Rochester Cathedral and castle from the River Medway

In June 2017 Medway in Kent will commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway with a series of exhibitions and activities across the region.

The programme of events will take place between 8th and 17th June, and highlights will include a new Heritage Lottery funded Battle of Medway gallery at Upnor Castle, the very epicentre of the battle, and a new exhibition at the Historic Dockyard Chatham. 

The anniversary commemorates what’s described as one of England’s greatest naval disasters from June 1667, when a Dutch fleet sailed up the River Medway and caught the English unprepared.

This daring invasion is said to have brought the second Anglo-Dutch War to an end.

Battle of Medway commemorative events

The Historic Dockyard Chatham will host an international exhibition called Dutch Raid Exhibition, running from June until September, exploring new research into the Dutch origins of the battle.

There will also be Dutch themed learning and family activities, talks and entertainment.

Groups can also visit The Guildhall Museum in Rochester, which will present an exhibition called The Journey to Chatham: the Dutch Perspective of the Battle of Medway.

This exhibition will run from 6th May to 12th November and show contemporary Dutch prints of the battle and of the men who fought in it.

The prints will be displayed alongside the plans of the fortifications built by the English to defend Sheerness and Chatham in the wake of the unprecedented naval disaster.

GTOs can also plan in a visit to Upnor Castle, which will be home to a new visual display that puts the events of 1667 into context.

The interpretation will allow visitors to learn about the daring Dutch masterplan that led to the naval defeat, and the golden age of maritime supremacy that followed.

Visitors to Medway in June can also observe a Medway in Flames display on the River Medway; this will involve the historic naval battle being re-told with river displays.

Groups travel organisers should visit for further information.

(Photo credit: VisitEngland and VisitKent).