Medway Park is Medway’s flagship £11m centre of sporting excellence. The new-look centre was created as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The result is an inspiring environment where you can share top-class community sports facilities with national and international athletes.
Medway is a conurbation in South East England made up of Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham (also known as the Medway Towns).
Population – 274,015 (last recorded 2014)
The Medway towns are of great historic significance and this is particularly well recognised through the city of Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham.
Rochester was originally created under Roman ruling, and was then called Durobrivae (“Stronghold by the bridge”). The Romans created Rochester (Durobrivae) on an Iron Age site with the intention to control the location where Watling Street (named by the Anglo-Saxons) crossed the River Medway. Later in historic events, under the Saxon generation, Rochester became a walled town and the architecture of the town began to take shape. Bishop Justus was the man to build the first cathedral. This would later be rebuilt by the Normans who continued to shape the fantastic structures we see today, including Rochester Castle.
Throughout Rochester, portions of the Roman city wall still remain alongside the towns beautiful structures including:
- The Guildhall – built in 1687
- The Corn Exchange – built in 1698
- The Tudor House of Watts Charity – 1586
- Satis House – built in 1573
- Old Hall – built in 1573
There are many more historic places to see throughout Rochester. To provide an idea of just how much there is to see, there are…
- 82 Scheduled Monuments
- 832 Listed Buildings
- 22 Conservation Areas
Chatham, similarly to Rochester, was originally paved by the Romans and follows the direction of the ancient Celtic route of Watling Street. Chatham was a small village in a convenient riverside location for 16th century warships which used the banks as a place to moor due to the town’s strategic location between London and the continent. With the location maintaining an attraction to such ships, Queen Elizabeth I later named the location as a Royal Dockyard in 1568. In the early days, the dockyard was used as a refitting and shipbuilding base, until it was extended and proudly launched hundreds of submarines and vessels including HMS Victory.
Chatham boasts a variety of landmarks and historic features including:
- The Chatham Naval Memorial
- Grade II listed Chatham Town Hall – built in 1900
- Chatham Historic Dockyard
- Fort Amherst
- HMS Cavalier
The home of Medway Park! The name Gillingham is recorded in the 1086 Domesday book. It is believed to have been named after the warlord, Gyllingas— (from the old English gyllan, meaning “to shout”). He was famous for leading his warriors into battle screaming and shouting. During the Norman Conquest, Gillingham was a small hamlet. It was given to his half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who rebuilt the parish church at Gillingham and constructed an Archbishop’s Palace on land bordered by Grange Road.
Attractions in Gillingham include:
- Royal Engineers Museum
- Riverside Country Park
- Capstone Farm Country Park
- Naval Memorial
- Medway Queen Ship