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Rochester

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 744 683

Last Visited: 2012


44-48 High Street

44-48 High Street

It is easy to dismiss Rochester as just part of the industrial/commuter conurbation known as the Medway Towns. This is a shame as it has been an important place since Roman times, and has many historic buildings.

It grew up around the bridge the Romans built to carry their main Dover to London road, Watling Street, over the River Medway.

The current High Street follows the line of the Roman road and contains many buildings of note, as do the Boley Hill and St Margaretʼs Street areas.

The Normans also recognised its importance and built a very fine Castle and Cathedral.

Charles Dickens, who lived nearby at Gads Hill Place, Higham, based many of his novels in the area, and many of the buildings have plaques claiming to be connected to various places he mentions.

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Rochester Cathedral

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 742 684

Last Visited: 2012

Rochester Cathedral from the Castle

Rochester Cathedral from the Castle

The West Front

The West Front

Unfortunately I didnʼt have time to visit Rochester Cathedral.

It claims to be Englandʼs second oldest cathedral having been founded in 604AD.

The nave and parts of the crypt of the present building date back to 1080, and it has one of the finest Norman West Fronts in the country.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Rochester Cathedral
      Opening times, etc. from the Cathedral's extensive official site.
      http://www.rochestercathedral.org/visiting/

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Corn Exchange

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 742 686

Last Visited: 2012

Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange

The plaque on the front of the Corn Exchange proclaims that:

This Present Building was Erected at the Sole Charge and Expense of Sir Cloudsley Shovel Knight AD 1700.
He represented this City in three Parliaments in the Reign of King William the third and in one Parliament in the Reign of Queen Ann.

Sir Cloudesley Shovell seems to be following me around, as not so long ago I visited the memorial in the Isles of Scilly marking the spot where his body was washed ashore from the wreck of the HMS Association.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Corn Exchange
      A page from Medway Council's web site mostly concerned with event bookings.
      http://www.medway.gov.uk/leisurecultureandsport/events/hallsforhire/cornexchange.aspx

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Eastgate House

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 744 683

Last Visited: 2012

Eastgate House

Eastgate House

Eastgate House

Eastgate House

The very fine Eastgate House was built in the late 1590s by Sir Peter Buck, Clerk of the Cheque at Chatham Dockyard.

The Bucks lived there for five generations then, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the house had many uses.

It is currently used for exhibitions, weddings and civil ceremonies and educational visits. It is also open for special events such as Heritage Open Days and the summer and Christmas Dickens Festivals.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Eastgate House
      More information from the Visit Medway site.
      http://www.visitmedway.org/attractions/eastgate-house/226387?micrositeid=190802

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The Guildhall

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 742 687

Last Visited: 2012

Guildhall

Guildhall

The Weathervane

The Weathervane

The Guildhall was built in 1687 and its staircase and main hall have magnificent plaster ceilings given by Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell who also paid for the Corn Exchange.

Mounted on the lantern, is a very fine weather vane in the form of a fully rigged 18th-century warship.

It was installed in 1780 and is made from gilded copper and lead alloy. It is 1.52m (5ft) tall and weighs just under 51kg (112lb).

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Guildhall Museum
      Medway Council's official page for the museum.
      http://www.medway.gov.uk/leisurecultureandsport/localhistoryandarchives/museums/guildhallmuseum.aspx

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Six Poor Travellers' House

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 743 684

Last Visited: 2012

Six Poor Travellers House

Six Poor Travellers House

When one Richard Watts died in 1579 left money to the Rochester Almshouse for the construction of six rooms to house poor travellers, "for one night only unlesse sicknesse be the cause".

The Six Poor Travellers House was opened to travellers in 1586 and continued in use until July 1940. The upper floors are use today as an almshouse, whilst the ground floor is open to the public.

External Links and References

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