History of Chatham Dockyard brought to life through interactive Heritage Soundmap

The Sonic Palimpsest research team led by Dr Aki Pasoulas has produced an  interactive Heritage Soundmap of Chatham Dockyard, which allows audiences to experience the history of the site through time. 

The Soundmap is the culmination of a major AHRC project which ran from September 2020 until the end of 2022. Its aims were to explore the use of sound in heritage contexts and to recreate soundscapes of the past.  

To tell the story of Chatham Dockyard between its foundation as a working yard in 1547 and its closure in 1984, countless stories have been collected through diaries, oral history archives, written accounts, maps and photographs. The Heritage Soundmap represents a small sample of those stories, eavesdropping on past ages through a virtual time machine. 

Dr Pasoulas said “The completion of the Heritage Soundmap was a rigorous and extensive process, requiring a significant investment of time, research, and effort. Our research team collaborated with a scriptwriter and members of the Rainham Theatrical Society to bring to life scenes from bygone eras of the dockyard. We extend our gratitude to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust for granting us access to their impressive archival collection, which proved to be an invaluable resource in the creation of the project.” 

The Soundmap has been installed at the Steam, Steel and Submarines Gallery at Chatham Historic Dockyard, where it will stay until the end of November 2023. It is also available to view online

Further Information on the Sonic Palimpsest research project can be found here: