A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to engage in minesweeping. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, waterways are kept clear for safe shipping. Although naval warfare has a long history, the earliest known usage of the naval mine dates to the Ming dynasty. Dedicated minesweepers, only appear in the historical record several centuries to the Crimean War, where they were deployed by the British. In the Crimean War, minesweepers consisted of British rowboats trailing grapnels to snag the mines. Despite the use of mines in the American Civil War, there are no records of effective minesweeping being used. Officials in the Union Army attempted to create the first minesweeper but were plagued by flawed designs and abandoned the project. Minesweeping technology picked up in the Russo-Japanese War, using aging torpedo boats as minesweepers. In Britain, naval leaders recognized before the outbreak of World War I that the development of sea mines was a threat to the nation's shipping and began efforts to counter the threat.
Sir Arthur Wilson noted the real threat of the time was blockade aided by not invasion. The function of the fishing fleet's trawlers with their trawl gear was recognized as having a natural connection with mine clearance and, among other things, trawlers were used to keep the English Channel clear of mines. A Trawler Section of the Royal Navy Reserve became the predecessor of the mine sweeping forces with specially designed ships and equipment to follow; these reserve Trawler Section fishermen and their trawlers were activated, supplied with mine gear, rifles and pay as the first minesweepers. The dedicated, purpose-built minesweeper first appeared during World War I with the Flower-class minesweeping sloop. By the end of the War, naval mine technology had grown beyond the ability of minesweepers to detect and remove. Minesweeping made significant advancements during World War II. Combatant nations adapted ships to the task of minesweeping, including Australia's 35 civilian ships that became Auxiliary Minesweepers.
Both Allied and Axis countries made heavy use of minesweepers throughout the war. Historian Gordon Williamson wrote that "Germany's minesweepers alone formed a massive proportion of its total strength, are much the unsung heroes of the Kriegsmarine." Naval mines remained a threat after the war ended, minesweeping crews were still active after VJ Day. After the Second World War, allied countries worked on new classes of minesweepers ranging from 120-ton designs for clearing estuaries to 735-ton oceangoing vessels; the United States Navy used specialized Mechanized Landing Craft to sweep shallow harbors in and around North Korea. As of June 2012, the U. S. Navy had four minesweepers deployed to the Persian Gulf to address regional instabilities. Minesweepers are equipped with mechanical or electrical devices, known as "sweeps", for disabling mines; the modern minesweeper is designed to reduce the chances of it detonating mines itself. Mechanical sweeps are devices designed to cut the anchoring cables of moored mines, preferably attach a tag to help the subsequent localization and neutralization.
They are towed behind the minesweeper, use a towed body to maintain the sweep at the desired depth and position. Influence sweeps are equipment towed, that emulate a particular ship signature, thereby causing a mine to detonate; the most common such sweeps are acoustic generators. There are two modes of operating an influence sweep: MSM and TSM. MSM sweeping is founded on intelligence on a given type of mine, produces the output required for detonation of this mine. If such intelligence is unavailable, the TSM sweeping instead reproduces the influence of the friendly ship, about to transit the area. TSM sweeping thus clears. However, mines directed at other ships might remain; the minesweeper differs from a minehunter. Minesweepers are in many cases complementary to minehunters, depending on the operation and the environment. Both kinds of ships are collectively called mine countermeasure vessels, a term applied to a vessel that combines both roles; the first such ship was HMS Wilton the first warship to be constructed from fiberglass.
HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen – famous for her escape from Surabaya in 1942 disguised as a tropical island HMS Bronington – commanded by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales Calypso – research vessel of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Now converted to a yacht club's club house and moored on the foreshore between Leigh-on-Sea and Westcliff in Essex, England USS Lucid – The last surviving U. S. Navy MSO hull, it is in process of being restored as a museum USS Guardian – Grounded on a reef in the Philippines in 2013. HMCS Bras d'Or – Royal Canadian Navy minesweeper lost in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Boltenhagen and Pasewalk, East German minesweepers purchased by Malta and used as patrol boats P29 and P31 and sunk as diving sites in 2007 and 2009. List of minesweeper classes Minehunter Demining Naval Mine List of mine warfare vessels of the United States Navy List of mine countermeasure vessels of the Royal Navy List of mine warfare vess
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west; the county shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury; the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is in Kent, in Medway, it is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history. France can be seen in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles; because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". Kent's economy is diversified. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials and scientific research. Coal mining has played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald; the name Kent is believed to be of British Celtic origin and was known in Old English as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice.
