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St.Mary Magdalene Church ,Gillingham,Kent

St.Mary Magdalene Church ,Gillingham,Kent
Made by john47kent
It is suggested that the first village of Gillingham was established during the first half of the 7th century AD in the vicinity of Gillingham Green. Associated with this village would have been a church, possibly of timber construction, although no evidence of this has been located. Gillingham had been, both before and after the Norman Conquest (1066), a possession of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1070 Lanfranc arrived in Canterbury as Archbishop of Canterbury. Lanfranc spent a considerable amount of time in the reorganisation and rebuilding of the English Church, and it is suggested that the rebuilding of Gillingham Church was a part of this programme. During the second half of the 12th century it was decided to construct a Palace for the Archbishops. The church itself would at this time have been situated within the precinct (Which covered around 20 acres) and would have been the Palace's chapel. By the 14th century Gillingham had achieved considerable importance. The church was considerably enlarged, while a fair and market were allowed to be held. The fair was held once a year, and the market weekly. The Palace, like many other ecclesiastical establishments, was suppressed by Henry VIII in the 16th century. Major restoration work was undertaken on the church during the 19th century. Indeed records indicate that the structure had deteriorated considerably and was in a very bad state of repair at that time.All the stained glass windows date from this time. Two notable events from The Churches history are : Walter de Merton was consecrated as Bishop of Rochester here in 1274. The explorer William “Will” Adams was baptized here on 24 September 1564.Will Adams went on to befriend The Shogun, Iyeyasu Tokugawa, in Japan.His life was dramatised in The Last Samurai

Chatham Town Hall Chatham Kent

Chatham Town Hall Chatham Kent
Made by john47kent
Chatham pronounced Chat-um, was first recorded in 880 as Cetham, the Forrest settlement .The Doomsday book records the name as Ceteham. It stands on the ancient Celtic route between Dover and London. The Romans paved this route and the Anglo – Saxons called it Watling Street. It is now known as The A2. It remained a small village until the 16th century, when Henry VIII changed Chatham forever. In 1547 he leased two storehouses on the banks of The River Medway, at Chatham and naval warships were moored in the river for the first time. It was officially established as a Royal Dockyard by Elizabeth 1st in 1568. The first warship known to have been built at Chatham was the Sunne, a pinnace of five guns, launched in 1586 From the mid 17th Centaury Chatham became The Royal Navy’s pre-eminent ship building and repair yard. The whole British fleet would over winter in The River Medway .Chatham grew in size and importance. As time passed, hundreds of ships were built at Chatham; including Nelsons Flagship HMS Victory .Chatham was made a Borough in 1890, a town in 1900 and The Town Hall Built. The first Mayor of Chatham was George Winch. In 1984 The Dockyard closed. Thousands lost their jobs and unemployment in the area rose to over 20 %. Chatham has never been the same. Chatham is now part of The Borough of Medway; the Town Hall is now The Brook Theatre.

Sunset over The Royal Naval Memorial

Sunset over The Royal Naval Memorial
Made by john47kent
Taken from The Great Lines at Gillingham,Kent. There are many improvements being made to The Lines. Access is being improved for both pedestrians and emergency vehicles.Areas previously out of bounds have been opened to the public. A bridge is to be built across The Great Divide,which made Chatham Dockyard like an island.This will allow direct access to the grounds of Fort Amhurst during daylight hours.Both The Memorial and Fort Amhurst are now lit at night. It is part of a bid for World Heritage Site status for this area.The area includes : Chatham Historic Dockyard (The most complete Dockyard from the age of sail in the world) The Great Lines at Chatham. Fort Amhurst (The largest and best preserved Napoleonic Fortress in England.Built to defend Chatham Royal Naval Base and Dockyard). Parts of Chatham Riverside (Where the original Elizabethan Dockyard was) Chatham Reach,a stretch of The River Medway, including Upnor Castle,built to defend The Dockyard. Kitchener Barracks. Brompton Village,built to house Dockyard workers. Brompton Barracks.Home to The Royal Engineers since 1850.

