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Medway
Medway
is a conurbation and unitary authority in Kent
Kent
in the region of South East England. It had a population in 2014 of 274,015.[3] The unitary authority was formed in 1998 when the City of Rochester-upon-Medway
Rochester-upon-Medway
amalgamated with Gillingham Borough Council and part of Kent
Kent
County Council to form Medway
Medway
Council, a unitary authority independent of Kent
Kent
County Council.[4] Over half of the unitary authority area is rural in nature. Because of its strategic location by the major crossing of the River Medway, it has made a wide and significant contribution to Kent, and to England, dating back thousands of years, as evident in the siting of Watling Street by the Romans and by the Norman Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral (the second oldest in Britain) and the Chatham naval dockyard and its associated defences. The main towns in the conurbation are (from west to east): Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, and Rainham. These are traditionally known as the Medway
Medway
Towns. Many smaller towns and villages such as Frindsbury, Brompton, Walderslade, Luton, Wigmore etc., lie within the conurbation. Outside the urban area, the villages retain parish councils. Cuxton, Halling and Wouldham
Wouldham
are in the Medway Gap
Medway Gap
region to the south of Rochester and Strood. Hoo St Werburgh, Cliffe, High Halstow, St Mary Hoo, Allhallows, Stoke and Grain are on the Hoo Peninsula to the north. Frindsbury
Frindsbury
Extra including Upnor
Upnor
borders Strood. Medway
Medway
includes parts of the North Kent
Kent
Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special
Special
Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Other similar areas of conservation include Ranscombe Farm on chalk grassland and woodland between Strood
Strood
and Cuxton, with rare woodland flowers and orchids. Medway
Medway
is one of the boroughs included in the Thames Gateway development scheme. It is also the home of Universities at Medway, a tri-partite collaboration of the University of Greenwich, the University of Kent
Kent
and Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University
on a single campus in Chatham, together with the University for the Creative Arts, which has a campus in Rochester.

Contents

1 History 2 Naval and military history 3 21st century development

3.1 Rochester riverside 3.2 Chatham centre and waterfront 3.3 Medway
Medway
Gate 3.4 Strood
Strood
riverside 3.5 Temple Waterfront

4 Medway
Medway
unitary authority

4.1 Formation 4.2 Education

5 Current makeup 6 Demographics 7 Economy 8 Culture 9 Transport

9.1 Roadways 9.2 Buses 9.3 Coaches 9.4 Railways 9.5 Waterways 9.6 Air

10 Leisure and recreation

10.1 Notable people

11 Twin towns 12 References 13 External links

History[edit] The Medway
Medway
area has a long and varied history dominated originally by the city of Rochester and later by the naval and military establishments principally in Chatham and Gillingham. Rochester was established on an Iron Age
Iron Age
site by the Romans,[5] who called it Durobrivae (meaning "stronghold by the bridge"), to control the point where Watling Street
Watling Street
(now the A2) crossed the River Medway. Rochester later became a walled town and, under later Saxon influence, a mint was established here. The first cathedral was built by Bishop Justus
Justus
in 604 and rebuilt under the Normans
Normans
by Bishop Gundulf, who also built the castle that stands opposite the cathedral. Rochester was also an important point for people travelling the Pilgrims' Way, which stretches from Winchester
Winchester
to the shrine of Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
at Canterbury. The Pilgrims' Way
Pilgrims' Way
crossed the Medway
Medway
near Cuxton. In Rochester, parts of the Roman city wall are still in evidence, and the city has many fine buildings, such as the Guildhall (today a museum), which was built in 1687 and is among the finest 17th-century civic buildings in Kent;[6] the Corn Exchange, built in 1698, originally the Butcher's Market; the small Tudor house of Watts Charity endowed by Sir Richard Watts
Richard Watts
to house "six poor travelers" for one night each; Satis House and Old Hall, both visited by Queen Elizabeth I, built in 1573.[5] In Medway
Medway
there are 82 scheduled ancient monuments, 832 Listed buildings and 22 conservation areas.[7] Naval and military history[edit]

Dutch Attack on the Medway, June 1667 by Pieter Cornelisz van Soest, painted c. 1667. The captured ship HMS Royal Charles is right of centre

The Chatham naval memorial
Chatham naval memorial
commemorates the 18,500 officers, ranks and ratings of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
who were lost or buried at sea in the two World Wars. It stands on the Great Lines between Chatham and Gillingham.

