Dating in medway
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.Rochester later became a walled town and, under later 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 also built the castle that stands opposite the cathedral.Rochester was also an important point for people travelling the Pilgrims' Way, which stretches from Winchester to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury. In Rochester, parts of the Roman city wall are still in evidence, and the city has many fine buildings, such as the Guildhall (today a museum), which was built in 1687 and is among the finest 17th-century civic buildings in Kent; the Corn Exchange, built in 1698, originally the Butcher's Market; the small Tudor house of Watts Charity endowed by Sir Richard Watts to house "six poor travelers" for one night each; Satis House and Old Hall, both visited by Queen Elizabeth I, built in 1573.The Medway area has a long and varied history dominated originally by the city of Rochester and later by the naval and military establishments principally in Chatham and Gillingham.
Outside the urban area, the villages retain parish councils.
Cuxton, Halling and Wouldham are in the Medway Gap region to the south of Rochester and Strood.
Hoo St Werburgh, Cliffe, High Halstow, St Mary Hoo, Allhallows, Stoke and Grain are on the Hoo Peninsula to the north. 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, together with the University for the Creative Arts, which has a campus in Rochester.