Medway is a conurbation and unitary authority in South East England. 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.

It is colloquially known as The Medway Towns. Over half of the unitary authority area is parished and rural in nature. Because of its strategic location by the major crossing of the River Medway, it has made a wide and historically significant contribution to Kent, and 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 (the second oldest in Britain), and the Chatham naval dockyard and its associated defences.

The main towns involved in the conurbation are (from west to east in terms of geographical position): Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, and Rainham. Many smaller towns and villages such as Frindsbury, Brompton, Walderslade, Luton, Wigmore etc., lie within the conurbation. Outside the urban area the villages retain parish councils. Cuxton, Halling and Wouldham lie in the Medway Gap region to the south of Rochester and Strood. Hoo St Werburgh which hosts the Kingsnorth power station, Cliffe, High Halstow, Allhallows, Stoke and Grain lie 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 (SSSIs). 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 also 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.

Read more about Medway:  History, Naval and Military History, Future Development, Medway Unitary Authority, Current Makeup, Demographics, Economy

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