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
opened a anchorage dockyard in Gillingham (Jillingham Water) during the reign of Henry VIII, in 1567 the Royal Naval Dockyard was established in Medway.[8] Although it is called Chatham dockyard, two-thirds of the dockyard lie within Gillingham. The dockyard was closed in 1984, with the loss of eight thousand jobs at the dockyard itself and many more in local supply industries, contributing to a mid-1980s Medway
Medway
unemployment rate of sixteen percent.[9] It was protected by a series of forts including Fort Amherst and the Lines, Fort Pitt and Fort Borstal. The majority of surviving buildings in the Historic Dockyard are Georgian. It was here that HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was built and launched in 1765.[10] Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake
learned his seamanship on the Medway; Sir John Hawkins
Sir John Hawkins
founded a hospital in Chatham for seamen, and Nelson began his Navy service at Chatham at the age of 12. Other notable sea-faring and naval figures, such as William Adams, were raised on the Medway
Medway
but apprenticed elsewhere. The river was further protected by such fortifications as Upnor
Upnor
Castle which, in 1667 in varying accounts says it was partly successful in thwarting the Dutch raid on the dockyard, or the commanding officer fled without firing on the Dutch. Another warship built at Chatham that still exists is HMS Unicorn (a 46-gun "Leda" class frigate) laid down in February 1822, and launched 30 March 1824. She never saw active service and has been restored and is (as of 2005) preserved afloat in Dundee, Scotland. There have also been other naval disasters in Medway
Medway
other than the Raid on the Medway. On 25 November 1914 the battleship HMS Bulwark was moored at buoy number 17 at Kethole Reach on the River Medway. She was taking on coal from the airship base at Kingsnorth, on the Isle of Grain
Isle of Grain
when an internal explosion (most likely the result of cordite charges stored alongside a boiler room bulkhead and failure to follow guidelines on the storage of shells) ripped the ship apart. In all, the explosion killed 745 men and 51 officers. Five of the 14 men who survived died later of their wounds, and almost all of the others were seriously wounded. There are mass and individual graves in Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham for the Bulwark's dead, who were mostly drawn from the Portsmouth
Portsmouth
area. The explosion could be heard from up to 20 mi (30 km) at Southend
Southend
and Whitstable. In terms of loss of life it remains the second worst explosion in British history.[11] Less than six months later there was a second explosion. This time it was the Princess Irene. She was a 1,500-passenger liner built at Dumbarton
Dumbarton
in 1914 for Canadian Pacific. Before she could leave Britain she was commandeered for war service and became HMS Princess Irene, and was used as a minelayer. After several trips she was back in the Medway
Medway
for a refit when on the morning of 27 May 1915 a huge internal explosion tore through the vessel, shaking the ground for miles around and showering the surrounding villages with remains of bodies and debris. 278 died, including 78 workers from nearby towns and villages. In one Sheerness
Sheerness
street there were ten who died. A Court of Inquiry was held into the loss and evidence was given that priming of the mines was being carried out hurriedly and by untrained personnel. A faulty primer was blamed for the explosion.[12] For a complete history of the dockyard, including its closure in 1984, see Chatham Dockyard. The British Army
British Army
also established barracks here; and the Royal Engineers headquarters is in Gillingham.[13] The Royal Marines
Royal Marines
also have a long association with Chatham. The Chatham Division was based in Chatham until the closure of the Chatham Dockyard. A museum dedicated to the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
can be found close to the dockyard at the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
Museum in Brompton. Founded in 1812, it moved to its current site in 1987. It was classed as Grade II listed on 5 December 1996.[14]

Chatham High Street, December 2007

21st century development[edit] The population of Medway
Medway
is projected to increase to around 278,000 by 2028 according to 2013 projections.[3] Medway Council
Medway Council
foresees total investment on development to be in excess of £1 billion over a 20-year period from 2006.[15] In 2004, Medway Council
Medway Council
announced its development strategy for the Medway
Medway
Waterfront area.[16] The report set out a 20-year framework plan for the redevelopment of up to seven miles (11 km) of waterfront and surrounding areas along the River Medway. The project aims to create between 6,000 and 8,000 new homes and 8,500 jobs, against central government targets of 16,000 new homes and 23,000 new jobs for the Medway
Medway
area as a whole.[16] Among the transport proposals set forth for consideration were a new bridge linking the Medway
Medway
City industrial estate to central Chatham; the removal of Chatham's gyratory system along with an associated relocation of the town's bus station; remodelling of Strood's one-way system; and the provision of new cycle lanes and park-and-ride services throughout the area.[16]

Chatham Bus Interchange Station, October 2011

Chatham's ring road system was subsequently changed into a two-way system in September 2006 with the Sir John Hawkins
Sir John Hawkins
flyover (pictured right in 2007) being closed before later demolition to make way for a new bus station at the end of 2008.[17] The new bus station opened in October 2011.[18] Other recent and proposed developments include: Rochester riverside[edit] In Rochester, a 74-acre (30-hectare) area of brownfield land between the river and the railway line is being developed with high-density housing. Up to 50 homes per hectare will be built. The site will also include a primary school, two hotels, business centre, health centre, cafes, restaurants, bars and various commercial units.[19]

The Quays, Chatham Dockside, December 2009

Chatham centre and waterfront[edit] Numerous developments are proposed for the Chatham area including widening and straightening Union Street, development and improvements to The Brook and new developments at Gun Wharf and Chatham Waterfront.[18] One such development at Chatham Waterfront (the area between Rochester railway station
Rochester railway station
and Chatham Dockyard) is The Quays, a mixed-use development comprising two 20-storey residential towers, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.[20]

A view of the Medway
Medway
Gate development, June 2009.

