Proudly on the banks of the Medway
Kent certainly has its fair share of history and the little known Upnor Castle on the banks of the River Medway, greets sailors as they journey along.
It often goes unnoticed as a prominent landmark in Medway as Chatham has its dockyard and rich naval history.
Then there is the picturesque town of Rochester being home to a Castle, Cathedral and tales of Charles Dickens, with all this Upnor just may get overshadowed.
Just a short hop
But honestly, this little village, and the English Heritage Castle is a treat.
To access the castle, you get to enjoy a stroll down the High Street of Upnor’s lovely village.
On entering Upnor Castle your first impressions may be that it isn’t very big, but it certainly doesn’t lack in history.
It was built by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, between 1559 – 1567 as an artillery fort to protect the Royal Naval fleet at Chatham dockyard and ships anchored in the River Medway.
Then came the Dutch
However, 100 years later, it didn’t quite go to plan.
Our visit coincided with the 350th anniversary of the “Battle of Medway”, whereby the Dutch invaded the English and kicked our backsides.
So, unfortunately, Upnor didn’t quite live up to supposed expectations.
The Battle of Medway isn’t prominent in British history, perhaps for the fact that we lost but none the less it happened.
Following the attack on the neglected Upnor, it no longer survived as a fortress, and newer forts were built further along the Medway.
However, it didn’t put an end to the castle; it soon became converted into a “Magazine”, storage for munitions of guns, gun carriages, gun powder & muskets.
By 1691 it had come into its own, it was now England’s largest Magazine by far out shining Tower of London, the next largest.
As you step out onto the triangular gun platform overlooking the Medway, it’s quite difficult to comprehend how it would have looked with the English & Dutch naval ships in intense battle.
Particularly, for us as we managed to pick one of those rare English sunny days.
Would you like a little more?
We have created a little YouTube video of Upnor, and it’s Castle.
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Inspired to visit Upnor Castle?
You can reach it from from London, or if you’re visiting Kent make it part of exploring Medway.
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