About Chatham Dockyard

About Chatham Dockyard

Seeing as we are based in the Historic Chatham Dockyard, we thought it would only be right to share some history about the area we work in.

The Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham.

It came into existence at the time when, following the Reformation, relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened, leading to a requirement for additional defences. For 414 years Chatham Royal Dockyard provided over 500 ships for the Royal Navy and was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology. At its height, it employed over 10,000 skilled artisans and covered 400 acres.

The dockyard closed in 1984. After the closure it was divided into three sections:

1. The easternmost basin, which was handed over to the Medway Ports authority and is now a commercial port. The 18th century core of the site was transferred to a charity called the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and is now open as a visitor attraction. Here you can visit three historic warships.

2. St Mary's Island, a 150-acre site that has been transformed into a residential community with around 1,500 homes. It has several themed areas with traditional maritime buildings, a fishing village with its multi-coloured houses and a modern energy-efficient concept. Many homes have views of the River Medway. A primary school and a medical centre provide facilities for the residents and there are attractive walks around the Island.

3. Peel Ports, who run a 26-acre portion of the commercial port on Basin No 3. They are in the process of transforming a former brownfield site into mixed use development incorporating offices, an education facility, an "EventCity", a hotel, apartments, town houses, as well as landscaped public areas. The development will be called Chatham Waters.

Did you know that the Chatham Dockyard has become a popular location for filming? Its varied and interesting areas such as the cobbled streets, church and over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods has made it attractive to Director and Producers.

Productions that have chosen to film at Chatham Dockyard include: Les Misérables, Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Oliver Twist and The World Is Not Enough.