre, Chatham". 1 June 1990. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  24. ^ Selby, Jade. "Medway theatres". Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  25. ^ "Pentagon Shopping Centre". Pentagon Shopping Centre. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Chatham two way". BBC. 2006. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  27. ^ "Town flyover demolition next month". Medway Messenger. 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  28. ^ "Chatham Historic Dockyard Railway". Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  29. ^ John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870–72)
  30. ^ Macadam, Edwin and Sheila. "St John the Divine, Chatham, Kent – CHURCH FOR SALE". Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  31. ^ "Church transformed into vineyard". BBC News. 25 October 2004. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  32. ^ Rochester, The past 2000 years, (City of Rochester Society) 1999.
  33. ^ Cawdell, Luke (9 April 2022). "Chatham Town thrash Erith & Belvedere 10-1 to clinch promotion to the Isthmian League". Kent Online. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  34. ^ Reeves, Thomas (17 April 2023). "Chats crowned Isthmian South East champions with sixth win in a row". Kent Online. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  35. ^ "The Beautiful History of Club Crests, Club Colours & Nicknames". 9 January 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  36. ^ Archived 11 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine England Hockey League tables
  37. ^ "Powerkiting flying spots in and around Kent". Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  38. ^ "Capstone Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre". Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  39. ^ Stuckism. "Charles Thomson essay, A Stuckist on Stuckism". Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  40. ^ Fitzgerald, Mary (December 2001). "Stuck like a Child". Fortnight (401): 27–28. JSTOR 25560476.
  41. ^ "Medway Eyes". Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  42. ^ "Tyrannosaurus Alan". Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  43. ^ "Theatre Royal Rochester, UK". Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  44. ^ "Savvy Chavvy: social entrepreneurs engage gypsies". The Telegraph. London. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  45. ^ Quinion, Michael. "Chav". Archived from the original on 9 April 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  46. ^ "Chatham Town (Medway, England) Freeview Light transmitter". May 2004.
  47. ^ Riley, Malcolm (23 September 2004). "Whitlock, Percy William (1903–1946)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55920. Retrieved 17 February 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  48. ^ Allderidge, Patricia H. (23 September 2004). "Dadd, Richard (1817–1886)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37337. Retrieved 18 February 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  49. ^ Mitchell, Rosemary (2004). "Benger, Elizabeth Ogilvy (1777–1827), historian and novelist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2093. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 18 March 2022. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  50. ^ Fryer, Peter (23 September 2004). "Cuffay, William (bap. 1788, d. 1870), Chartist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/71636. Retrieved 18 February 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  51. ^ "Andrew Crofts – Midfielder – First Team – Newport County". Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.


  • Hughes, David (2004), Chatham Naval Dockyard and Barracks, The History Press ISBN 0-7524-3248-6

12 Annotations

First Reading

Mark Jones  •  Link

Former naval town on the River Medway. Chatham Historic Dockyard now a tourist attraction.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks for the model picture, Aqua. The pits for the mastst to be stored underwater in can be seen mid lefthand side. These can still be seen in real life at Chatham.

Gavin Lobo  •  Link

I was brought up in the Medway Towns, and went to school at : "Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, Rochester"
--this was set up with five thousand pounds bequeathed by Sir Joseph Williamson, who is mentioned in the diaries.
The school was to educate boys in maths, so they could then go on to do navigation, and be of use in the navy. (hence the conection to Chatham).
Also, Nelson's flagship was built in Chatham, HMS Victory.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Hightlights from…...

