Command of the Heights, Fort Amherst, Chatham

Restoration of the historic Fort Amherst, Medway Council, Kent

Located directly to the north east of Chathams town centre, Fort Amherst is one of the countries best preserved Napoloeonic Fortresses. It was built to defend Chatham and the historic Dockyard in the 17th Century at the height of the threat of invasion from the French and Spanish. 

The intertwining high fortress walls and underground tunnels of this Napoleonic Fortress, make the visitor experience of Fort Amherst, a memorable one. The history and culture of the communities and soldiers who lived and worked here, will be told through the physical experience of the fort landscapes.

The aim of the project is to restore, conserve and enhance the important history of the site, to celebrate its history and its past, but also to create a vibrant and welcoming space to help secure a sustainable future for the site. The landscape strategy includes the removal of the Riverside One building to open up the lower end of the barrier ditch as it would have been historically, and creation of a new waterside public realm space in this location which will also aim to provide a strong physical connection to the Chatham town centre.

The public realm works in this area will be sensitive to the historic context of the site, whilst at the same time providing a high quality public space which draws people in and begins to tell the story of the ‘Command of the Heights’.

Re-opening the historic draw-bridge 'Barrier Bridge' to create a new entrance to Fort Amherst to create a strong physical connection to Chatham town centre; And the restoration, enhancement and re-opening of the Spur Battery and the creation of a new amphitheatre / performance venue.

The aim will also be to bring the history of the site back to life through interventions and installations which will help to tell the story of the past, as well as the future through interpretation and artwork as part of the new landscape design and public realm.