Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A day at the docks


We had a lovely day out on Sunday when we travelled over to Kent to visit The Historic Chatham Dockyard, a stunning 80 acre site with historic buildings, museums, galleries and historic warships. 


Chatham, located on the River Medway was established as a Royal Dockyard by Elizabeth 1 in 1567 and was the forefront of shipbuilding, providing over 500 ships for the Royal Navy. From the Spanish Armada to the Falklands Crisis, ships have been built, repaired and manned from Chatham which included Nelson's famous flagship The Victory in 1765.



These buildings date back to 1780 and were constructed from reused warship timbers


The Dockyard was a community town of its own having a doctor's surgery, church, shops and living accommodation for its huge workforce of shipwrights and carpenters through to flag and rope makers


The Admirals office was built around 1808 as were these Officers' quarters


Rope has been made on the site since 1681 and the hemp to make it is stored in these Hemp Houses which date back to 1729








 Incidentally,  two TV series - Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge were both 
filmed at this location recently using these streets as backdrops.


The Ropery still contains many of its original fittings. It is a quarter of a mile long to accommodate the length of ropes needed to anchor a ship during the Age of Sail. Note the bicycle needed to travel from one end of the Ropery to the other!


This was the Royal Dockyard Church built in the early 1800s for the dockyard's own workforce. A wedding scene from Call the Midwife was also filmed here.


Samuel Pepys visited often on Admiralty business for Charles ll and Sir Francis Drake and Lord Nelson both learned their skills here.

All in all a lovely day out and a definite return journey is planned for the summer. Take a look here for more information.

I'd like to say welcome to my new followers Gilly and RoxieandClemYeah.

See you again soon



37 comments:

  1. Hello Patricia:
    We have never, for some unknown reason, visited Chatham and this post certainly has inspired us so to do. There is clearly much of interest to be seen allowing for a full day's outing.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - we had a guided tour and when the lady told us we wouldn't see it all in one day - she was right!

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  2. That looks like an amazing place to visit, when I live there, we will have to go on a little tour somewhere and have tea together... xx

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    1. That sounds a good idea Tammy - when are you moving here, is there a date yet?

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  3. We visited it many years ago, thought the rope making factory a real joy to see although it can't have been much fun in reality.

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    1. You're right, apparently it was exceedingly hard work in those days with no machinery to aid the workers.

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  4. What an interesting place to visit. Must put that on my to do list. I mentioned it to hubbby and he know Chatham well, he delivers bulk milk to Asda nearby.
    Funny isn't it you can just live up the road and not even know its there......xx

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    1. We're the same, quite often hearing about a good place to visit when unbeknown to us its somewhere we regularly pass by on a busy A road.

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  5. Hi Patricia, the more I see of your beautiful country, the more I think about what would have happen had my ancestors not crossed the pond. Who knows we may have been neighbors. I always enjoy going along with you on your adventures. Thank you for always carrying your camera with you . . . you're a sweetheart :)
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

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    1. Hi Connie. Glad you enjoyed the trip. My camera goes everywhere with me and if I leave it at home then my phone comes to the rescue!

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  6. Hi Patricia,
    Thank you for taking us with youu, I have never been there but it looks a wonderful place to visit. It's amazing that those old building with the old timber are still standing there! Like you I love the history of these type of places.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. It really was steeped in history and there was much more to see too.

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  7. I am pleased that I clicked on the photos, some of the buildings are particularly interesting. I love the old white buildings constructed from the timbers of warships.
    Next time "call the midwife" is on, I shall be watching closely to see if I can recognise any of the areas used.

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    1. I watched it on Sunday and don't think there were any lengthy outsides scenes to view.

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  8. What a fascinating place! I'd love to visit one day, although from what you say more than one day is needed to see everything:)

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    1. Definitely a few days to see it all. We bought an upgrade to our ticket which gives us a year's worth of visits.

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  9. Looks like you had a great day out, I love the look of those old buildings.

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    1. Yes it was a good day and the weather was kind too.

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  10. What a lovely trip - I love seeing photos like this and imagining visiting the places :) Call the midwife is about to start being shown on tv here in Spain so I'll keep my eye open and see if I can spot that church. Elisabeth x

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    1. It's a good series I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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    2. I hope so!
      By the way, there is an award waiting for you over at my blog :)

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  11. Thanks for this wonderful tour ....Beautiful photos...
    (I love Call The Midwife..)
    Hugs
    Erna x

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    1. Thank you Erna. I love it too and hope they make another series.

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  12. A really interesting wander around! I will also be watching "Call the Midwife" and looking for bits I can recognise now!

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    1. Thank you Anne. I like going to different places a bit out of the ordinary

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  13. I did enjoy this fascinating post , Patricia. Another place I'd love to visit and thanks to your lovely photos I have much more idea what to look for if I ever get there. I've wondered where they found such atmospheric locations for Call The Midwife and now I know. I shall watch both series with even more interest now. :-)

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  14. Replies
    1. Do you know, it wasn't on my list of 'must visit' places but so glad we did.

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  15. Patricia, I haven't seen these films but I guess this place goes wonderfully for filming, because of it historical meaning. Interesting trip!

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    1. Thank you Nadezda, it was so interesting.

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  16. That looks and sounds like a very interesting place to visit, I think my husband especially would appreciate it as he was in the navy for many years.

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    1. Thanks a lot and I definitely think he'd enjoy it Paula.

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  17. When I think of Chatham I associate it with Charles Dickens. The place is certainly steeped in history so there must be many places of interest there and it's good to see the well conserved areas around the docklands. Thank you for the tour. You were blessed by good weather too!

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    1. Ah Linda I'm a great Dickens fan and yes there was mention of him. His father worked there and apparently Charles used to take his lunch to him every day and spent a lot of time at the Dockyard. Just around the corner there is something called 'Dickens World' but I must admit it looked a bit tacky, more on the lines of a theme park type of thing. I'd rather go to Rochester where its very Dickens orientated.

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  18. We have never been but they do look interesting and just our sort of place to visit. Thank you for sharing it with us. Xxx

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    1. Thanks Lyn. I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

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