UK Travel Guide



Rochester in Kent

Rochester Upon Medway, a historic city in North Kent is home to one of the oldest cathedrals in the world, the Rochester Cathedral. The original cathedral was built by Justus in 604 and the current building began construction under the orders of Bishop Gundulf in 1077. It is an integration of both the Norman and English architecture and features the medieval Chapter Room door, 13th century paintings and the beautifully carved stone heads in the North Transept. This city has been thriving since Roman times and during the Norman period when the Rochester Castle was built. The stone Keep in this castle is an authentic example of a Norman military building, a structure that stands 113 feet high. There is a spherical staircase in the castle that makes way into the parapet, which provides an excellent view of the Kent countryside. Under the guidance of Bishop Gundulf, the Normans constructed the outer walls of their Castle. Though some of the walls that remain were put up in the 12th and 13th Century, the original walls that were built around 1080 still exist. The Rochester House, another place of historic value belonged to Sir Francis Clarke, a Royalist who was influential with the return of Charles II from exile in France. The King stayed in this house on his way to London, and it was he who gave the name to the house. A famous write by the name of Charles Dickens began using the house as a model for Miss Haversham's Satis House in "Great Expectations."