CHATHAM is in the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester. The parish church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, stands on the chalk cliff, just above the Old Dock, more than a quarter of a mile north-westward from the High Street.
This church, built in 1316 for bishop Thomas de Woldham; ...
The east end of of the church is all that remains of that building; the north and south isles being more modern, as the dock and navy establishments having been so greatly enlarged, the inhabitants became so numerous, that the old church was too small; so the navy commissioners in 1635 repaired the church, rebuilt and enlarged the west end, and erected the steeple; ...
Among other monuments are — In the chancel, ... for Edw. Yardley, gent. of Chatham, obt. 1655; and Dorothy his wife, 1657; had six sons and two daughters.
In the nave, two brass plates, inscription for Steven Borough, died 1584, born at Northam, Devonshire; he discovered Muscovia, by the northern sea passage to St. Nicholas, in 1553; at his setting forth from England, he was accompanied by two other ships, Sir Hugh Willoughby being admiral of the fleet, who, with all the two ships companies, were frozen to death in Lappia the same winter after his discovery of Russia, and the adjoining coasts of Lappia, Nova Zembla, and the country of Samoyeda, &c. he frequented the trade yearly to St. Nicholas, as chief pilot for the voyage, till he was chosen one of the masters in ordinary of the queen's royal navy, which he was employed in till his death.
A monument for Sir John Cox, a captain and commander in the navy, slain in a sea engagement with the Dutch, in 1672.
A memorial for the Fletchers, master carvers of the dock yard, and their families.
A memorial for the Mawdistlys of this parish; ...
A monument for Robert Wilkinson, alias Edilbury, gent. of Denbighshire, obt. 1610.
Near the west door, on a pedestal, the figure of a man to the middle, lying his right hand on a death's head, and holding a book in his left, for Kenrike, Edisbury, esq. of Marchwell, Denbighshire, surveyor of the navy, ob. 1638; he married Mary, daughter and heir of Edward Peters, alias Harding, gent. of Rochester.
In the belfry stands the figure of a man, in a praying posture, dressed in the habit of Queen Elizabeth's time.
Mr. John Pyham, late minister of this parish, gave to this church a silver flaggon and two silver plates, in 1636.
Mr. Benjamin Ruffhead, anchorsmith of the dock, gave the branch and iron work, in 1689; he also gave a silver bason, in 1694.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Women at the dockyards:

"Chatham Dockyard has its own stories to share about the changing role of women at work; as far back as 1803, facing a shortage of skilled men after fighting the French Revolutionary War (1793-1803), the Royal Navy Board granted permission for women to be recruited to help the Dockyard’s workforce repair ships’ flags that had been damaged in the conflict.

"Six ‘colour women’ were initially employed to make signal colours from old material, and in 1806 the first Union Jack flag was sewn at Chatham.

"By 1816, following the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, their contribution to Britain’s war effort was deemed (albeit patronisingly) ‘unproblematic’ and ‘nimble fingered’, while they were also ‘more contented with their pay’ than their male counterparts. Consequently, women received permanent employment, pay above that of a labourer and their numbers quickly expanded.

"The women initially worked 12-hour days in the Sail and Colour loft, from ‘Breakfast time to Bellringing Nights’, with half an hour break for lunch.

"However, despite being recommended to join the men in the Ropery in 1810, it was not until 1864 – and the mechanisation of the spinning process, which made the work less arduous and ‘suitable for women’, that they were given the opportunity to become rope makers.

"At its height 120 people were employed to work in the Ropery, but today just eight people maintain this tradition in the Royal Navy’s sole surviving Ropeyard."

Pictures of the old equipment, and stories about Admiral's families who went to sea, along with some cross-dressing women who fought in the days of sail ... but after Pepys' Diary times. (But he does tell us women tried to stow away ... who knows what he didn't know in those financially desperate times,)…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A contemporary view of Chatham is given by Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, who visited on May 27, 1669.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. Sometimes I got confused making the N.S./O.S. date conversions, so I apologize if they are wrong:

On his arrival at that place [CHATHAM], his highness, before entering the city, went down to the bank of the Medway, where several boats were in readiness for his accommodation.

These were suffered to drop down the river, which, when it is filled with water by the influx of the tide (which here rises to a distance of upwards of 18 miles above Rochester) has depth enough to be navigable by the largest frigates of war.


