Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°21′34″N 0°36′29″E / 51.359465, 0.607947

Rainham is located in Kent

 Rainham shown within Kent
Population 6,394 [1]
OS grid reference TQ815655
Unitary authority Medway
Ceremonial county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district ME8
Dialling code 01634
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Gillingham and Rainham
List of places: UK • England • Kent

The town of Rainham is a part of the Medway Towns conurbation, under the unitary authority of Medway, in South East England, and part of the ceremonial county of Kent. Historically, Rainham was a separate village until, in 1928, it was added to the Municipal Borough of Gillingham, which had itself been created in 1903.[2] It became part of the Medway authority when Gillingham was incorporated with the other towns to form Medway Unitary Authority in 1998.


Rainham is located on the dip slope of the North Downs where it descends to the River Medway; its maximum height is about 125m above sea level. There are three roads crossing the town. The M2 motorway runs along its southern edge, two miles (6 km) from the town centre. The main road through the town, the A2, follows the ancient Watling Street, the Roman road between London and Canterbury. The most northerly road runs close to the southern bank of the river. The Chatham Main Line has a railway station here. London is approximately 39 miles (62.4 km) to the west.

Parkwood estate, in the south of Rainham, was built mainly during the 1960s and 70s. Building this estate required the destruction of one of the last large areas of relict woodland in North Kent. The area towards Gillingham is known as Rainham Mark, named after an old ecclesiastical boundary: and Macklands is an older part of the town to the north. The Macklands Arms public house was named after Macklands Manor House. The manor house was home to members of the Mackay family, who owned a printing company in Chatham. Lower Rainham, once a separate village, is now also a part of the town.


Lower Rainham Road

Rainham was originally a linear settlement along the main road. The population in 1801 was 422;[3] two centuries later it is well over six thousand. Part of the reason for this huge growth can be attributed to the railway. When the railway came in 1858 it brought an almost immediate increase in the size of the village; when the Chatham Main Line was electrified in 1959, as with all the places served by it, town growth began again. One of the results was the building of Park Wood estate (see above).


Rainham station

The parish church is dedicated to St Margaret; the Roman Catholic church to St Thomas of Canterbury.


Rainham has a small shopping area, including the Rainham Shopping Centre precinct, with a few major shops. These include a Tesco Metro, Iceland, Boots and Wilkinsons. There is a record store called MagicDiscs and a bakery called Goldings Bakery Ltd. The precinct has two different Lloyds Pharmacy chemists, and various dining places including a cafe called Bunkers. Other shops include Blockbuster and two different Sense charity shops (A standard and a large one). When the centre opened, there was a major branch of Lavells Newsagents. This became a branch of Bart in the late 80s and now trades as Iceland Frozen Foods. There is a smaller shopping precinct in Parkwood. Parkwood shopping centre has a few shops including The Co-Operative Food, Martin's the Newsagent, a chip shop, a pharmacy, a veterinary and a wine store. The town also has a library as well as several parks and a public swimming pool. This swimming pool is called Splashes and is near Cozenton Park and Rainham Mark Grammar School.

Rainham is also home to the first ever oast house theatre [4] [5], where the Rainham Theatrical Society (RaTS) puts on regular performances[6].

Local media[]


Local newspapers for Rainham include the Medway Messenger, published by the KM Group. The area also has free newspapers in the Medway Extra (KM Group) and yourmedway (KOS Media).


The local radio station for Rainham is KMFM Medway, owned by the KM Group. The area can also receive the county wide stations BBC Radio Kent, Heart and Gold.

Secondary schools[]

Rainham has three secondary schools:

  • The Howard School: a comprehensive school for boys
  • Rainham Mark Grammar School: selective school for which the Eleven plus exam has to be taken, open to both boys and girls
  • Rainham School for Girls: a comprehensive school for girls

Open spaces[]

Looking across the Medway from Horrid Hill, Riverside Country Park.

The Riverside Country Park, which fronts on to the river Medway at Rainham Creek, includes the promontory of Horrid Hill. Berengrave Local Nature Reserve is located on the Lower Rainham Road.


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rainham, Kent. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.