Medway
Medway
Gate[edit] A major development in Strood
Strood
between Medway
Medway
Valley Park and junction 2 of the M2 motorway, much of the Medway
Medway
Gate development is inside a large abandoned chalk pit. The area has seen the building of over 400 homes since work began in 2006, including 125 affordable homes.[21] Strood
Strood
riverside[edit] Redevelopment including new homes and a landscaped play area were completed in the 1990s, but there are plans to extend this development further along the river beyond Strood
Strood
railway station with another 500 to 600 homes to be built, the waterfront developed with new recreational and leisure facilities, and access to the station, town centre and Medway
Medway
City estate to be improved.[22] Temple Waterfront[edit] This 173-acre (70-hectare) area between the river and Morgan's Timber yard in Strood
Strood
(formerly a Templar farm)[23] has plans for 600 homes to be built along with 161,458 square feet (15,000 square metres) of commercial space and a new two-hectare site for Morgan's Timber.[23] Medway
Medway
unitary authority[edit] Formation[edit] Throughout the 19th century there had been proposals to join the Medway
Medway
towns under a single authority. By 1903 moves began to take place: that year saw the creation of the Borough of Gillingham, to which, in 1928, the adjoining parish of Rainham was added. In 1944, a Medway
Medway
Towns Joint Amalgamation Committee was formed by the borough corporations of Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester, to discuss the possibility of the towns forming a single county borough. In 1948 the Local Government Boundary Commission recommended that the area become a "most purposes" county borough, but the recommendation was not carried out. In 1956 the Joint Amalgamation Committee decided in favour of the amalgamation and invited representatives from Strood Rural District Council to join the Committee.[24] In 1960, a proposal was made by Rochester Council that the merger be effected by the city absorbing the two other towns, in order to safeguard its ancient charters and city status. This led to Gillingham Council voting to leave the committee, as it believed the three towns should go forward as equal partners.[25] On 9 March, the committee held its last meeting, with the Chatham representatives voting to dissolve the body and those from Rochester voting against. The motion to disband was passed on the casting vote of the chairman, Alderman Semple from Chatham.[26] Under the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 the City of Rochester, the Borough of Chatham and part of Strood
Strood
Rural District were amalgamated to form the Borough of Medway, a local government district in the county of Kent. Gillingham chose to remain separate. Under letters patent the former city council area was to continue to be styled the "City of Rochester" to "perpetuate the ancient name" and to recall "the long history and proud heritage of the said city".[27] The city was unique, as it had no council or charter trustees and no mayor or civic head. In 1979, the Borough of Medway
Medway
was renamed as Rochester-upon-Medway, and in 1982 further letters patent transferred the city status to the entire borough.[28] On 1 April 1998, the existing local government districts of Rochester-upon-Medway
Rochester-upon-Medway
and Gillingham were abolished under the local government review and merged to become the new unitary authority of Medway, administratively independent from Kent
Kent
County Council; though, under the earlier Lieutenancies Act, Medway
Medway
was placed with Kent,[1] and as this has not been amended,[29] Medway
Medway
is still listed with Kent purely as a ceremonial county. Since it was the local government district of Rochester-upon-Medway
Rochester-upon-Medway
that officially held city status under the 1982 letters patent, when it was abolished, it also ceased to be a city. The other local government districts with city status that were abolished around this time (Bath and Hereford) appointed charter trustees to maintain the existence of the city and the mayoralty. However, Rochester-upon-Medway
Rochester-upon-Medway
City Council had decided not to and as a result their city status was rescinded. Medway
Medway
Council apparently only became aware of this when they discovered that Rochester was not on the Lord Chancellor's Office's list of cities.[30][31] Medway
Medway
applied for city status in the 2000 and 2002 competitions, but was unsuccessful. In 2010, it started to refer to the "City of Medway" in promotional material, but it was rebuked and instructed not to do so in future by the Advertising Standards Authority.[32] Medway Council
Medway Council
made a further bid for city status in 2012, when three cities were afforded the honour as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee civic honours competition.[33] Ultimately Medway
Medway
was unsuccessful with the eventual winners being Chelmsford (Essex), Perth (Perthshire), and St Asaph (Denbighshire).[34] Education[edit] Main article: List of schools in Medway Medway
Medway
operates a two-tier education system, with academic selection for admission to secondary schools determined by the Eleven plus exam. There are a number of grammar schools located in the area, the other secondary schools in Medway
Medway
being non-selective (apart from one faith schools and the school on the peninsula). There are also a number of independent schools operating in the area.[35] Medway
Medway
is also home to the third largest Home School
Home School
population of children in the UK after the Isles of Scilly and Isle of Wight.[36] Current makeup[edit] The council comprises 55 councillors representing different wards. The party political breakdown of the council following the 2015 local elections is:[37]

Affiliation Councillors

Conservative Party 38

Labour Party 15

UKIP 2

Parts of the unitary authority are parished, chiefly the rural areas. There are currently 11 parishes;

Allhallows Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Cooling Cuxton Frindsbury
Frindsbury
Extra Halling High Halstow Hoo St Werburgh St James Isle of Grain St Mary Hoo Stoke

Demographics[edit]

Top 10 countries of birth in 2011[38]

Country of birth Population

United Kingdom 236,589

India 3,812

Poland 1,731

Ireland 1,725

Germany 1,542

Nigeria 1,527

South Africa 743

Bangladesh 737

Pakistan 692

Lithuania 601

Population: The population of Medway
Medway
as measured in the 2001 Census was 249,488, of which 49% were male and 51% female. Most of the population live in the Chatham and Gillingham areas: 70,540 in Chatham and 99,773 in Gillingham. Unemployment: The closure of Chatham Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard
cost some 20,000 jobs. In June 2005 local unemployment stood at 2.3% of the workforce, a total of 3,678 people. Many of the employed population of 160,000 people now work outside the district — especially in London, which has many transport links from Medway.

