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.
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. A sound wand interpretation for a personal guided tour of the site is available in English, French and Dutch for a nominal charge of £1.
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Kent Children's University
Upnor Castle is a Learning Destination for the Kent Children’s University
Upnor Castle has recently become an approved “Public Learning Destination” for Kent Children’s University™. This means that we are authorised to issue Learning Credits in participating children’s Passports to Learning. Learning activities include our trails, seasonal trails, and craft activities.
What is Kent Children’s University™?
Kent Children’s University™ (KCU) is part of an international charity that provides 5 to 14 year olds with access to exciting and innovative CU Learning Activities and experiences outside the normal school day. They reward children’s participation in voluntary learning activities that will develop their skills and raise aspirations for the future.
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1 April - 30 September 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
1 October - 31 October 10am to 4pm (last admission 3.15pm)
Credit cards accepted
Concessions entry qualification: £4
English Heritage Members: Free