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Chatham Dockyard facts for kids

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HM Dockyard, Chatham

Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. It was established in Chatham in the mid-16th century. The dockyard was then expanded into neighbouring Gillingham. Chatham Dockyards and its Defences are part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It existed after the Reformation. It was at a time when relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened, which increased the need for additional defences.

For 414 years, 500 ships were made available for the Royal Navy because of Chatham Royal Dockyard. It was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology. At its height, it employed over 10,000 skilled artisans. It covered 400 acres (1.6 km2).

Chatham Dockyard was closed in 1984. The 84 acres (34 ha) Georgian dockyard is now managed as the Chatham Historic Dockyard. It is a visitor attraction by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.


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