Economy[edit] This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Medway
Medway
at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[note 1] Agriculture[note 2] Industry[note 3] Services[note 4]

1995 1,823 21 560 1,243

2000 2,348 8 745 1,595

2003 2,671 10 802 1,859

^ Includes hunting and forestry ^ Includes energy and construction ^ Includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding

Culture[edit] Main article: Medway
Medway
scene Many bands formed or were associated with the Medway
Medway
Towns, particularly from the 1970s onwards. Chatham-born artist Billy Childish was involved or influenced many of these bands. Transport[edit] Roadways[edit]

The A2 crossing the Medway
Medway
at Rochester on the site of the Roman crossings, the medieval crossing was to the south

Watling Street
Watling Street
(the A2), the Roman road between the Channel port of Dover
Dover
and London, runs through Medway. This route became particularly congested and led to the building of the M2 to bypass the Medway
Medway
Towns to the south in the 1960s and was subsequently widened extensively at the turn of the 21st century. The A2 through the Medway
Medway
Towns varies from single carriageway to dual carriageway to "one way" systems. In places it deviates from the original route of Watling Street. The A2 leaves the main route (which bypasses Medway
Medway
by either the Northern Relief Road — The A289 or the M2) at the Three Crutches junction. The road descends through Strood
Strood
towards the river. During the descent, the road to Gravesend, the A226 joins. In Strood
Strood
the High Street is bypassed by the one-way system to the north and south encircling the High Street. The A2 crosses the Medway
Medway
via two bridges in a dual carriageway (see Rochester Bridge). One bridge is Victorian and in the position of the original Roman bridge. The second bridge is more recent and build upon the piers of the original LCDR main line railway bridge (the Chatham Main Line
Chatham Main Line
uses the SER's branch line's bridge). In Rochester the High street is bypassed to the north by the dualled Corporation Street. The A2 then crosses the high street, climbs Star Hill and follows New road by Fort Pitt / Jackson's Field to bypass Chatham to the south (by the Station, via a flyover known as New Cut). As it approaches Luton
Luton
it is a dual carriageway for a short stretch, where a major junction lies with the railway (Chatham Main line) passes overhead — this is known as Luton
Luton
Arches. It then climbs Chatham Hill (to Gillingham) now has a separate bus lane. The A2 / Watling street traditionally bypasses central Gillingham which lies to the North. From the main road to Gillingham (Canterbury Street), the A2 is dual carriageway. Here the Northern Relief Road (A289) rejoins at the Will Adams roundabout. This is swiftly followed by the Bowater roundabout where the A278 Hoath Way leads to the M2 to the South, this is so named and distinctive because of the former paper mill Bowaters at this location that left a giant water tower. A large Tesco
Tesco
supermarket currently inhabits the site. As the road progresses into Rainham it becomes single carriageway again. Connecting Medway
Medway
with neighbouring Gravesend
Gravesend
is the A226. The leaves the A2 on the hill above Strood. It is a single carriageway A road.

Junction Two of the M2 is on the A228, just before the Medway
Medway
motorway bridge. Alongside is High Speed 1. Both are seen climbing up the Nashenden Valley, towards Bluebell Hill.

The A228 runs along the west bank of the Medway, through Strood. Intersecting the M2 at its second junction, crossing the A2 through the centre of Strood
Strood
and meeting (and encompassing for a short stretch) the Northern Relief Road (A289). The road then carries on to the Isle of Grain. Throughout its passage through Strood
Strood
it is single carriageway, but the stretches to the North are dualled partially toward Grain. The road to Grain was an accident black spot, this and increased traffic from the major port of Thamesport
Thamesport
which is located to the north-west along the Medway
Medway
Estuary prompted the construction of a new dual carriageway. The A228 Main Road to Ropers Lane project was provisionally approved by the government in December 2001. Design work started in March 2000 and in February 2004, contractors got under way with moving services such as water, gas and fuel pipes. This work was vital, as the pipes actually supply the Hoo Peninsula
Hoo Peninsula
and the power station at Grain. The largest water main that was moved was 24 inches (610 mm) in diameter and the largest gas main 36 inches (914 mm). The road cost £19 million and is approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) long. The A229 starts from the A2 at the junction at the top of Star Hill alongside Jackson's Field / Fort Pitt, it follows City Way to the South where at Fort Horstead / Rochester Airport / Mid Kent
Kent
College it meets the branch from Chatham (the A230 which starts at Chatham Station / New Cut). From here it continues south, becoming dual carriageway and meeting the M2 at its third junction, which also provides access with Walderslade. This road then proceeds down Blue Bell Hill (from the summit of the North Downs) to the county town of Maidstone
Maidstone
and the M20. The A278 Hoath Way links the A2 at Gillingham to its southern suburbs (Hempstead, Wigmore and Parkwood) to the M2's fourth junction. It is dual carriageway throughout. The A289 was built in the 1990s as the Medway
Medway
Towns Northern Relief Road. Constructed in three stages, firstly it bypasses Strood
Strood
with a dual carriageway from Three Crutches (M2 J1) to the A226 and the A228 (The Wainscott Northern Bypass). It then joins the A228 (as The Wainscott Eastern Bypass) — these two part are dualled. A dualled link road leads to the Medway
Medway
Tunnel to the Chatham Dockyard. Here it meets Dock Road (A231) that leads to Chatham. The A289 continues between northern Gillingham and the river, and then turns southwards through Gillingham Golf Course to rejoin the A2 at the Will Adams roundabout. The A2045 is the A289's counterpart, however it is largely unbuilt. The Medway
Medway
Towns Southern Relief Road was proposed to link the (then) new developments to the south of Chatham (Walderslade) and Gillingham (Hempstead, Wigmore and Parkwood) with M2's J3 and the A229 to the east and the M2's J4 and A278 in the west. A single carriageway road was built south of Walderslade
Walderslade
to access the Walderslade
Walderslade
Woods and Lordswood developments. At the other end a small section was built to access the Hempstead development and its shopping centre. However, the key middle stretch was left unbuilt, a link road to central Chatham via Luton, the B2156 North Dane Way was also left incomplete with no road to link to. The removal of Medway
Medway
from Kent
Kent
(which the incomplete section would lay in) and the recent widening of M2 leaves the proposed project with little chance of completion in the foreseeable future. Buses[edit] The vast majority of local bus routes throughout Medway
Medway
are centred upon the newly opened Waterfront bus station (replacing Pentagon bus station) in Chatham. Most bus routes are run by Arriva Southern Counties, which took over the locally owned Maidstone
Maidstone
& District bus company in the 1990s. Other local bus companies including Nu-Venture
Nu-Venture
provide certain services, some under contract to the local authority. Buses are numbered between 100 and 199 for local services, with buses numbered in the 700s to show Kent
Kent
County Council subsidised services including those to Walderslade
Walderslade
and Bluewater Shopping Centre, and in the 600s for school bus services. Bus links to London
London
and other parts of the south east can be accessed via Bluewater shopping centre, near Greenhithe, which has extensive bus routes to London. Coaches[edit] Commuter coaches run from various parts of Medway
Medway
to a selection of London
London
destinations using the M2/A2. Operating companies include The Kings Ferry and Chalkwell. National Express
National Express
runs regular services from Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Chatham Waterfront bus station, and Chatham Maritime Universities to Gatwick Airport. Railways[edit]