The Royal Naval Memorial

The Royal Naval Memorial
Made by john47kent
The Great Lines Chatham Kent View large. By the end of The First World War there were tens of thousands of Royal Navy Officers, Ranks and Ratings, who had been buried or lost at sea or otherwise denied by the fortunes of war, a known and honoured grave. It was considered impractical to build a monument at sea. It was decided that monuments should be built at the three major Royal Naval Manning Bases (Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth).They would be a Monolith, with a naval theme and placed in a prominent position. Chatham’s monument stands on The Great Lines at Chatham. It lists the 8500 based at Chatham who perished. By the end of The Second World War, an additional 10000 from Chatham had perished. A second memorial was built around the first. The Memorial was built by and is maintained by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 1914 – 1918 MEMORIAL ARCHITECT – SIR ROBERT LORIMER SCULPTOR – HENRY POOLE 1939 – 1945 EXTENSION ARCHITECT – SIR EDWARD MAUFE SCULPTOR – SIR CHARLES WHEELER

Far from The Maddening Crowd ( Except for Saturdays , Sundays and School Hollidays)

Far from The Maddening Crowd ( Except for Saturdays , Sundays and School Hollidays)
Made by john47kent
Riverside Country Park Gillingham Kent View Large First I would like to say that if our Local Council had not created Riverside Country Park , Eastcourt Meddows and Motney Hill Nature Reserves , by now all of this stretch of Lower Gillingham would probably be luxury houses overlooking The River Medway . There is a lot of wildlife in this area but if you want to see it , comming on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August is not a good idea . It can get crowded here . Come early or late , or better still when the weather is horrid . The wildlife here is WILD and will only come out if they think it is safe . This is the wildlife pond . Unless someone has put fish in it , there are no fish . There are however Newts , Frogs , Toads etc . Many wild birds stop off here on their way to the RSPB bird sanctuary on Nore Marsh or on their way to Elmley Marshes (RSPB) . You never know what you are going to find here. Two days before I arrived a cormorant spent ages looking for fish !!!

No sense of adventure.Walk The Wall !

No sense of adventure.Walk The Wall !
Made by john47kent
This is The Copperhouse Lane entrance to : Eastcourt Meadows Sharpes Green Bay and Riverside Country Park It is part of The Saxon Shore Way. When I was young this was an old orchard.The Trees were removed to make way for a horse riding school,which now stands empty and much vandalised. It was surrounded by a 6 FT Chain Link Fence,you had to walk the wall !People did!It is just wide enough for one person to walk along with care. There is now a roadway wide enough for Rangers vehicles to travel along. Although I have seen boats and jet-ski's launched from it,the slope on the left was for horses.They used to graze horses on the marsh.Fishermans Walk,as it appeared on maps,went right out to Nore Marsh,a couple of miles out in the estuary.Sadly,even Nore Marsh( R.S.P.B. Bird Reserve),now disappears below the waves on high tides .The only piece of Fishermans Walk left is in the upper left of the photograph

The Saxon Shore Way

The Saxon Shore Way
Made by john47kent
The Medway Estuary ,Gillingham,Kent. View large. The Seawall (Saxon Shoreway ) suddenly becomes very narrow . On the right hand side of the photograph it is only about 1ft wide (0.3 M) . When there the was an orchard here , it had a very high chain link fence around it and it was the only route .It was an experience , trying not to fall in the river. The Trees were removed to make way for an Equestrian Centre, which has now closed and been vandalised so much it is beyond repair. Since the creation of the country park there is now a pathway . The Local Council are restoring The Reed Beds in this area , which will be great for wildlife . Inland the countryside rises steaply and so the sea wall gradualy gets lower. This area of Gillingham is known as Grange . More about Grange , Grench Manor and The Cinque Port Marshes when I get a photograph of Grench Manor

Borage buds

Borage buds
Made by Claire Fun
Borage grows all over my garden and allotment after I grew some from seed a few years back (it's a prolific self seeder!). The flowers are sometimes blue, sometimes pink, and sometimes pinky blue - or bluey pink, of course! It's a herb, and the flowers are edible and sweet, and the leaves give a cucumbery taste to salad or pimms - though not too many as they have a small level of a liver-toxin chemical in them. I grow it in my tea garden as an infusion of the leaves is said to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, and is generally anti-inflammatory. Plus, it's good for companion planting (where you plant certain things together to aid their growth) as it attracts honeybees constantly, therefore helping them to pollinate whatever you've planted it near. Finally - it's beautiful, cheerful, and interesting to look at! ;)

Gone Fishing!Instead of just a wishing!

