Rochester Castle

Kent, England

City/Town/Village: Rochester
District: Medway
County: Kent
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3887, 0.503601
Postcode: ME1 1SW
(postcode is for sat-nav purposes only, and may not represent the actual address of the castle)


English Heritage

Accomodation Links

Hotels and Guest Houses in Rochester
Strategically placed astride the London Road, guarding an important crossing of the River Medway, this imposing fortress has a complex history of destruction and rebuilding. Its mighty Norman tower-keep of Kentish ragstone was built c. 1127 by William of Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the encouragement of Henry I. Consisting of three floors above a basement, it still stands 113 feet high. Attached is a tall protruding forebuilding, with its own set of defences to pass through before the keep itself could be entered at first floor level. In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John. Having first...
Adults: £5.00
Children: £4.00
Concessions: £3.50
EH Member Cost: Free

Information from English Heritage website

Rochester Castle is a Listed Building. Here's what the official description says about it:

TQ 7468 SW Rochester Castle
7/1 (formerly listed
as the Castle)
Castle Keep, curtain walls and mural towers to bailey. A
building of exceptional significance. Built at the bridging
point where Watling Street crosses the Medway. One of the first
Norman Castles to be fortified in stone. Bailey walls, 1087-9,
built by Gandulf, Bishop of Rochester for William II; keep, 1127,
built by Archbishop William of Corbeil, considerable rebuilding
and repairs throughout, 1221-32 (after the 1216 siege) and again
by Edward III and Richard II, 1367-83; some demolition and
alterations, c.1872. Mainly Kentish rag with tufa and chalk
rubble. The building is described in detail by R Allen Brown
(1986) which should be consulted for further information.
Gandulf's curtain wall survives to the W(Mersey side) and
incorporates remains of the Roman city wall (see Refs 7/2 and
9/2); strengthened in C13. SE section, including the drum tower,
mid-C13; E section (C14) includes 2 curtain walls, one of which
(now a cottage) contains vaulted room, spiral stone stair and 2
garderobes. N section of wall, fragmentary, is incorporated into
the garden walls to the rear of High Street properties. The N
perimeter wall of the present castle precinct is marked by a C20
wall with palings. To the NW, the bastion (1378-83), altered and
breached by a prominent Norman-Revival round-headed arched
entrance of c1872. Keep, roofless and without principal floors,
rectangular on plan with corner turret (that to SE in circular
form, Mid C13) and contempotary forebuilding (with chapel and
chambers) to N reached from W at 1st floor level. Main building
consists of ground-floor basement; 1st floor apartments; great
hall and chamber occupying 2 storeys; private apartments above,
all divided by massive cross wall pierced by doorways and (at
great hall level) a 4-bay arcade. It contains a well shaft. NE
stair to all floors; SW stair excludes access to basement.
Decoration sparingly applied: externally to principal doorways
and upper floor embrasures; internally mainly chevron with some
shafting; arcade with scalloped capitals. Scheduled Ancient
Monument. References: many general references but see
especially R Allen Brown, Rochester Castle. Kent (English
Heritage guide, 2nd edition, 1986); C Flight and A C Harrison,
'Rochester Castle 1976', Archaeoloaia Cantiana, 94 (1978); G
Payne, 'The Reparation of Rochester Castle', Archaeologia
Cantiana, 27 (1905).

Listing NGR: TQ7413768560

Information from British Listed Buildings

Share |