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UPNOR CASTLE

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The site of Upnor Castle, an artillery castle situated on the north-western bank of the River Medway which survives in the form of standing buildings, ruined structures and earthworks. It is constructed of ragstone faced with coursed ashlar blocks with some red brick. The castle was built in two main phases, initially between 1559 and 1567 to a design by Sir Richard Lee. The second phase of construction, dating to between 1599 and 1601, aimed mainly to improve the landward defences of the castle, and a remodelling of the frontage to form a bastion. The castle was attacked by the Dutch during the Raid on the Medway (1584349), the LOYAL LONDON (1033766), ROYAL JAMES (1179931) and ROYAL OAK (1179971) being sunk to protect the castle. Fire from the castle sank several Dutch long boats (1534250).

During the 18th century, the castle's accommodation was extended by the construction of a new barrack block and associated storage buildings. The castle and its depot continued to supply munitions to the navy until 1827, when it was fitted out as an ordnance laboratory. During World War II the castle served as part of the Magazine Establishment. After 1945, it passed out of military use and was opened to the public, and is now in the care of English Heritage. It is also a Listed Building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Upnor Castle was mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.