Chatham Intra High Street Heritage Action Zone

Mary Sewell
20th December 2022

Medway’s Creative Heritage Quarter – the Old High Street Intra - also forms a vibrant link between Rochester and Chatham. 

As Medway’s hidden gem and diamond-in-the-rough, artists, makers, designers, performers and purveyors of international cuisine and fine ales, have naturally gravitated towards this area, making it into an incredible creative and heritage quarter. 

It is now studded with unique studios, galleries, friendly pubs, restaurants and bakeries hosting live music, comedy and drag, with a sprinkling of fashion, faith, fascinating heritage including one of the UK’s earliest known LGBTQ+ pubs.  Definitely worth a look!  

The word 'intra' comes from the Latin for within. This is the area roughly bounded to the west by the railway bridge over Rochester High Street, just after the Nags Head public house, and to the east by the Chatham boundary sign outside the John Hawkins Hospital.

Strictly speaking, Chatham Intra is just the area on the north side of the High Street but here we will include both sides of the road.

Traditionally, people living in this area (usually river workers) paid rates to either Rochester or Chatham. Today, Chatham Intra is in Rochester.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone hopes to help the area become a cultural and creative hub with a rich mix of artists, creatives and makers occupying under-used historic buildings that are currently in need of refurbishment and conversion.

Chatham Boundary Sign

Discover More...

Check out The Historic England Blog and video to discover more about Chatham Intra, and if you wish to explore the area yourself, why not download a copy of the Chatham Intra Heritage Trail.





Welcome to Chatham Intra Trail

Chatham Intra - historic haunt of sea captains and shipbuilders, architects, brewers and publicans, river workers and shopkeepers.

Lying on the border of Chatham and Rochester, this fascinating stretch of High Street is explored inside this guide.

Featuring archive photographs and images this guide is packed with revealing facts about the past and present of this lively and living area fronting the River Medway.

Click here to download.

Written by Rob Flood
Designed by Mark Barnes Design

Old High Street Intra Tours

Join us for a guided tour and discover Medway's Creative Heritage Quarter - the Old High Street Intra.

Have you ever wondered what stories are behind the fabulous buildings located along this stretch of road that links Rochester with Chatham, creating "Medway's Creative Heritage Quarter—the Old High Street Intra"?

From January 21 to the end of March, every Saturday you will be able to join a local costumed guide on a free walking tour around the creative heritage quarter. 

Tours last approximately 1 hour and start from outside Chatham House (corner of Hulkes Lane) at 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm.

For more details, click here.

Medway Light Nights

Following the success of Medway’s first free festival of lights, the two-night extravaganza is back and set to be even bigger, better and brighter!

Colourful, creative displays, including a 12-storey-high interactive installation, will illuminate Medway’s naval town of Chatham from 6-9pm on Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February 2023.

The high street will be transformed into a work of art and performance celebrating Chatham’s landscape and local stories, with each playful and accessible installation themed around #LoveChatham, highlighting the town’s growing creative community and strong relationship with local artists. 

Produced by outdoor arts company, Emergency Exit Arts, Medway Light Nights is supported by Arts Council England, and the commissions will reflect the area’s rich history and diverse culture.

The event will be launched on Friday with a lantern procession, organised by Ideas Test, Cohesion Plus and Intra Arts, with hundreds of school children further lighting up Chatham town centre. 

For further details and event programme, click here.