Chatham is a town on the River Medway in Kent (southeast England) with a population of 70,540. It was once a major dockyard, established as such in 1568 due to its strategic position facing the Continent which made it an ideal location to harbour warships. Its most famous launch was HMS Victory, built in the 1760s. In the nineteenth century it was a ship-building yard employing thousands of men, but with the repositioning of Britain’s naval bases its importance gradually declined and it was closed in 1984. The town still contains several defensive forts, built during the early 1800s, and the dockyard has been preserved as Chatham Historic Dockyard.