Historic Dockyard Chatham covered 400 acres and for over 400 years supported the Royal Navy by building, repairing and maintaining its warships.  It was one of the Royal Navy's main facilities until it was closed in 1984.

One of Britain's most important Royal Dockyards, it was associated with many great historical figures of their time - great seamen like Sir Francis Drake and Lord Nelson, as well as literary legends such as Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens.  The dockyard's role in supporting the fleet linked it to many of the most significant events in history - from the Spanish Armada to the Cold War; events that shaped the world we live in today.

- Three historic warshipsHMS GannetHMS Cavalier and HMS Ocelot.  Nowhere can you get a sense of how British maritime innovation, engineering and design broke the mould than on these three historic warships.

- RNLI historic lifeboat collection: the UK's largest collection of historic lifeboats, which together have saved hundreds of lives off the coasts of the UK and RoI.  From an 1897 pulling and sailing lifeboat, to the familiar Arun class and Blue Peter inflatable inshore vessels, visitors explore how lifeboats have changed over the last century through interactive displays, archive film and audio clips.

- The Ropery: a Grade 1 listed building, Georgian and Victorian rope factory where rope has been made for almost 400 years.  Its rope, still made on the Ropewalk, has been used to rig the mightiest vessels ever to take to the sea.  Today, Chatham is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and together with its related buildings, forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain.

As a Shipshape South East Hub, the museum offers a range of activities and services available to local historic vessel owners, skilled craftsmen, businesses, heritage organisations, training bodies and maritime enthusiasts.  

Find out more about Historic Dockyard Chatham and the conservation of their extensive vessel collection. 

What is a Shipshape Hub? 

NHS-UK have partnered with eight organisations across the UK to act as Shipshape Hubs for their region. Hubs are Shipshape ambassadors that aim to bring organisations and individual vessel projects together, host activities and assist the sector to achieve more in the local area. In direct association with NHS–UK, the Hub carries out Network-related projects, supports the sector and helps attract funds, giving advice to Network members.

Download our Hub leaflet for more information.

Hub Services and Activities 

Sharing knowledge and expertise - Offering advice and guidance to anyone undertaking conservation projects or funding applications.

Network events - Fostering links across the region.

Representing Shipshape South East - Championing the South East's maritime heritage at local and national events. 

Get in touch

Contact your Hub to find out more about their activities and services. 

Email your enquiry to Historic Dockyard Chatham: Contact form 

Visit the museum's website: www.thedockyard.co.uk

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Historic Dockyard Chatham