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Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a free-to-visit* historical site the whole family can enjoy, with 20 acres of green space all linked to the Great Lines Heritage Park. Built during Napoleonic times to defend Medway from a land-based attack, Fort Amherst has been restored to reflect its national and local importance.

Take pride in local history; explore a maze of underground defensive tunnels; enjoy spectacular views; step back in time to imagine the life of a Napoleonic soldier; and discover Fort Amherst’s strategic role in defending Medway in both World War I and World War II.

Fort Amherst’s main purpose was the defence of Chatham Dockyard from a landward attack by an invading army. With nearly two miles of ramparts, gun positions, barracks and underground works it was a formidable obstacle! Part of the site included a chalk pit with caves. These caves were extended between 1776 and 1805, creating underground tunnels and gun positions that would be well protected in the event of a siege – and allow the enemy to be fired on without being seen. The tunnels were equipped with a well, privies (toilets), gun positions, musket galleries and defendable gateways.

Today Fort Amherst has 20 acres of grounds to explore with walk-in access from the Great Lines Heritage Park by the Naval Memorial, from Amherst Redoubt by the Garrison Church on Maxwell Road, Brompton and from Barrack Hill off Dock Road, Chatham. There are also tunnel tours, however these are unavailable until after our Halloween event. During your visit make sure to visit The Pantry Café for a bite to eat, here you can also buy a guide book to help you explore.

Ground opening times are seasonal so please check our website to avoid disappointment.

*There is a charge for tunnel tours and some special events.