The old Rochester station building, which is now closed. The railway passes at first floor level on a viaduct.

See also

Medway
Medway
Towns railway map Strood
Strood
Station Rochester Station Chatham Station Gillingham Station Rainham Station Cuxton
Cuxton
Station Halling Station

The Medway Council
Medway Council
area has seven railway stations. It is served by the Medway
Medway
Valley Line, the North Kent
Kent
Line and the Chatham Main Line. The owners of the Thames and Medway Canal
Thames and Medway Canal
tunnel that linked Medway (specifically Strood) with Gravesend
Gravesend
turned half their canal into a railway bringing the first rails to Medway. They were soon absorbed by the South Eastern Railway whose North Kent
Kent
Line linked Strood
Strood
with Gravesend, Dartford, and then London
London
( London
London
Bridge). Subsequently, SER extended their branch from their main line to Maidstone
Maidstone
to Strood — the Medway
Medway
Valley Line. Stations were built on the Medway
Medway
Valley line for the villages of Cuxton
Cuxton
and Halling. A rival company, the London, Chatham and Dover
Dover
Railway, built a railway between Chatham and East Kent. Unable to secure a connection and running rights over the SER's North Kent
Kent
line they built their own main line to Bromley where they connected with the West End of London & Crystal Palace Railway to gain access to London
London
Victoria. This railway became known as the Chatham Main Line. It had stations at Rochester Bridge
Rochester Bridge
which was actually in Strood, Chatham and New Brompton which was renamed Gillingham. The line was extended through Rainham to the Kent
Kent
Coast ( Thanet
Thanet
and Dover). In reaction to this strong rival the SER built a small branch alongside the LCDR over the Medway
Medway
on a parallel bridge to a station in Rochester and a terminus called Chatham Central which was actually just outside Chatham. The strenuous competition between the two companies resulted in their merger into the South Eastern and Chatham Railway
South Eastern and Chatham Railway
in 1899. Subsequent rationalisation saw the closure of the LCDR's station in Strood
Strood
and the SER's branch to Rochester and Chatham (although the bridge was retained and is used to this day). Post World War I saw the big four grouping and the SECR was merged into Southern in 1923. This led to electrification of suburban services (750 V DC third rail) which by World War II had seen electric traction reach Gillingham on the Chatham Main Line
Chatham Main Line
and Maidstone
Maidstone
West (via Strood
Strood
and the North Kent
Kent
Line) on the Medway
Medway
Valley Line. Post war (1948) saw nationalisation into British Rail, which under its 1955 modernisation part saw the completion of Southern's electrification efforts in Kent
Kent
as a key target. Thus Rainham was reached as part of this programme. It also saw the extension of platforms on the Chatham Main Line
Chatham Main Line
to 12 cars, leading to the closure of two of Chatham's four platforms. Rochester retained four platforms, while Strood
Strood
and Gillingham kept three. Rainham has only had two platforms. In December 2015 a new Rochester station opened replacing the original one. It has three platforms and can handle 12 coach trains. Extensive goods yards existed at Strood, Rochester and Gillingham. Strood
Strood
had engine sheds, while Gillingham still has carriage depots. A freight branch to Chatham Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard
also exists. The network within the dockyard has been extensively curtailed since the dockyards closure. Rail services generally consist of North Kent
Kent
Line services (to London Bridge and beyond — Charing Cross and Cannon Street) starting from Gillingham. The Medway
Medway
Valley line receives a shuttle service up and down terminating at Strood
Strood
for transfers to the North Kent
Kent
Line, although some services run through to Tonbridge
Tonbridge
and even Gatwick. The main services are on the Chatham Main line, with stopper services from Faversham
Faversham
(i.e. they stop at local stations, running fast from Bromley) and fast services from Kent
Kent
Coast (i.e. they run fast from Medway
Medway
to London). Services are currently operated by Southeastern. The High Speed 1
High Speed 1
Channel Tunnel Rail Link passes through the Medway Towns area, running parallel to the M2/A2 Trunk road. The completion of High Speed 1
High Speed 1
has seen domestic services operating on the rail link, which includes a stopping service starting at Faversham
Faversham
running to Strood
Strood
and Gravesend
Gravesend
before joining the High Speed line at Ebbsfleet. From there it travels at high speed to Stratford International
Stratford International
and St. Pancras International, where connections can now be made with mainline trains to the north of England. The rail service is extensively used by the residents of Medway
Medway
to commute into London. Waterways[edit] Although it is extensively used for leisure, the River Medway
River Medway
is not used for local transport purposes; however, cargo ships operated by Union Transport of Bromley still sail to the cement works to the south at Halling/Cuxton. Part of the closed Royal Navy
Royal Navy
base is now used as a cargo port and has Ro/Ro facilities; cargo that comes in ranges from paper pulp to dredged material, but this traffic only uses one of the three main basins. There is also a ship repair facility located in the basin. Thamesport, which is located on the edge of the Medway
Medway
Estuary on the Isle of Grain, handles the shipping of containers and fossil fuels. Kingsnorth Power Station has coal shipped in from Dunkirk. Scotline also operates a fleet of coasters for the import of wood, and has a wharf on the River Medway. There is also a wharf on the river called Eurowharf, which deals with dredged material. In addition, there was a shipping company based on the river, formerly known as Lapthorn Shipping but then as Coastal Bulk Shipping, but it ceased trading at the end of 2008. Air[edit] There are two small airports. The first, Rochester Airport, is a "grass strip" used for leisure purposes. Stoke Airfield near Grain is used by microlights and light aircraft. For scheduled air travel, Medway
Medway
residents can use Kent's Lydd Airport
Lydd Airport
(or Manston Airport
Manston Airport
until its recent closure), but these lack extensive passenger facilities or routes; thus, the main London
London
airports are used instead in most cases. Leisure and recreation[edit]

