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Visit Medway in June to enjoy battle commemorations
9 January 2017
Medway will be welcoming visitors from far and wide in June, as
the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway is commemorated
through a fortnight of events, including spectacular displays, one
off exhibitions and VIP visits.
The battle, in which the Dutch launched a daring assault on the
English, has great national and international significance due to
its momentous consequences impacting the British economy. The
battle led to huge investment in new ships and dockyard facilities,
laying the foundations of British supremacy at sea for the next 200
years and contributing to Britain’s economic success and the growth
of the empire. It also eventually led to the Dutch monarch becoming
England’s king after the Glorious Revolution.
Three-hundred-and-fifty years on, it’s time to remember the epic
events of June 1667, an often forgotten dark time in Medway’s naval
history, with a two-week extravaganza from 8-17 June, full of
entertainment, history, and education.
Commemoration events - 8 to 17 June
Among the events will be a new Heritage Lottery funded Battle of
Medway gallery at Upnor Castle, the very epicentre of the Battle,
and a one off exhibition at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham which
will explore the battle through contemporary accounts and items of
significance borrowed from Dutch and UK national museums. The
Command of the Oceans galleries, also at the Dockyard, will
highlight the major investment in new ships and Dockyard facilities
as a result of the battle.
Finale event - 17 June
The grand finale event on 17 June, called Medway in Flames, will
be held at the battle site on the River Medway at Chatham
overlooked by Upnor Castle and The Historic Dockyard, from which
the English fired at Dutch vessels in a bid to stop the onslaught
of their ships.
Visitors from far and wide are invited to enjoy the fortnight of
events and what is set to be a magnificent, large scale finale
event, reliving the action that dramatically brought the second
Anglo-Dutch war to an end. Expect water screens, projections,
characters, pyrotechnics, special effects, fireworks and much
The events in June will not only remember what happened, but
also highlight the relationship and growing connections between the
Dutch and English – from fire to friendship. The Dutch too will be
celebrating the anniversary of The Battle of Medway, or Tocht naar
Chatham as it’s known in the Netherlands which translates as
Journey to Chatham, during the week commencing 19 June.
All commemoration events in Medway have been organised by Medway
Council and the Historic Dockyard, Chatham.
Council Leader Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “You do not want to miss
out on the events in Medway in summer 2017. It’s important that we
remember the history on our door step and we want to welcome
visitors to Medway to learn, share and be enthused by a large but
often forgotten part of English history. We want to share the
two-week experience and our dramatic finale event with both local
people and visitors from further afield.
“We’ve been very fortunate to receive Heritage Lottery Funding
to help us celebrate this important anniversary with a new gallery
at Upnor Castle.”
Richard Holdsworth, Preservation & Education Director at
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said: “The events of June 1667
marked a significant moment in our national story and we are
delighted at this opportunity to take part in the celebrations and
display extraordinary objects from the period held in Dutch and
British national collections.
“Visitors will also be able to enjoy our Command of the Oceans
galleries telling the complete dockyard story from the period and
the role it and the people of Chatham played during this and other
important events in British and world history. It’s going to be
quite a year.”
Find out more
There's lots more information available on the Battle of Medway website or join
the conversation on Twitter with #BoM350