In Latin sources Kent is mentioned as Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge". If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain; the area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway megaliths were built during the Neolithic era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup and the Roman villas of the Darent valley; the modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC; the extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses.
Caesar wrote that the people of Kent are'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. East Kent became a kingdom of the Jutes during the 5th century and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835; the early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Kent people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury as their capital. In 597, Pope Gregory I appointed the religious missionary as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity; the Diocese of Canterbury became England's first Episcopal See with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered"; this naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent people's continued resistance against the Normans led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067.
Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales and Scotland. Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, into lathes and hundreds; the traditional border of East and West Kent was the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I; the Royal Navy first used the River Medway in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, houses for officials had
Caird & Company
Caird & Company was a Scottish shipbuilding and engineering firm based in Greenock. The company was established in 1828 by John Caird when he received an order to re-engine Clyde paddle-tugs. John's relative James Tennant Caird joined the company in 1831, after leaving to work for Randolph, Elder & Co in Glasgow, rejoined the family business for good in 1838. A year after the death of Robert Caird, the company was sold to Harland & Wolff Ltd in 1916 for £432,493; the firm continued trading as a separate enterprise, with Arthur and Patrick Caird on the board, until 1922. The Arthur Street engine works was sold to John G. Kincaid & Company in 1919. In the early years Caird & Co were responsible for fitting steam engines in ships. An example of this is the Glasgow fitted with a side-lever engine by Caird & Co in 1828 for G & J Burns; this being an engine running on only 5psi steam pressure, as was common at the time. In 1828 Caird & Co re-engined the paddle steamer Industry, replacing the original single cylinder engine rated at 10 hp with a Caird single cylinder engine rated at 14 hp.
In 1845 details and drawings of Caird engines fitted in four West India Mail-Packets were published, these being the "Clyde", "Tay", "Tweed" and "Teviot". These were side-lever engines, with two cylinders of diameter of 74.5in and stroke of 90in, driving 30 ft paddle-wheels, running at 15rpm. These mail packets were operated by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Collated records of ships built on the Clyde suggest that Caird contracted out the building of the wooden hulls for these mail packets; the Clyde was built by Robert Duncan of Greenock and launched in Feb 1841, registered Dec 1841. The Tay was built by Charles Wood of Dumbarton, launched in July 1841, registered Dec 1841; the Tweed was built by Thomson & Speirs of Greenock, launched in Apr 1841, registered in Dec 1841. The Teviot was built by Robert Duncan of Greenock, launched in Oct 1841, registered in Feb 1842. Other ships fitted with engines by Caird include: The steam tugs Hercules and Gulliver built by Robert Steele & Co of Greenock in 1820s The paddle-steamer Liverpool built by Robert Steele & Co of Greenock 1830 The steam tug Samson built by William Denny of Dumbarton in 1819.
Caird engine fitted 1831 The paddle-steamer Gazelle built by Murries & Clark of Greenock 1832 The paddle-steamer Dolphin built by James Lang of Dumbarton 1834 The paddle-steamer Eagle built by Robert Steele & Co of Greenock 1835 The paddle-steamer Unicorn built by Robert Steele & Co of Greenock 1836 The paddle-steamer Juno built by Robert Duncan of Greenock 1837 The paddle-steamer Achilles built by Robert Steels & Co, launched May 1839 The tug Conqueror built by Robert Duncan of Greenock 1840 The paddle-steamer Flambeau built by Robert Duncan of Greenock 1840Following this Caird fitted engines to a significant number of screw-steamers built by other companies those built by Denny of Dumbarton up until 1851, other ship builders until 1863. PS Sea Nymph PS Tynwald SS Atrato SS Teutonia SS Austria SS Saxonia SS Bremen 1 SS Hansa SS Lord Clyde PS Alfred SS Germania PS Snaefell PS Agnes E. Fry PS Douglas SS Hermann PS Stanley SS Princess Alice SS Deutschland PS Tynwald SS Baltimore SS Berlin SS Cimbria SS Weser SS Rhein 1 SS Donau SS Main SS Westphalia SS Leipzig SS Ohio SS Silesia SS Germania SS Vandalia SS Bokhara SS Frisia SS Strassburg RMS City of Chester SS Oder SS Saint Simon SS City of Berlin SS Governor General Loudon SV Inchgreen PS Snaefell Template:SS Valetta 1883 SS Coromandel SS India RMS Arabia SS Assaye SS Sobraon SS Persia SS Plassy RMS Moldavia SS Wimmera SS Delhi SS Devanha SS Marama SS Malwa SS Mantua RMS Medina HMAS Berrima HMS P.22 HMS P.35 HMS P.42 HMS P.43 SS Burgondier Edward Caird, philosopher John Caird and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow Robert Caird, head of the company "Caird and Co".