A view of former The Black Lion Leisure Centre (Now Medway
Medway
Park), April 2009.

Medway
Medway
Park (formerly The Black Lion Leisure Centre) in Gillingham is a sub-regional sports centre with three indoor pools for swimming and SCUBA diving, gym, fitness centre, sports hall and squash courts. It includes the Jumpers Rebound Centre for trampolining. Medway
Medway
Park has been upgraded for the Medway
Medway
2012 programme to secure local benefits from the London
London
Olympics. The Strand Leisure Park in Gillingham has an open-air swimming pool on the banks of the River Medway
River Medway
as well as other leisure attractions including tennis courts and a narrow-gauge railway. Strood
Strood
Sports Centre in has an indoor swimming pool, gym, sports hall, squash courts and an astroturf sports pitch. Gillingham has an ice rink, The Ice Bowl. Gillingham F.C.
Gillingham F.C.
are the main football team of the area. They play in Football League One. John Nike Ski Centre – located in Capstone near Hempstead The Splashes Leisure Centre in Rainham, Kent
Kent
has a swimming pool with indoor slide and a wave machine. It also has a small gym on the second floor.

Notable people[edit] See sections in the constituent towns.

William Adams, the first Englishman to record reaching Japan, was born in Gillingham. The Japanese Shogun made him a samurai (warrior), he is significant to Medway
Medway
because this has led to the twinning with Yokosuka and Itō, the latter being the location of the shogun ship building sites most associated with William Adams. Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
lived in Medway, a museum was in Eastgate House in Rochester until its closure in 2004. A visitor attraction based on his works, was located at Chatham Dockside until October 2016 when it closed. One of his many houses still exists in Rochester High Street today. Thomas Aveling, of Aveling and Porter, which was the first British, and once the largest, manufacturer of steamrollers in the world, is buried in the graveyard of Hoo St. Werburgh parish church. Thomas Aveling lived in Hoo St. Werburgh, a village on the Hoo Peninsula, where he invented and tested his steamrollers. Actress and model Kelly Brook
Kelly Brook
was born in Rochester and attended The Thomas Aveling School

Twin towns[edit] Medway
Medway
is twinned with:[39]

Valenciennes
Valenciennes
(France) (existing since 1955 making it the 2nd oldest such twinning in the UK) — Yokosuka and Itō (Japan) — Cádiz
Cádiz
(Spain) — Foshan
Foshan
(China)

References[edit]

