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Steam, Steel & Submarines

The Dockyard story through the industrial revolution and two World Wars.

Steam, Steel and submarines

power, strength & adaption

The 19th and 20th century represented times of great change at Chatham Dockyard. Steam, Steel and Submarines looks at this defining period of power, strength and adaption to new technology.

Explore 150 years of rapid technological advances and adaptations, from the development iron-hulled warships through to the nuclear powered submarines of the Cold War, many of which were refitted at Chatham. It also reveals the vital activities of Chatham and its workers during the two World Wars.

The gallery focuses on social history, incorporating first-hand accounts from dock-workers who witnessed these changes and lived through the painful closure. Other highlights include archive photography and paintings, colourful figureheads and a naval contact mine, bristling with firing pins.


We have worked with AccessAble to create individual access guides to our galleries and spaces. These guides give you the detailed information you need to work out if a space is going to be accessible to you.

Steam, Steel & Submarines Access Guide

Parking, Entrance, Ticket Office & Shop Guide

Changing Places & Accessible Toilets Guide

Getting Around Guide