Experience an iconic naval battle with the whole family in Medway, Kent this summer!

Escape to Medway in the heart of Kent this summer to discover the area’s fascinating history and heritage. To mark the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway an international programme of events will take place across Medway, featuring a number of activities that the whole family will enjoy.  

The summer’s festivities are the perfect opportunity to get children excited about the past and learn about one of the most important moments in British and Dutch military history! 

Highlights include:

  •          Breaking the Chain 
    8 June – 3 September, 10am – 6pm daily
    The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TE

Uncover the story of the battle through extraordinary Dutch and English art and objects on loan from a range of national and international institutions, including the British Library, the Rijksmuseum and the Dutch and UK National Maritime Museums. 

  •          Meet a Battle of Medway soldier 
    Sunday 2 and 23 July, 4, 11, 18, 25 and 27 August, 9 and 10 September, 11am, 1pm and 3pm
    Upnor Castle, Upnor Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG

£6.40/£4.00 (entrance to Upnor)

Local actors from Play On Words Theatre Company are delighted to introduce you to their soldier, William Webster. Webster was stationed at Upnor Castle during the Battle of Medway in 1667, so join him on a tour around the castle as he explains what life was like here at the time of the Battle of Medway.

  •          The Journey to Chatham
    6 May – 12 November 2017, 10 am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday 
    The Guildhall Museum, 17 High St, Rochester Kent ME1 1PY 

    Telling the story of the battle from the Dutch perspective, this exhibition features original Dutch broadsheets and engravings from the museum's collections alongside modern recreations of the battle at the Guildhall Museum.

  •          Battle of Medway family crafts
    1 August to 1 September 2017, 10.30am - 3.30pm
    The Guildhall Museum, 17 High St, Rochester Kent ME1 1PY 

Join our family craft activities based around our ‘Journey to Chatham’ exhibition, featuring Dutch newspaper reports of the battle and the construction plans for the new fort at Sheerness. 

  •          Battle of Medway trail 
    Saturday 22 July to 3 September, 10am - 5pm
    Upnor Castle, Upnor Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG

£6.40/£4.00 (entrance to Upnor)

Take part in our trail around the castle looking for clues to find out what happened at Upnor Castle during the Battle of Medway for a chance to win a small prize. (Last admission 5.15pm.) 

  •          Decorate a cannonball 
    Wednesday 26 July and 2 August 2017, 10.30am - 3.30pm
    Upnor Castle, Upnor Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG

£6.40/£4.00 (entrance to Upnor)

Join our hands-on family craft activity to decorate your own cannonball – get ready to fire it at the Dutch! 

£6.40/£4.00 (entrance to Upnor) 

Local artist Kevin Clarkson has researched the Battle of Medway to create several new paintings of the events at Upnor in 1667. Get in on the action and join Kevin on site to draw your own Battle of Medway masterpiece.


A full list of activities can be found at www.medway.gov.uk/BOM.

The Battle of Medway took place in 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch launched a daring assault on the British upon the River Medway at Chatham near to the Historic Dockyard, destroying their fleet and stealing the HMS Royal Charles, whose stern piece is still displayed in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Although Britain lost the battle, it encouraged King Charles II to transform the British Navy through massive investments in new ships and dockyards. This laid the foundation of British supremacy at sea for the next 200 years and contributed to Britain’s economic success and the growth of the empire.


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