Rochester is a town and was a historic city in the unitary authority of Medway in Kent, England. It is at the lowest bridging point of the River Medway about 30 miles from London. Rochester was for many years a favourite of Charles Dickens, who owned nearby Gads Hill Place, basing many of his novels on the area; the Diocese of Rochester, the second oldest in England, is centred on Rochester Cathedral and was responsible for the founding of a school, now The King's School in 604 AD, recognised as being the second oldest continuously running school in the world. Rochester Castle, built by Bishop Gundulf of Rochester, has one of the best preserved keeps in either England or France, during the First Barons' War in King John's reign, baronial forces captured the castle from Archbishop Stephen Langton and held it against the king, who besieged it. Rochester and its neighbours and Gillingham, Strood and a number of outlying villages form a single large urban area known as the Medway Towns with a population of about 250,000.
These places nowadays make up the Medway Unitary Authority area. It was, until 1998, under the control of Kent County Council and is still part of the ceremonial county of Kent, under the latest Lieutenancies Act; the Romano-British name for Rochester was Durobrivae Durobrivis c. 730 and Dorobrevis in 844. The two cited origins of this name are that it either came from "stronghold by the bridge" or is the latinisation of the British word Dourbruf meaning "swiftstream". Durobrivis was pronounced'Robrivis. In times, the word cæster was added to the name and the city was called Robrivis Cæster. Bede mentions the city in ca. 730 and calls it Hrofes cæster, mistaking its meaning as Hrofi's fortified camp. From this we get 811 Hrofescester, 1086 Rovescester, 1610 Rochester; the Latinised adjective'Roffensis' refers to Rochester. Neolithic remains have been found in the vicinity of Rochester. During the Celtic period it was one of the two administrative centres of the Cantiaci tribe. During the Roman conquest of Britain a decisive battle was fought at the Medway somewhere near Rochester.
The first bridge was subsequently constructed early in the Roman period. During the Roman period the settlement was walled in stone. King Ethelbert of Kent established a legal system, preserved in the 12th century Textus Roffensis. In AD 604 the bishopric and cathedral were founded. During this period, from the recall of the legions until the Norman conquest, Rochester was sacked at least twice and besieged on another occasion; the medieval period saw the building of the current cathedral, the building of two castles and the establishment of a significant town. Rochester Castle saw action in the sieges of 1215 and 1264, its basic street plan was set out, constrained by the river, Watling Street, Rochester Priory and the castle. Rochester has produced two martyrs: St John Fisher, executed by Henry VIII for refusing to sanction the divorce of Catherine of Aragon; the city was raided by the Dutch as part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch, commanded by Admiral de Ruijter, broke through the chain at Upnor and sailed to Rochester Bridge capturing part of the English fleet and burning it.
Rochester has for centuries been of great strategic importance through its position near the confluence of the Thames and the Medway. Rochester Castle was built to guard the river crossing, the Royal Dockyard's establishment at Chatham witnessed the beginning of the Royal Navy's long period of supremacy; the town, as part of Medway, is surrounded by two circles of fortresses. The outer line of Palmerston Forts was built during the 1860s in light of the report by the Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom and consists of Fort Borstal, Fort Bridgewood, Fort Luton, the Twydall Redoubts, with two additional forts on islands in the Medway, namely Fort Hoo and Fort Darnet. During the First World War the Short Brothers' aircraft manufacturing company developed the first plane to launch a torpedo, the Short Admiralty Type 184, at its seaplane factory on the River Medway not far from Rochester Castle. In the intervening period between the 20th century World Wars the company established a world-wide reputation as a constructor of flying boats with aircraft such as the Singapore, Empire'C'-Class and Sunderland.
