There will be a number of additions and enhancements at Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent after it was given a grant to help encourage visitors after the Covid-19 pandemic.

HMS Gannet at The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Source: Matty Graham

Three historic warships, including HMS Gannet, can be explored at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent.

The funding will be used to support the redevelopment of the popular Victorian Ropery gallery, telling the 400-year-old story of ropemaking at Chatham – a process that continues to this day.

The project will see improved interpretation within the gallery and a newly acquired collection of objects from the Museum of Knots and Sailors’ Ropeworks. The experience will also allow an increase in the number of visitors able to access the guided tours of the Ropery complex each day. It is expected that the project will begin towards the end of 2021 and open to the public in 2022.

Historic Dockyard Chatham

Source: Louise Hubbard Photography

The Victorian Ropery will be developed and is expected to open to visitors in 2022.

Funding from this grant will also support a new temporary exhibition in No.1 Smithery gallery for the 2021 visitor season. The exhibition, entitled Hidden Heroines: the untold stories of the women of the dockyard, will explore the valuable roles women played throughout the Dockyard’s history, right up to present day. Further details of this exhibition will be announced shortly.

Richard Morsley, chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, said: “This support will enable us to enhance our gallery spaces and find new ways to tell the fascinating stories of the Historic Dockyard Chatham, reach wider audiences, and assist our post Covid-19 recovery.

“The Garfield Weston Foundation has previously funded a number of projects for the Trust, including No.1 Smithery and Command of the Oceans and we are delighted the Foundation has been able to provide support once again.”

Group-specific tours

The Dockyard runs a number of group tours including the popular Call the Midwife Official Location Tours which visits various areas used for many of the scenes in the BBC One series.

Call the Midwife tour at Historic Dockyard Chatham

The Call the Midwife tours are especially popular for groups. 

It has a new tour, Women of the Dockyard, which explores the untold stories of the women of the Dockyard and the different roles they have had over the past 400 years. 

For more information about what’s available for groups, visit