^ a b "Lieutenancies Act 1997". legislation.gov.uk. 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.  ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Check Browser Settings". Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 August 2011.  ^ a b " Medway
Medway
population projection" (PDF). Medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ " Medway Council
Medway Council
– Local history: Medway
Medway
in the 20th century 1901–2000". web.archive.org. 2009. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2012.  ^ a b "Historic Rochester". BBC History Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013.  ^ "Guildhall Museum". www.medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2013.  ^ "Medway". kentculturalbaton.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2013.  ^ "Research guide: Royal Dockyard names and locations". National Archives. Retrieved 7 February 2017.  ^ "State of Medway
Medway
Report, Economy and Employment" (PDF). medway.gov.uk. July 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2018.  ^ "History of HMS Victory". HMS Victory. Retrieved 3 October 2014.  ^ "The HMS Bulwark Explosion". Historic Medway. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2015.  ^ Coleman, Roger. "The Princess Irene". Western Front Association. Retrieved 12 September 2015.  ^ "Brompton Barracks". Brompton History. Retrieved 25 March 2016.  ^ " Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
Museum, Brompton Barracks, Gillingham". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2014.  ^ "£1bn goes on Medway
Medway
'renaissance'". BBC News. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ a b c " Medway
Medway
Waterfront renaissance strategy" (PDF). Medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ "Flyover makes way for bus station". BBC News. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ a b "Chatham future". Medway.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ "Rochester riverside (March 2009)" (PDF). Medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ "Chatham Maritime". www.wilkinsoneyre.com. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.  ^ "Housing Strategy & Development News Q3 2010/11" (PDF). Medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ " Strood
Strood
Riverside". Medway.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ a b "Temple Waterfront development brief" (PDF). Medway.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ " Medway
Medway
Towns Amalgamation — Favoured by three councils", The Times, 6 November 1956 ^ "Gillingham leaving merger scheme", The Times, 3 February 1960 ^ " Medway
Medway
Towns split over merger — Committee disbands", The Times, 10 March 1960 ^ "No. 46243". The London
London
Gazette. 21 March 1974. p. 3651.  Letters Patent dated 18 March 1974, text also available from Medway Council archives website ^ "No. 48875". The London
London
Gazette. 28 January 1982. p. 1173. Publishing Letters Patent dated 25 January 1982, text also available from Medway Council
Medway Council
archives website ^ "The Local Government (Structural Changes) (Miscellaneous Amendments and Other Provision) Order 2009". legislation.gov.uk. 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.  ^ "Error costs Rochester city status", BBC news, Thursday, 16 May 2002. ^ Medway Council
Medway Council
– Regeneration and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Report on Rochester City Status, 4 March 2003. Archived 18 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "ASA Adjudication on Medway
Medway
Council". Asa.org.uk. 16 March 2011. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.  ^ " Medway
Medway
City Status Bid 2012". Medway
Medway
Council. Retrieved 9 April 2012.  ^ "Civic Honours competition results announced". Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.  ^ "Medway:Academy Report 20 Oct 2011". Retrieved 16 December 2013.  ^ "Interactive Map of Home Education Across England
England
- FutureSchool". 6 July 2015.  ^ info@medway.gov.uk, Medway
Medway
Council,. "Councillors and decision-making".  ^ "2011 Census: Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England
England
and Wales". www.ons.gov.uk. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 9 April 2016.  ^ Medway Council
Medway Council
– Twin towns Archived 16 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Medway
Medway
Council Archive Images Detailed history of the Medway
Medway
Towns Chatham's World Heritage Site application

v t e

Towns and villages in the Unitary authority
Unitary authority
of Medway
Medway
in Kent, England

Allhallows Borstal Brompton Chatham Chattenden Cliffe Cliffe Woods Cooling Cuxton Frindsbury Frindsbury
Frindsbury
Extra Gillingham Halling Hempstead High Halstow Hoo St Werburgh Isle of Grain Lordswood Rochester Rainham Rainham Mark St Mary Hoo St Mary's Island Stoke Strood Twydall Upnor Wainscott Walderslade Wigmore

List of places in Kent

v t e

Ceremonial county
Ceremonial county
of Kent

Kent
Kent
Portal

Unitary authorities

Borough of Medway

Boroughs or districts

Borough of Ashford Borough of Dartford Borough of Gravesham Borough of Maidstone Borough of Swale Borough of Tonbridge
Tonbridge
and Malling Borough of Tunbridge Wells City of Canterbury District of Dover District of Folkestone
Folkestone
& Hythe District of Sevenoaks District of Thanet

Major settlements

Ashford Broadstairs Canterbury Chatham Cranbrook Dartford Deal Dover Edenbridge Faversham Folkestone Fordwich Gillingham Gravesend Hawkinge Herne Bay Hythe Lydd Maidstone Margate New Romney Northfleet Paddock Wood Queenborough Rainham Ramsgate Rochester Royal Tunbridge Wells Sandwich Sevenoaks Sheerness Sittingbourne Snodland Southborough Strood Swanley Swanscombe Tenterden Tonbridge Walmer West Malling Westerham Westgate-on-Sea Whitstable See also: List of civil parishes in Kent

Rivers

See: Rivers of Kent

Topics

Flag Parliamentary constituencies Geography Places Population of major settlements SSSIs Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings History Schools Museums Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs People Transport Windmills Culture London
London
Paramount

v t e

Districts of South East England

Berkshire

Bracknell
Bracknell
Forest Reading Slough West Berkshire Windsor and Maidenhead Wokingham

Buckinghamshire

Aylesbury
Aylesbury
Vale Chiltern Milton Keynes South Bucks Wycombe

East Sussex

Brighton and Hove Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden

Hampshire

Basingstoke
Basingstoke
and Deane East Hampshire Eastleigh Fareham Gosport Hart Havant New Forest Portsmouth Rushmoor Southampton Test Valley Winchester

