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.
English Heritage Members and under 5s: Free
Joint attraction tickets:
Joint tickets are valid for 3 months from the date of purchase.
Upnor Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am and 6pm, with last admission at 5.15pm until 30 September. During October, Upnor Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am and 4pm, with last admission at 3.15pm.