Arethusa Venture Centre, with figure-head, Lower Upnor.
Upnor Castle on the River Medway
The Older London Stone standing in front of the fence of the Arethusa Venture Centre.
Map of fortifications on the Rivers Thames and Medway
A Thames Barge sails past the depot: Upnor Castle (left), 'B' Magazine (centre), No. 5 Shell Store (right).
A picture by Willem Schellincks of the raid. The view is from the south. On the left Upnor Castle is silhouetted against the flames; on the opposite side of the river more to the front the burning dockyard of Chatham. To the north the conflagration near the chain is shown and on the horizon the ruins of Sheerness Fort are still smoking.
RE assault boat training at Upper Upnor
Display of gunpowder barrels and naval howitzers in the magazine block
Former 'B' Magazine (1857) undergoing refurbishment.
View of Upnor Castle from the Medway in 1845
Former Dry Guncotton Store (right, 1895)
Annotated map of Upnor Castle
Left to right: former No 3 Shell Store (1883), Mine Testing Room (1905) and Wet Guncotton Store (1895)
Upnor Castle House, behind the perimeter wall
Left to right: Main entrance, former Filled Mine Store (1904), former Filled Shell Store (1904)
The barracks inside the perimeter wall.
South side of the curtain wall
North side of the curtain wall
Water bastion, main building and north tower
West side showing the gatehouse
Magazine, south tower and inner courtyard, viewed from the gatehouse

It is in the village of Upnor, opposite and a short distance downriver from the Chatham Dockyard, at one time a key naval facility.

- Upnor Castle

Today the two villages are mainly residential and a centre for small craft moored on the river, but Upnor Castle is a preserved monument, part of the river defences from the sixteenth century.

- Upnor
Arethusa Venture Centre, with figure-head, Lower Upnor.

4 related topics

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Chattenden Barracks

Chattenden and Lodge Hill Military Camps

Chattenden and Lodge Hill Military Camps were British Army training camps in Chattenden and Hoo St Werburgh in Kent.

Chattenden and Lodge Hill Military Camps were British Army training camps in Chattenden and Hoo St Werburgh in Kent.

Chattenden Barracks
Narrow-gauge locomotive in front of Chattenden barracks
Central Terrace: built as Police Quarters for those guarding the depot at Chattenden, later used for Explosive Ordnance Search & Disposal training.
Entrance to Lodge Hill Camp Firing Range
Former Police Office by the outer gate of the magazine compound at Chattenden.

After 1667 gunpowder began to be stored in Upnor Castle on the north/west bank of the River Medway.

During the Napoleonic Wars a gunpowder magazine was built alongside the castle at Lower Upnor designed to store a further 10,000 barrels of gunpowder, followed in 1857 by another, larger magazine which could hold up to 23,000 barrels.

RNAD Dean Hill: photograph taken inside Magazine No. 16 during the Second World War.

Royal Naval Armaments Depot

Armament depot (or a group of depots) dedicated to supplying the Royal Navy (as well as, at various times, the Royal Air Force, the British Army and foreign and Commonwealth forces).

Armament depot (or a group of depots) dedicated to supplying the Royal Navy (as well as, at various times, the Royal Air Force, the British Army and foreign and Commonwealth forces).

RNAD Dean Hill: photograph taken inside Magazine No. 16 during the Second World War.
Upnor Castle served as a magazine and store from 1668 to 1913, and continued in military use (as part of RNAD Upnor) until 1945.
Building 21, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich: Headquarters of the Naval Ordnance Store Department and its successors until 1967.
Entrance to one of the underground magazines at Dean Hill in the early 1940s.

Gunpowder was stored separately (initially in nearby fortified structures such as Portsmouth's Square Tower, Plymouth's Royal Citadel and Upnor Castle on the River Medway).

In times of conflict the demand for provision (and therefore storage) of gunpowder grew, so additional magazines were built during the French Revolutionary Wars at Tipner (from 1788) and Weedon (from 1802), and during the Napoleonic Wars at Upnor (from 1806) and Marchwood (from 1811).

1809 drawing by Benjamin Henry Latrobe showing the elevation, cross-section, and plan of a proposed gunpowder magazine

Gunpowder magazine

Magazine designed to store the explosive gunpowder in wooden barrels for safety.

Magazine designed to store the explosive gunpowder in wooden barrels for safety.

1809 drawing by Benjamin Henry Latrobe showing the elevation, cross-section, and plan of a proposed gunpowder magazine
Fort William gunpowder magazine
Camden Fort Meagher Magazine
Gunpowder magazine on St Helen's Bastion at Fort Manoel
Gunpowder magazine on Guardian Angel Bastion at Fort Chambray
A drawing of the Barout khaneh, a Powder tower in Tehran, by Eugène Flandin, 1840
Bathurst Old Powder Magazine
Tilbury: a unique pair of early 18th-century magazines within the Fort
Gunpowder magazine, Berwick
HMS Talbot at Beckton, London
Royal Gunpowder Magazine No. 5, Purfleet, Essex
The Magazine, Hyde Park
Bull Point Barracks Gatehouse
The 18th-century 'A' Magazine at Priddy's Hard
Magazine, the old gunpowder store at Sedgeford
Magazine of 1857 (centre) alongside Upnor Castle (left)
Alternating magazine and traverse buildings (left) inside the boundary wall (right) at Weedon Bec
The remote situation of a gunpowder magazine near Kilmarnock in 1819. It had gone by 1880 because of the expansion of the town.
Irvine circa 1870. The Old parish kirk, manse and gunpowder magazine are prominent on the right bank of the river.
The old Powder or Pouther magazine at Irvine dating from 1642.
Dumbarton Castle magazine
Internal detail of Dockra Powder House
The door of Dockra Powder House
Detail of locking mechanism of Dockra Powder House
The gunpowder magazine of Dockra Powder House
Camp Parapet Powder Magazine, Louisiana

In 1668, following the Dutch Raid on the Medway, Upnor Castle was reassigned from serving as an artillery fort to be 'a Place of Store and Magazine'.

