Upnor Castle

Situated on the banks of the River Medway, this attractive turreted castle is set in a picturesque village area backed by rolling, wooded hills.

Upnor Castle was originally built on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I in 1559 as a gun fort to defend her warships at anchor in the reaches of the Medway and Chatham Dockyard.

Although the castle was an important link in the defence line, it was not well maintained and proved ineffective when the Dutch, under the command of Admiral de Ruyter, sailed up the Medway in June 1667 to attack the dockyard. The enemy fleet met very little resistance and when it left two days later, it had destroyed or captured a large number of the Royal Navy ships anchored at Chatham.

An audio-visual interpretation in English and Dutch tells the story of this raid in graphic manner, showing how the enemy ships breached the river defences, sailing on up the river to destroy much of the British fleet. This has been complimented with interpretation panels which illustrate the pivotal battle that took place in and around the castle itself.

The gatehouse and main body of the castle are open for viewing and for a nominal charge. A sound wand interpretation for a personal guided tour of the site is available in English, French and Dutch for a nominal charge of £1.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Get involved in your local history! Volunteer with Medway Heritage

Medway Council’s Heritage Service cares for some of Medway’s most iconic historic sites and its archive. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us deliver exciting activities at these exceptional venues.  No previous experience is necessary. Full training for all opportunities will be given.  For further information contact [email protected]

Upnor Castle Access Statement  Upnor Castle school visits  Ceremonies

Facilities

  • Audio tours
  • Groups welcome
  • Coaches welcome
  • Gift shop