Rochester Cathedral (1)

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral (2)

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral (3)

Rochester Cathedral

  The main entrance to Rochester Cathedral is in Boley Hill, opposite the castle walls. There is, also, a side entrance, by Deanery Gate. (The route used by pilgrims, visiting the shrine of St William of Perth, who was on a pilgrimage to Rome, when he was killed.)

  The Norman cathedral, constructed by Bishop Gundulf, between 1080 and 1100 AD, stands on the site of the earlier Saxon cathedral, whilst the decorative carving on arcades and columns were added by Bishop Ernulf between 1115 and 1124. The Diocese of Rochester stretches from Penge, in south London, to Rainham in the east.

  Like many such buildings, entry is ‘free’, although visitors are invited to make a fixed donation and photography permits are available. Highlights of the building include the Baptismal Fresco, the Crypt and the Presbytery, with its vaulted sedilia. The fresco is the first to be painted in an English Cathedral in 800 years and features images of John the Baptist, Saint Augustine and the Saxon Bishop Justus. The Sanctuary Lamp comes from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem.

  In early September, evening visitors to the Cathedral and castle are treated to a ‘son et lumiere’ display, as both buildings are lit by a seasonal light show.

  Rochester is recorded in the Doomsday Book, 1086, and its municipal records date back to 1227. The city's royal charter was granted, in 1461, but this status was forfeited when officers ‘forgot’ to update the charter’s details!

Rochester - Town Cryer, Robin