Visiting Fort Amherst
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In 1667 the Dutch raided the River Medway and attacked Chathamâ€™s Royal Dockyard. During the devastating attack, thirteen ships were destroyed and two were taken including the flagship of the fleet, the â€˜Royal Charlesâ€™. At that point in time there were no defences protecting the Dockyard against a land based attack, and the raid by the Dutch led to a review of the defences protecting this important site. As well as improved defence of the River Medway the review included proposals to protect the landward side of the Dockyard which would also serve to disrupt an invasion party heading towards London. This is where the story of Fort Amherst and Chatham Lines begins. In 1708 plans were beginning to be drawn up to construct a fortification to protect the Royal Dockyard from a land based attack. In 1714 land was bought for the construction of the fortifications but work did not start until 1755. The fortifications were to be built on the ditch and rampart principle; this was a common method of fortification construction during this period.
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