Gone Fishing!Instead of just a wishing!
Made by john47kent
For anyone who does not know what this is,it is a Cod. During Autumn,North Sea Cod slowly migrate south in preparation for spawning in Spring.During this migration they change their diet from fish, to worms and crustaceans(Crabs).They work their way down the coast of Scotland and England.They eventually enter The English Channel before disappearing. It is during the period that Cod eat worms that they can be caught from the beach.While scavenging for worms,they will often travel many miles into estuaries and be within casting range of fishermen fishing from beaches and piers. Their is also a Cod Run in spring,which only lasts about week, of Cod returning to The North Sea. The Cod in the photograph was caught at Gillingham Pier,Gillingham,Kent.It is at least 10 miles from the mouth of the River Medway.

The Medway Estuary ,Gillingham,Kent

The Medway Estuary ,Gillingham,Kent
Made by john47kent
View Large. Concrete Barges used to regularly sail up and down both The Rivers Medway and Thames .Sadly ,they are no longer used on the rivers.The local yaughting club have a good use for several barges,which they use as a breakwater. The Sea Wall is much raised in this area.Much of the land behind it is at or below sea level.The Sea Wall is also part of The Saxon Shore Way and is a very good place to walk and quite nice when the tide is in and the sun shining. The small clumps of marshland used to be quite big islands.The largest one in this area has now completely gone. Way off in the distance are Copperhouse and Nore Marshes .They used to graze horses on these marshes.However,there is not a lot left of them and on most high tides they now disapear below the waves. Explored 28 April #403

No. 3 Slip Roof Detail

No. 3 Slip Roof Detail
Made by Steeve Lane
Number 3 Slip at Chatham Dockyard dates from 1838. When surveyed for conservation works it was found that, due to timber decay, only two of the 38 pillars were supporting the roof. The adjacent and slightly later iron slip roofs needed to be re-clad in corrugated iron with a profile that matched the original, as the cladding performed a structural role. Unfortunately, the last rolling mill in the UK closed before the work was started, so it was necessary to press each corrugated iron sheet, with a considerable increase in cost. When built this immense covered slip was Europe’s largest wide span timber structure. Now part of the Dockyard museum housing all the large exhibits and a Grade 1 listed building. Must be seen to get the full effect.

Lets all go down The Strand ,have a Banana !! (That's the other Strand)

Lets all go down The Strand ,have a Banana !! (That's the other Strand)
Made by john47kent
The Strand , Gillingham , Kent . I had been intending to take a series of photographs for a contact of mine , who lived in this area many years ago . However , it has changed so much I will just write what is there now . Strand Cafe : Ideal for Tea , Coffee and Ice Cream . Seating area outside . Large fenced off area with seating and gates , with swings etc for children . The Strand Swimming Pool . The only open air pool in the area , now more like a funpool than a coventional swimming pool. Paddling Pool which is also fenced off . A realy good Crazy Golf Course . Pitch and Putt Course . Tennis Courts . Minature Train Ride . This used to be steam but is now Diesel . Public Conveniences . Car Parking A causway for access to The River Medway

Just when you thought it was safe to go out again!

Just when you thought it was safe to go out again!
Made by john47kent
No Snow! No Ice!. It had stopped raining so hard that I had been considering building an Ark! My Mum (76) is always saying that she misses not being able to go down the river,like she used to.She was let out of hospital early on 23rd December,after having her left knee replaced for the third time.I thought it would be nice to go and take some photographs for her to look at. BAD IDEA! The tide was out! The ground is so saturated it is like a bog.After a few paces I had so much soil stuck to my trainers that I felt like I was wearing divers boots! I nearly fell of the sea wall where it was so slippery! I got mud all up my trousers! I got soaked and frozen in the fog! This was as far as I got!

Horrid Hill! It's not much of a hill and it does not look horrid !

