Climb aboard an English battleship and go back in time to the Age of Sail at Chatham’s informative and interactive dockyard time capsule.
The Historic Dockyard of Chatham contains over 80 acres (32 hectares) of historically significant buildings, galleries and wartime ships. Its 400 years assisting the Royal Navy, from Tudor times to the 20th century, has given the Historic Dockyard a rich maritime heritage for visitors to discover.
Explore the dockyard’s huge buildings, newly restored to provide a historically accurate account of dockyard life through the ages with informative and educational permanent and temporary exhibitions. Visit the dry docks and building slips, the carpenters’ shop and the yarn houses for rope-making. Hundreds of warships were built on this site over the years; three have been kept and preserved for display in the marina. Climb aboard the historic warships: a Victorian naval sloop, a World War II destroyer and a Cold War submarine. Learn about the mechanical aspects, wartime strategies and camaraderie of life at sea.
Find out about life in the Age of Sail from the many diverse artifacts on display in the Collections Gallery. From antique dockyard cigarette boxes to relics from a 1758 shipwreck, these pieces of history paint a picture of what life was like for dockyard workers and sailors in the English seas and beyond.
See more than 20,000 pictures in the Historic Dockyard photography collection. Some of the pictures date back to the very early beginnings of photography. Photographs include snapshots of Royal Navy personnel hard at work on the River Medway.
The Historic Dockyard is located just north of central Chatham on the River Medway. Ample free parking is available. Tickets to the dockyard can be purchased on site and are valid for 12 months after purchase. The dockyard is closed over December and January and has seasonal opening times during the rest of the year, so call ahead to confirm before planning your trip. Check what exhibitions are available at the dockyard’s changing temporary exhibit space.