Located on the River Medway, it came into existence at the time when, following the Reformation, relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened, leading to a requirement for additional defences. For 414 years Chatham Dockyard provided over 500 ships for the Royal Navy, and was forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology. At its height, it employed over 10,000 skilled artisans and covered 400 acres (1.6 km²). Chatham dockyard closed in 1984, and 84 acres (340,000 m2) of the Georgian dockyard is now managed as a visitor attraction by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.
From the Spanish Armada to the Falklands Crisis ships built, repaired and manned from Chatham secured and maintained Britain’s command of the world ocean’s and the global position it has today.
Over the years, Chatham Dockyard has become a popular location for filming due to its varied and interesting areas such as the cobbled streets, church and over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. Productions that have chosen to film at Chatham Dockyard include: Les Misérables, Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Oliver Twist and The World is Not Enough.