During the Second World War, Shorts designed and manufactured the first four-engined bomber, the Stirling. The UK's decline in naval power and shipbuilding competitiveness led to the government decommissioning the RN Shipyard at Chatham in 1984, which led to the subsequent demise of much local maritime industry. Rochester and its neighbouring communities were hit hard by this and have experienced a painful adjustment to a post-industrial economy, with much social deprivation and unemployment resulting. On the closure of Chatham Dockyard the area experienced an unprecedented surge in unemployment to 24%. Rochester was recognised as a City from 1211 to 1998; the City of Rochester's ancient status was unique, as it had no formal council or Charter Trustees nor a Mayor, instead having the office of Admiral of the River Medway, whose incumbent acted as de facto civic leader. Since Norman times Rochester had always governed land on the other side of the Medway in Strood, known as Strood Intra.
Great Yarmouth known to locals as Yarmouth, is a seaside town in Norfolk, England. It straddles the narrow mouth of the River Yare 20 miles east of Norwich, it had an estimated population of 38,693 at the 2011 Census, making it the most third populous place in Norfolk. The town has been a seaside resort since 1760, was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century, it is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea. For hundreds of years it was a major fishing port, depending on the herring fishery, but its fishing industry suffered a steep decline in the second half of the 20th century, has now all but disappeared; the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1960s led to a flourishing oil rig supply industry, today it services offshore natural gas rigs. More the development of renewable energy sources offshore wind power, has created further opportunities for support services. A wind farm of 30 generators is within sight of the town on the Scroby Sands. Great Yarmouth rose to prominence and as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in 1844 making it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Yarmouth, triggering an influx of settlers.
Wellington Pier was built in 1854, Britannia Pier opened in 1858. Throughout the 20th century, Yarmouth continued to be a booming resort, with a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. In addition to its beach, Yarmouth's major attractions and landmarks include Britannia Pier, the Pleasure Beach, the Sea Life Centre, the Hippodrome Circus and the Time and Tide Museum, as well as the UK's only surviving Victorian seaside cast iron and glass Winter Garden; the town itself is on a 3.1-mile spit sandwiched between the North River Yare. Its well-known features include the main tourist sector on the seafront; the area is linked to Gorleston and Southtown by Haven Bridge and to the A47 and A149 by the Breydon Bridge. The urban area that makes up the town of Great Yarmouth has an area of 8.3 sq mi and according to the Office for National Statistics in 2002 had a population of 47,288. It is the main town in the larger Borough of Great Yarmouth.
The ONS identify a Great Yarmouth Urban Area, which has a population of 68,317, including the sub-areas of Caister-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth. The wider borough of Great Yarmouth has a population of around 92,500, increasing to 97,277 at the 2011 census. Great Yarmouth was 92.8% White British, with the next biggest ethnic demographic being Other White, at 3.5%, which consists of Eastern Europeans. Great Yarmouth lies near the site of the Roman fort camp of Gariannonum at the mouth of the River Yare, its situation having attracted fishermen from the Cinque Ports, a permanent settlement was made, the town numbered 70 burgesses before the Norman Conquest. Henry I placed it under the rule of a reeve. In 1101 the Church of St Nicholas was founded by Herbert de Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich, consecrated in 1119; this was to be the first of several priories founded in what was a wealthy trading centre of considerable importance. In 1208, King John granted a charter to Great Yarmouth; the charter gave his burgesses of Yarmouth general liberties according to the customs of Oxford, a gild merchant and weekly hustings, amplified by several charters asserting the rights of the borough against Little Yarmouth and Gorleston.
The town is bound to send to the sheriffs of Norwich every year one hundred herrings, baked in twenty four pasties, which the sheriffs are to deliver to the lord of the manor of East Carlton, to convey them to the King. The hospital was founded in Yarmouth in the reign of Edward I by Thomas Fastolfe, father of Thomas Fastolf, the Bishop of St David's.. In 1551, a grammar school founded and the great hall of the old hospital was appropriated to its use; the school was closed from 1757 to 1860, was re-established by the charity trustees, settled in new buildings in 1872. In 1552 Edward VI granted a charter of admiralty jurisdiction confirmed and extended by James I. In 1668 Charles II incorporated Little Yarmouth in the borough by a charter which with one brief exception remained in force until 1703, when Queen Anne replaced the two bailiffs by a mayor. In 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War the Zealand Expedition was assembled in the town. In 1702 the corporation founded the Fishermen's Hospital.