Horrid Hill! It's not much of a hill and it does not look horrid !
Made by john47kent
Horrid Hill and the very low land approaching it forms the eastern side of Sharps Green Bay,which is part of Riverside Country Park at Gillingham,Kent. Photograph taken from Riverside across the marshes. During Spring Tides (Very high Tides),Horrid Hill becomes a small island.Rangers have erected a barrier, which closes across the route leading out there, to stop people walking out there during high tides but......... WHY IS IT CALLED HORRID HILL ? In days gone bye,prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions, on rotting hulks, moored in The River Medway. If they should escape ,only to be caught again,they were hung from The Hill,as an example to others! That is horrid!

The Saxon Shore Way

The Saxon Shore Way
Made by john47kent
The Medway Estuary ,Gillingham,Kent. View Large. This photograph was taken from what was the garden of a Farm House . It is now on a dual carriageway which links Watling Street ( A2 , London to Dover Road) and the tunnel under The River Medway. The sea wall is much raised here ,as the surrounding countryside is below or at sea level . It is part of The Saxon Shoreway and apart from being raised over the centuries follows the same route. Much of the surrounding countryside was farms, orchards and fields but housing is taking over . This is the coastal route into what is now known as Gillingham Country Park from The Strand. I first followed this route in a Pushchair .

Holy Trinity Church, Twydall, Kent

Holy Trinity Church, Twydall, Kent
Made by aldisley
Newsflash: plans to demolish the church have been withdrawn at the last minute. See comment below. Despite a recent Grade II listing, Medway's most distinctive 20th century building remains the subject of an active planning application for demolition. It and its hall would be replaced by a single multi-purpose building and some twenty or so small houses and flats crammed onto the site with inadequate parking. The congregation feels unable to raise the money needed to maintain the roof (a minimum of £80,000), although no grants have been sought since listing. A planning decision is due on the demolition in early January 2010.

Pristine DMS Magic!

Pristine DMS Magic!
Made by Buswine
Quiet why anyone would want to go on a sightseeing tour of Chatham I don't know, but taken here in the Summer of 2007 is The Kings Ferry DMS KUC 958P. After spending just 6 years at Hanwell for London Transport, it went to the Medway Towns for Maidstone & District. It spent 11 years there (I used to school on this bus on the 143) before being sold to The Big Bus Company and converted to Open Tour in 1994 where it spent another 12 years. It was then bought by The Kings Ferry and turned out in this livery. It looks immaculate! It's now owned by a promo company in Somerset and I bet it looks nowhere as good!

The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch
Made by john47kent
View Large. Taken at the Gillingham end of The Great Lines. I know nothing about wild flowers.I know there are poppies,brambles and thistles in the photograph.That's as far as it goes! The Great Lines are Chalk Downland,74 Acres in total.A lot of it is inaccessible to the public.Somewhere, in all that area, grows a rare type of thistle,which only grows on Chalk Downland.One day I may find one.lol. I hope to have enough photographs soon to explain what The Great Lines were,are now and will be in the future.

Beautiful pulsatilla flower

Beautiful pulsatilla flower
Made by Claire Fun
SO I accidentally deleted this one while trying to delete the other version I had of this one. Sorry about that, I'm a big klutz! Here is a re-upload of a picture I took in my mums garden of a pulsatilla flower. I love plants and flowers and really enjoy taking photographs of them, so I should do it more! Despite having a large garden now, I still haven't grown any of these myself - but I don't know why really, as they're are quite lovely, don't you agree? :D

St.Mary Magdalene Church ,Gillingham,Kent

St.Mary Magdalene Church ,Gillingham,Kent
Made by john47kent
St.Mary's is Gillingham Parish Church. It stands on Gillingham Green and was built in Norman Times Two notable events from The Churches history are : Walter de Merton was consecrated as Bishop of Rochester here in 1274. The explorer William “Will” Adams was baptized here on 24 September 1564.Will Adams went on to befriend The Shogun, Iyeyasu Tokugawa, in Japan.His life was dramatised in The Last Samurai See : for more information



Nearest places of interest:

Capstone Country Park
Luton Recreation Ground
Gillingham Business Park
Hempstead
  4-4-2 Social Club
Commonwealth War Graves GILLINGHAM CWGC
Gillingham Golf Club
The Robert Napier School

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