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The History of Kent

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History of Chattenden

Chattenden comes from the Old English ‘dun’ meaning ‘hill’ combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘Ceatta’s hill’.


In 1873, the Royal School of Military Engineering, based in Chattenden, laid the Chattenden and Upnor Railway as a training exercise. The line ran from Pontoon Hard by the River Medway and climbed steeply towards Chattenden. Until 1895, a branch ran from Chattenden to Hoo. In 1885, the 8th Railway Company of the Royal Engineers, who managed the line, re-laid and converted it to 2ft. 6in gauge. The Navy took over the entire Chattenden enclosure in 1905 and the railway the following year, re-naming it the 'Lodge Hill and Upnor Railway'. The railway saw intensive use during the Second World War, although traffic declined after the end of hostilities and it closed in 1961.