The historic towns of Medway

Rochester has a unique identity with its iconic Norman castle and cathedral, historic buildings and museums, as well as connections with Charles Dickens who spent his childhood in Rochester and who returned there to live, as a successful author. Find out more about Rochester.

Chatham’s maritime history includes The Historic Dockyard Chatham, an award winning attraction and the world’s most complete dockyard of the age of sail. Find out more about Chatham.

The Dockyard’s defences include Upnor Castle, Fort Amherst, the Great Lines Heritage Park and the Royal Engineers Museum, amongst others. Many of these sites were involved in, or are a result of, the Battle of Medway.

Gillingham is an important retail centre serving the local community. It has a twice weekly market which is ideal for the bargain hunters to wander around. Find out more about Gillingham.

The town has strong maritime and military connections with the nearby Historic Dockyard in Chatham and Royal Engineers barracks based in the town. To learn about the bravery or our soldier engineers from 1066 to the present day, a visit to the Royal Engineers Museum is a must.

The museum is Kent’s only designated museum of national importance and has many galleries, displays of military tanks, torpedoes, jump jets and exceptional items including Duke of Wellington’s battlemap used in the Battle of Waterloo.

Gillingham is also the birthplace of the Elizabethan seafarer, William Adams who founded the first Japanese navy and made famous of James’ Clavell’s novel shogan.

Today the town is twinned with the cities of Ito and Yokosuka in Japan and every September celebrates these connections and the life of seafarer at the Will Adams Festival.

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