The Chatham Witch

In 1755, as the foundations of Fort Amherst are being dug, the body of a young woman is uncovered for the first time in over a thousand years.  Next to her body lies a beautiful necklace of glass and amber beads.

In 2019, nearly 300 years later, a young historian visits Fort Amherst to complete her research on witch burials of the Anglo-Saxon period.  Was the Fort Amherst discovery a witch’s grave or does it tell a different story?

The Chatham Witch explored the extraordinary history of women in Medway through the ages, from the Anglo-Saxon burial on Chatham Lines, to the 19th century Chatham Scandal and the ARP women at Fort Amherst in WWII.

Commissioned to celebrate the recent works undertaken by the Command of the Heights Project, this unique promenade performance welcomed local people into areas of Fort Amherst that had previously been closed to the public for many years and are now stunningly restored.

Featuring 150 actors, dancers and singers from the local community, newly commissioned music specifically for the performance, a large-scale visual installation created by local artists and residents, and a dazzling projections on the historic bricks of the Fort, The Chatham Witch brought alive the powerful, true and untold stories of Medway’s most untamed women.

Commissioned by The Command of the Heights Project (funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund) in partnership with Fort Amherst, and Medway Council Arts Development Team.  The Chatham Witch was funded by Arts Council England.

Click to view full gallery

Production