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Upnor Castle

Heritage and Gardens
Heritage and Gardens

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.

The Dutch Raid
Watch this short film on the 1667 Dutch invasion on 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.

The gatehouse and main body of the castle are open for viewing and for a nominal charge.

Download our Battle of Medway Guide (pdf)

Download our Dutch Raid Children's Education Activity Booklet (pdf)

Download our Dutch Raid Children's Education Activity Booklet Answer Sheet (pdf)



Thinking of getting married in a castle?

For many, marrying in a castle satisfies a childhood dream of being a princess for a day.

Upnor Castle offers a fabulous backdrop - both inside and out, to frame your perfect day.

Set in the picturesque village of Upper Upnor with cobbled, narrow streets on the banks of the River Medway.

Entering the castle via the studded oak doors, you find the perfect setting for your special day in a place fit for a princess!

Click here to discover more...



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  • Adults: £7.70
  • Children: £3.40
  • Concessions: £5.60
  • Family: £19.95 (2 Adults plus 2 Children)
  • English Heritage Members and under 5s: Free


Closure Notice

Upnor Castle is currently closed for the winter period and will reopen in April 2024.

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Upnor Castle Upper Upnor Rochester ME2 4XG


Opening Times

During October, Upnor Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am and 4pm, with last admission 45 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays, except on Bank Holidays. Closed November to March.

Coaches welcome
Credit cards accepted
Gift shop
Groups welcome
Medcouncil Cmykstrapline
Visit Medway
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council
Our Destinations
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council