In passing over from the fort of Upnor, which stands on the bank of the Medway and obstructed the further progress of the Dutch on their burning expedition, his highness was saluted with 13 guns; from the fortifications also, which are constructed on the same bank for the defense of the river, he received a similar compliment, sometimes of 11, sometimes of 9 guns.

Having dropped down a long reach of the river, his highness was met by the king's yacht (presented to his majesty by the States General when he was restored to the crown) in order that he might proceed with all possible safety and convenience as far as the mouth of the river, to see the new fort of Sheerness, which is now building for the purpose of repelling any hostile ships that might attempt to enter the river.


On stepping on board the royal yacht, his highness was complimented with a discharge from some small pieces of artillery; and immediately went down to table with Colonel Gascoyne and his gentleman, and, every time his highness drank, the discharge of cannon was repeated.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link



When his repast was finished, an opportunity was given to the rest of his suite to take their dinner while the yacht was proceeding to the fortress of Sheerness, though not without some obstruction both from the wind and tide; but, at length, they got the better of both, and came alongside the fort, about which several persons were at work, endeavoring to put it into a serviceable state as soon as possible.

On the approach of the yacht, his highness was saluted with 9 discharges of artillery, which was placed on the seashore, on a mound of earth under the new castle, which were replied to from the yacht.

After taking a view, at a proper distance, of the fortification, which is yet imperfect and of an irregular form, having bastions of different sizes, he turned back again; and when the yacht had regained its station, his highness took the boats which had remained there, and went to see the ship called the Sovereign, then lying at anchor in the Medway.


Amid discharges of artillery, he was received on board this vessel, the greatest and most powerful in the royal navy; so much so that its swiftness is much impaired by its bulk and weight, and, consequently, it is seldom used, as it would be a means of detaining the other ships.


This monstrous vessel was built in 1637, by King Charles I, at an incredible expense; for, besides the vast size of the ship, which is 120 paces in length, it has cabins roofed with carved work, richly ornamented with gold, and the outside of the stern is decorated in a similar manner.

The height of the stern is quite extraordinary, and it is hung with 7 magnificent Ianthorns, the principal one, which is more elevated than the rest, being capable of containing 6 people.

The ship carries 106 pieces of brass cannon, and requires 1,999 men for its equipment.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


His highness went to the highest part of the stern, and having walked over the whole length, from stern to prow, as well above as below, stepped into the handsomest cabin in the stern, where there were still evident marks of the sides having been repaired from the effect of cannon balls, which sufficiently indicated that it had been more than once in action.

Here the captain had prepared refreshment for his highness, of which, at his respectful solicitation, he condescended to partake, and began the toasts by drinking to the health of his majesty, amid great applause and discharges of cannon, which were repeated when the cheering was renewed by the gentlemen of his retinue, and the captain.


His highness then re-embarked, in order to see the ship called The Royal Charles, built to supply the place of the other of that name captured by the Dutch; and, as he went along, was gratified by the sight of other ships of war, which lay scattered about the river, to the number of 22, among which were 3 built in the time of Queen Elizabeth, carrying 80 guns, all in high preservation, and so perfectly fit for action, that they made use of them in the different naval actions with the Dutch.


They are, however, of a different construction from the modern built ships, and neither so strong nor so safe.

Having seen the dock at Chatham, constructed by Queen Elizabeth, in which are built the greater part of the ships of war, and the magazines full of all sorts of stores necessary for promptly equipping upwards of 40 men of war, ...


NEXT Cosmo goes to ROCHESTER. See our Encyclopedia entry for that city for the information.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Here are some 2022 photos of Chatham dockyards and, more interesting to me, pictures of the ropewalk.
While the equipment is more modern than that of Pepys' time, I bet the basic ideas behind ropemaking have not changed. Yes, what may have taken 120 men in 1666 took 8 in 1820, but weaving is weaving, platting is platting, and rope twisting miles of rope is basically the same today as in Egyptian times.
Also photo of the 17th century mulberry tree in the Commissioner's garden ... courtesy of James I and VI.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.