Discover Sheerness & Bluetown
Sheerness is the gateway to the Island by road and rail. It is the main shopping and commercial centre and houses the Island’s Healthy Living Centre, Leisure Complex, Sheerness Gateway, Blue Town and Sheerness Heritage Centres and the Sheppey Community Media Centre, all offering a variety of information on leisure and tourism.
Sheerness-on-Sea is perhaps one of the closest resorts to London and is certainly familiar to many Londoners. Beachfields Park has memories for many. However a renovation project in 2002 provided a large sandpit, play and water area and a multi-purpose area for young people.
Until the middle of the 17th century, Sheerness was just an uninhabited marshland. That would all change in 1665 when Charles II built a fort there for the defence of the Navy anchorage on the River Medway and Chatham Dockyard. At this time, Samuel Pepys visited the Sheerness yard to plan the construction of the works and the dockyard steadily grew. At the beginning of the 19th century, John Rennie was asked to survey and design a new dockyard which saw the total rebuilding of the dockyard on a far grander scale.
In the years that followed, a small collection of houses grew up alongside the dockyard. This little group of dock workers’ homes would become known as Blue Town, after the colour used to decorate the buildings’ exteriors. To this day, many buildings within the dockyard have survived due to the perseverance shown by residents of Sheerness and the Isle of Sheppey, together with the campaigning by organisations such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the Spitalfields Trust and the Georgian Group who recognised the historic importance of buildings that founded and produced the modern town of Sheerness.
Visitors and residents can now uncover its history and cycle along the Sheerness Way. This 9km circular route opened in July 2011 and has been a huge success guiding tourists to Sheerness’ Quality Coast Award beach, Bartons Point Coastal Park and the Queenborough Lines, a 3km former defensive earthwork.