Historic Dockyard Chatham

Historic Dockyard Chatham
The Historic Dockyard







01634 823800

Information Line

01634 823807

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
The Historic Dockyard Chathm
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A unique, award winning maritime heritage destination with a fantastic range of attractions, iconic buildings and historic ships to explore, PLUS a fabulous programme of temporary exhibitions at No.1 Smithery.

Make rope on the Victorian Ropery Tour; be gripped by stories of life aboard our Three Historic Warships, see BIG ‘things’ in 3 Slip The BIG Space and hear of heroic stories in RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection. Visit the beautiful Commissioner's garden and the Railway Workshop Picnic and Play indoor soft play or the outdoor adventure play areas.

No. 1 Smithery: National Treasures Inspiring Culture is an all round treasure house for the whole family with brilliant new galleries displaying world class maritime treasures from two national museums and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and family activities.

Steam, Steel & Submarines - explores the Royal Navy’s use of the River Medway in the 19th and 20th centuries, representing a time of power, strength and adaptation, not only in terms of the ships built, but the people behind the dockyard, without which Britain may not have achieved such global influence.

Incredible value for money! With so much to see and do, you can come back again and again with your 12 month ticket. (Terms and conditions apply).

Venue Type:

Ship or maritime heritage site

Opening hours

See www.thedockyard.co.uk as seasonal opening applies:
15 February - 30 November 10am-6pm BST, 10am-4pm GMT
Closed during January and December

Admission charges


Adults: £18.50
Concessions: £16.00
Children: (5-15 yrs) - £11.50
Family: (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children £49.50
Additional Family Child - £8.00


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage
Getting there

By Rail: For the Historic Dockyard Chatham please alight at Chatham.
(40 mins from London St. Pancras, 1 hour from London Victoria and 1 hour from Margate)

By Bus: Local Bus Routes Arriva 140 & 141 and Nu-Venture 151.

By Road: Follow brown tourist anchor signs from A2/M2 Junctions 1 or 4, or M20 Junction 6

For Satellite Navagation please use ME4 4TY

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
The Model of the First Figurehead Ornate

HMS Victory - The Untold Story

  • 14 February — 31 May 2015 *on now

The year 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of the launch of the world’s oldest commissioned, and most famous warship, HMS Victory.

On 7th May 1765 HMS Victory was floated out of the Old Single Dock in Chatham's Royal Dockyard. In the years to come, over an unusually long service, she would gain recognition, leading fleets in the American War of Independence (1775-1783), the French Revolutionary War (1793-1802) and the Napoleonic War (1803-1815). In October 1805 she achieved everlasting international fame as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson in Britain's greatest naval victory, the defeat of the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Chatham, Kent is intrinsically linked to HMS Victory: In addition to her launch at Chatham in 1765, Nelson joined his first ship HMS Raisonnable on the River Medway in 1771 and in the same year joined his uncle’s ship HMS Triumph at Chatham as a captain’s servant. There is no better place to commemorate this auspicious anniversary than at The Historic Dockyard Chatham through a new exhibition which delves beneath the surface of Britain’s most iconic warship, opening on 14th February.
“HMS VICTORY: THE UNTOLD STORY”- curated by historian, writer and broadcaster Brian Lavery - explores Victory’s career, unearthing surprising and often little known stories leading up to and in the aftermath of the Battle of Trafalgar.

HMS Victory’s fame is understandably thought of in terms of that fateful afternoon at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, when Vice-Admiral Nelson was struck down on her deck - having both secured the victory that would see Great Britain’s dominance at sea for more than a century to follow; and sealed that moment in history when man and ship became enshrined into Britain’s national conscience. However, there is much more to Victory than meets the eye.

Twenty two objects are on loan from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich including two impressive models of Victory showing the changes in her construction, a stunning decorative sword, original letters and plans, plus what is thought to be one of the earliest known representations identified as Victory at the head of the Fleet.

Generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection is the Nelson Bullet; the single lead musket ball which dealt the fatal blow on October 21st 1805 - mounted, with some remnants of gold lace from Admiral Nelson's uniform.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is HMS Victory’s figurehead on loan from the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth.



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Full Steam Ahead at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

‘All The Fun Of The Fair’ at the Festival of Steam and Transport

  • 5 — 6 April 2015

It is ‘Full Steam Ahead’ to the Festival of Steam and Transport at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, on Easter Sunday and Monday, 5th and 6th April. This event promises to be a carnival spectacular for all ages. With an ALL INCLUSIVE Steam Funfair, street entertainment, live music, walkabout acts and a fun two day programme to keep family and friends fully entertained. Time for visitors to enjoy all the fun of the fair! One price, one place – all inclusive fun! A great start to the Easter holidays.

Alongside even more steam displays and exhibits, Steam Trains will be in motion and hundreds of classic cars will line the streets, for the avid transport fan! There will be entertainment every step of the way. A free Steam Funfair will delight visitors, including Golden Gallopers, Chair-O-Planes and a Ferris wheel, to ride on again and again all day! Street entertainers include themed jugglers, stilt walks, unicyclists, balloon acts, bubble makers, Morris dancers, Steampunks, craft displays and walkabout acts add to the carnival atmosphere. Live music from some of the best flash mob and walkabout bands will fill the air, playing the best in party, pop and steel drum music. Steam Wagon rides, animals to pet, farmers market and so much more, completes the family fun.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


On the day Event Admission prices:
Adult £14.50; Concession £12.00; Child (5-15 years) £9.50; Family (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) £40.00; Additional Family Child £6.00. Children under 5 years Free.
Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Early Bird discounted tickets are now available to purchase online.



Getting there

By Rail: For the Historic Dockyard Chatham please alight at Chatham.
(40 mins from London St. Pancras, 1 hour from London Victoria and 1 hour from Margate)

By Bus: Local Bus Routes Arriva 140 & 141 and Nu-Venture 151.

By Road: Follow brown tourist anchor signs from A2/M2 Junctions 1 or 4, or M20 Junction 6

For Satellite Navagation please use ME4 4TY