In the early 18th century Yarmouth, as a thriving herring port, was vividly and admiringly described several times in Daniel Defoe's travel journals, in part as follows: Yarmouth is an antient town, much older than Norwich. It is plac'd on a peninsula between the sea; the ships ride here so close, as it were, keeping up one another, with their head-fasts on shore, that for half a mile together, they go cross the stream with their bolsprits over the land, their bowes, or heads, touching the wharf.
Medway is a conurbation and unitary authority in Kent in the region of South East England. It had a population in 2014 of 274,015; the unitary authority was formed in 1998 when the City of Rochester-upon-Medway amalgamated with Gillingham Borough Council and part of Kent County Council to form Medway Council, a unitary authority independent of Kent County Council. Over half of the unitary authority area is rural in nature; because of its strategic location by the major crossing of the River Medway, it has made a wide and significant contribution to Kent, to England, dating back thousands of years, as evident in the siting of Watling Street by the Romans and by the Norman Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral and the Chatham naval dockyard and its associated defences. The main towns in the conurbation are: Strood, Chatham and Rainham; these are traditionally known as the Medway Towns. Many smaller towns and villages such as Frindsbury, Walderslade, Wigmore etc. lie within the conurbation. Outside the urban area, the villages retain parish councils.
Cuxton and Wouldham are in the Medway Gap region to the south of Rochester and Strood. Hoo St Werburgh, High Halstow, St Mary Hoo, Allhallows and Grain are on the Hoo Peninsula to the north. Frindsbury Extra including Upnor borders Strood. Medway includes parts of the North Kent Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Other similar areas of conservation include Ranscombe Farm on chalk grassland and woodland between Strood and Cuxton, with rare woodland flowers and orchids. Medway is one of the boroughs included in the Thames Gateway development scheme, it is the home of Universities at Medway, a tri-partite collaboration of the University of Greenwich, the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University on a single campus in Chatham, together with the University for the Creative Arts, which has a campus in Rochester. The Medway area has a long and varied history dominated by the city of Rochester and by the naval and military establishments principally in Chatham and Gillingham.
Rochester was established on an Iron Age site by the Romans, who called it Durobrivae, to control the point where Watling Street crossed the River Medway. Rochester became a walled town and, under Saxon influence, a mint was established here; the first cathedral was built by Bishop Justus in 604 and rebuilt under the Normans by Bishop Gundulf, who built the castle that stands opposite the cathedral. Rochester was an important point for people travelling the Pilgrims' Way, which stretches from Winchester to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury; the Pilgrims' Way crossed the Medway near Cuxton. In Rochester, parts of the Roman city wall are still in evidence, the city has many fine buildings, such as the Guildhall, built in 1687 and is among the finest 17th-century civic buildings in Kent. In Medway there are 832 Listed buildings and 22 conservation areas; the Royal Navy opened a anchorage dockyard in Gillingham during the reign of Henry VIII, in 1567 the Royal Naval Dockyard was established in Medway.
Although it is called Chatham dockyard, two-thirds of the dockyard lie within Gillingham. The dockyard was closed in 1984, with the loss of eight thousand jobs at the dockyard itself and many more in local supply industries, contributing to a mid-1980s Medway unemployment rate of sixteen percent, it was protected by a series of forts including Fort Amherst and the Lines, Fort Pitt and Fort Borstal. The majority of surviving buildings in the Historic Dockyard are Georgian, it was here that HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was built and launched in 1765. Sir Francis Drake learned his seamanship on the Medway. Other notable sea-faring and naval figures, such as William Adams, were raised on the Medway but apprenticed elsewhere; the river was further protected by such fortifications as Upnor Castle which, in 1667 in varying accounts says it was successful in thwarting the Dutch raid on the dockyard, or the commanding officer fled without firing on the Dutch. Another warship built at Chatham that still exists is HMS Unicorn laid down in February 1822, launched 30 March 1824.
She never has been restored and is preserved afloat in Dundee, Scotland. There have been other naval disasters in Medway other than the Raid on the Medway. On 25 November 1914 the battleship HMS Bulwark was moored at buoy number 17 at Kethole Reach on the River Medway, she was taking on coal from the airship base at Kingsnorth, on the Isle of Grain when an internal explosion ripped the ship apart. In all, the explosion killed 51 officers. Five of the 14 men who survived died of their wounds, all of the others were wounded. There are mass and individual graves in Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham for the Bulwark's dead, who were drawn from the Portsmouth area; the explosion could be heard from up to 20 mi at Whitstable. In terms of loss of l