The Kent Website since 1999
The Chatham Historic Dockyard feature has been shaped and developed based on researcher comments and user feedback. If you've had experience of the Dockyard we'd welcome your comments. Our contact details are at the bottom of the page. If you're looking for more suggestions of places to visit in and around Kent check out our Discover Kent page.
The town of Chatham has long standing links with the Royal Navy. When the town's dockyard was closed in the 1980s it was decided that part of it should be turned into a museum to tell the story of its 400 year history. Today the site is now a thriving community of which the Historic Dockyard is just part of it. There are nearly 150 commercial tenants, over 100 houses and a total of 165,000 visits each year.
The birth of the historic dockyard goes back to the the 16th century and the beginning of an organisaed Royal Navy. During the reign of Henry VIII the concept of a naval force with it's own; executive, ships and dockyards became a reality.
Beacuse of their strategic location the Medway towns were seen as an ideal place for a dockyard and during the time of King Henry Chatham grew in importance. In its long 400 year association with the Royal Navy the dockyard created 500 ships, a truely remarkable record.
For a visitor there is vast amount to see an do, to provide some context this attraction has over 100,000 exhibits including everything from items of clothing and correspondence to scale models and large items of equipment. The collections are held in the dockside galleries and the three ships anchored in the attraction.
Some of the buildings are in fact living or working museums. For example the 1,140 feet long Ropery is still being used to make ropes on equipment over 200 years old.
The three vessels on display to the public include HMS Cavalier that saw active service in WWII , the submarine HMS Ocelot and HMS Gannet.
The collections are not static but in fact growing all the time, objects come from several sources including donations from the public. If you have something that you think would find an appropriate home in the dockyard you can call the Collections Manager on 01634 823848 to discuss any possible donation.
We take pride in our content and it is checked regularly but if you find information or links in need of alteration please let us know.This page is under constant improvement.
We welcome feedback about the Dockyard or any aspect of your experience including visiting the website. If you'd like to recommend an attraction not included in our pages drop us a line with 'Discover Kent' in the title.
Please see our disclaimer.
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
Disclaimer & feedback
This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know.In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
Your comments matter
This is a website formed, produced and published in Kent. By endorsing any one of the features in this section you will draw the attention of our audience to somewhere well worth a visit. In this way you can play a part in promoting the best Kent has to offer. We welcome feedback on all local tourism issues not just those connected to places to visit.