Published: Tuesday, 23rd May 2023

Visit Medway’s heritage attractions during the May half-term to meet some extra special visitors.

As part of Medway’s Coronation celebrations, three monarchs will be visiting Upnor Castle, Eastgate House and Rochester Castle.

Visitors can meet Queen Elizabeth I at Upnor Castle on Tuesday, 30 May. Did you know that she visited Rochester in 1573? Queen Elizabeth I stayed at the Crown Inn in Rochester as well as at the home of Richard Watts – the then MP for Rochester and the founder of the Watts Charity. Find out more about her royal connections at Upnor Castle and why she had the artillery fortress built.

On your visit to Upnor Castle, take part in the textile trail, which has been created by 12 different artists. The artists used the Elizabethan artillery fort for inspiration when creating their artworks. The trail is available until Sunday, 4 June.

James I will visit Medway’s magnificent Grade 1 listed townhouse, Eastgate House, in Rochester on Wednesday, 31 May. James I visited Rochester three times during his reign, the first in 1604 when he saw his fleet in the River Medway, the second in 1606 and his final visit was in 1613. In 1606, James I inspected the navy in Chatham and visited Sir Peter Buck, a senior officer at the Royal Dockyard, at his home – Eastgate House.

Meet King John and find out more about the 1215 siege at Rochester Castle on Thursday, 1 June. Did you know that after successfully taking Rochester Bridge and capturing the castle bailey, the royal army used five siege engines to bombard the rebels inside the keep with stones? Learn more about the siege and meet King John at the castle – which has the finest and tallest Norman castle keep in the country.

Children will also be able to make their own royal crowns at The Guildhall Museum between Tuesday, 30 May and Friday, 2 June.

Delighted to be bringing history to life

Dee O’Rourke, Medway Council’s Assistant Director of Culture and Community, said: “We are incredibly proud of Medway’s rich history and are delighted to be bringing history to life at our excellent heritage attractions this half-term. Come along and meet Medway’s monarchs and discover more about the history of our local area. These fun and interactive sessions are suitable for children of all ages. Creating more opportunities for Medway’s children and young people also supports our aspiration to become even more child-friendly.”

Find out more about Medway Monarchs and discover what’s on across Medway over half term

News archive