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Chatham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Chatham
(3.5/5 based on 2,000+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: museums, nightlife, sightseeing
Chatham is one of the Medway towns located within the Medway unitary authority, in North Kent, in South East England.Chatham Royal Dockyard closed in 1984, but major naval buildings remain as the focus for a flourishing tourist industry. Following closure, part of the site became a commercial port, other parts were redeveloped for business and residential use, and part became the Chatham Historic Dockyard museum, which features the submarine HMS Ocelot among a good many other attractions. Chatham also has military connections; several Army barracks were located here, together with 19th-century forts which provided a defensive shield for the dockyard. Brompton Barracks, located in the town, remains the headquarters of the Corps of Royal Engineers.The town has important road links and the railway and bus stations are the main interchanges for the area. It is the administrative headquarters of Medway unitary authority, as well as its principal shopping centre.HistoryThe name Chatham was first recorded as Cetham in 880. The Domesday Book records the place as Ceteham. Most books explain this name as a British root ceto (like Welsh coed) plus Old English ham, thus meaning a forest settlement. However, the river-valley situation of Chatham is more consistent with cet being an Old English survival of the element catu that was common in Roman-era names and meant 'basin' or 'valley'.
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