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History of Upnor
Upnor comes from the Old English ‘æt þæm ōre’ meaning ‘at the bank’
Upnor castle is a Grade: I listed building. Elizabeth I built it in 1559 as a defence
for the fleet, most of which, moored in the Medway. By 1601, the castle had gun platforms
flanked by two towers, holding more gun emplacements, gatehouse, courtyard and residential
block for the gunners. In 1667, a Dutch squadron sailed up the Medway setting ships
alight and stole the English flagship ‘The Royal Charles’. However, their plan had
been to reach the Chatham dockyard, which Upnor Castle had helped prevent. In the
17th century, the castles effectiveness had declined and the navy converted it into
a magazine, after making many alterations. Upnor Castle continued in this role until
the 19th century.
Upnor church is dedicated to Saint Philip and Saint James. The architect Ewan Christian
built it in 1884, the year the ecclesiastical parish split from Frindsbury – although
reabsorbed in 1955.