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

Kent

Ashford Canterbury Dartford Dover Gravesham Maidstone Medway Sevenoaks Folkestone
Folkestone
and Hythe Swale Thanet Tonbridge
Tonbridge
and Malling Tunbridge Wells

Oxfordshire

Cherwell Oxford South Oxfordshire Vale of White Horse West Oxfordshire

Surrey

Elmbridge Epsom
Epsom
and Ewell Guildford Mole Valley Reigate
Reigate
and Banstead Runnymede Spelthorne Surrey
Surrey
Heath Tandridge Waverley Woking

West Sussex

Adur Arun Chichester Crawley Horsham Mid Sussex Worthing

v t e

Unitary authorities of England

Districts

Bath and North East Somerset Bedford Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool Bournemouth Bracknell
Bracknell
Forest Brighton and Hove Bristol Central Bedfordshire Cheshire East Cheshire West and Chester Cornwall County Durham Darlington Derby East Riding of Yorkshire Halton Hartlepool Herefordshire Isle of Wight Kingston upon Hull Leicester Luton Medway Middlesbrough Milton Keynes North East Lincolnshire North Lincolnshire North Somerset Northumberland Nottingham Peterborough Plymouth Poole Portsmouth Reading Redcar and Cleveland Rutland Shropshire Slough Southampton Southend-on-Sea South Gloucestershire Stockton-on-Tees Stoke-on-Trent Swindon Telford and Wrekin Thurrock Torbay Warrington West Berkshire Wiltshire Windsor and Maidenhead Wokingham York

Councils

Bath and North East Somerset Bedford Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool Bournemouth Bracknell
Bracknell
Forest Brighton and Hove Bristol Central Bedfordshire Cheshire East Cheshire West and Chester Cornwall Derby Durham Darlington East Riding of Yorkshire Halton Hartlepool Herefordshire Isle of Wight Kingston upon Hull Leicester Luton Medway Middlesbrough Milton Keynes North East Lincolnshire North Lincolnshire North Somerset Northumberland Nottingham Peterborough Plymouth Poole Portsmouth Reading Redcar and Cleveland Rutland Shropshire Slough Southampton Southend-on-Sea South Gloucestershire Stockton-on-Tees Stoke-on-Trent Swindon Telford and Wrekin Thurrock Torbay Warrington West Berkshire Wiltshire Windsor and Maidenhead Wokingham York

Local elections

Bath and North East Somerset Bedford Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool Bournemouth Bracknell
Bracknell
Forest Brighton and Hove Bristol Central Bedfordshire Cheshire East Cheshire West and Chester Cornwall County Durham Darlington Derby East Riding of Yorkshire Halton Hartlepool Herefordshire Isle of Wight Kingston upon Hull Leicester Luton Medway Middlesbrough Milton Keynes North East Lincolnshire North Lincolnshire North Somerset Northumberland Nottingham Peterborough Plymouth Poole Portsmouth Reading Redcar and Cleveland Rutland Shropshire Slough Southampton Southend-on-Sea South Gloucestershire Stockton-on-Tees Stoke-on-Trent Swindon Telford and Wrekin Thurrock Torbay Warrington West Berkshire Wiltshire Windsor and Maidenhead Wokingham York

v t e

London
London
commuter belt

Home counties

Berkshire Buckinghamshire Essex Hertfordshire Kent Surrey

Urban areas

Greater London
London
Built-up Area Reading/ Wokingham
Wokingham
Urban Area Southend
Southend
Urban Area Farnborough/ Aldershot
Aldershot
Built-up Area Luton/ Dunstable
Dunstable
Urban Area High Wycombe
High Wycombe
Urban Area Medway
Medway
Towns Urban Area

Cities and towns (100k+)

Chelmsford Crawley Guildford High Wycombe London Luton Maidstone Reading Slough Southend-on-Sea

Towns (25k–99k)

Aldershot Ashford, Surrey Aylesbury Basildon Basingstoke Billericay Bishop's Stortford Borehamwood Bracknell Brentwood Burgess Hill Camberley Canvey Island Chatham Cheshunt Dartford Dunstable Epsom Ewell Earley Farnborough Farnham Fleet Gillingham Gravesend Grays Harlow Harpenden Hatfield Hemel Hempstead Horsham Hitchin Leighton Buzzard Letchworth Loughton Maidenhead Rayleigh Redhill Rochester Royal Tunbridge Wells Sittingbourne St Albans Stevenage Strood Sunbury-on-Thames Tonbridge Ware Watford Welwyn Garden City Wickford Windsor Woking Wokingham Woodley

Towns (10k–25k)

Addlestone Amersham Ashtead Baldock Beaconsfield Berkhamsted Broxbourne Buckhurst Hill Bushey Chertsey Chesham Chigwell Corringham Croxley Green Dorking East Grinstead East Malling Englefield Green Epping Frimley Frogmore Godalming Hadleigh Haywards Heath Hertford Hoddesdon Horley Houghton Regis Knaphill Marlow Potters Bar Reigate Rickmansworth Rochford Sandhurst Sevenoaks Snodland Shepperton South Benfleet Southborough, Kent Staines-upon-Thames Stanford-le-Hope Stanwell Swanley Thundersley Tilbury Tring Waltham Abbey Wal

.