Upnor, Chattenden and Lodge Hill depots remained in military ownership until the mid-2010s, when the MOD marketed the land for housing and commercial use.

Chatham Dockyard in 1790 (by Nicholas Pocock)

Chatham Dockyard

Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent.

Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent.

Chatham Dockyard in 1790 (by Nicholas Pocock)
The Dockyard as depicted by Robert Dodd in 1789
Engraving of "Chatham Dockyard from Fort Pitt" from Ireland's History of Kent, Vol. 4, 1831. Facing p. 349. Drawn by G. Sheppard, engraved by R. Roffe.
17th-century painting of naval vessels moored on the River Medway, viewed from Chatham with Rochester Bridge in the background.
Dutch Attack on the Medway, June 1667 by Pieter Cornelisz van Soest, painted c. 1667. The captured ship is right of centre.
1884 map, showing the 'Royal Dock Yard' (centre) with the river to the west, new extension to the north, barracks and fortifications to the east.
Armour plating being fitted to HMS Royal Oak at Chatham, c. 1862.
HMS Empress of India in No 8 Dock, with No 1 Boiler Shop in the background, c. 1897.
Plate-bending roller, installed in No 5 Machine Shop in 1913 and now preserved at the Historic Dockyard.
The Dockyard extension viewed from Upnor, c.1910.
Navy Day at HMNB Chatham, c.1977
Rennie's No 3 Dock of 1816–21; today it contains HMS Ocelot, the last Royal Navy vessel built at Chatham.
at Chatham Historic Dockyard
The topsail schooner Julia visiting the middle basin in 2006; behind her is the St Mary's Island housing estate
Police Section House, one of the Dockyard's many listed buildings
The Commissioner's House (1704), was built for Captain George St Lo, who found the previous house unsuitable. It remains the oldest surviving naval building in England.
The Ordnance Storekeeper's house at the heart of the former Gun Wharf
The Gun Wharf, c.1890: the 1717 Grand Store can be seen left of centre (with the Dockyard's Anchor Wharf storehouse in the distance beyond). The surviving carpenters' shop and machine shop are on the right.
The Library (former machine shop)
Surviving 1757 block from the original Infantry Barracks
Kitchener Barracks (1950s extension, demolished in 2017).
The Royal Marine Barracks in the Second World War.
Royal School of Military Engineering (1872) and Boer War Memorial Arch (1902) at Brompton Barracks.
The Garrison Church of St Barbara in Maxwell Road continues to serve Brompton Barracks.
HMS Pembroke: former officers' quarters
The Clocktower Building
Sail and Colour Loft
Masthouses and Mould Loft
Timber Seasoning sheds
Wheelwrights' shop
Joiners' Shop
Brunel Sawmill
Lower Boat House and North Mast Pond
No 3 Covered Slip
No 3 Covered Slip (interior)
Nos 4-6 Covered Slips
No 6 Covered Slip (interior)
No 7 Covered Slip
No 7 Covered Slip (interior)
Slip covers viewed from the river
No 2 Dry Dock
No 3 Dry Dock
No 4 Dry Dock
South Dock pumping station
Commissioner's House
The Commissioner's House (garden view)
The entrance to the Ice House
The Edwardian conservatory
Officers' Terrace
The Officers' Stables
The Main Gate from outside
The Main Gate from inside
The bell mast
The Guardhouse
The Cashier's Office
Assistant Queen's Harbourmaster's Office
Dockyard Church
Dockyard Church (interior)
The Admiral's Office
The Captain of the Dockyard's House and flagstaff
Anchor Wharf Store Houses
Hemp Houses and Hatchelling House
Hemp Houses and Double Ropewalk
Double Ropewalk and Black Yarn House to right
Laying the Rope
Looking at the Traveller
Tops
The Traveller
No 1 Smithery
Lead and Paint Mill
Iron Foundry (left)
No 1 Machine Shop
Galvanising Shop
Chain Cable Shed
Expanse of water in No 2 Basin
View down the length of the former No 7 Dock towards No 1 Basin (now Chatham Marina)
Remains of No 8 Machine Shop with No 1 Boiler Shop behind it
Dock pumping station (its 80 ft chimney, formerly on the plinth to the right, has been removed)
Bell Mast on Leviathan Way
Combined Ship Trade Office
Former No 1 Boiler Shop (with clock)
Former No 1 Boiler Shop (interior)
Former central offices

(Gunpowder, on the other hand, was received, stored and issued across the river at Upnor Castle.)

The oldest surviving barracks in the Chatham area is in Upnor; dating from 1718, it housed the detachment of 64 men responsible for guarding the gunpowder store in Upnor Castle.