Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle

Walking in Kent along the River Medway from Strood yesterday on our way to Gillingham, we entered the city of Rochester. The Castle dominated the skyline. The 12th Century keep (stone tower) is one of the best preserved in England or France. It was strategically positioned to prevent an invasion of the South-East coast in the medieval period. Beside it is the impressive Cathedral, confirming its status as a City. The bishopric is the second oldest in England after Canterbury.

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester is also associated with Charles Dickens, who lived nearby in the village of Higham at Gads Hill Place. There is a Dickens Centre devoted to his life and works. The writer had wished to be buried in the grounds of the Cathedral, but was instead interred at Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey in London.

Another famous resident was the actress Dame Sybil Thorndike (1882-1976). As a young girl, she and her brother, the author Russell Thorndike, lived for eight years in one of the houses at Minor Canon Row when their father was a Minor Canon at Rochester Cathedral.

Plaque marks the house

Plaque at house

The house adjacent to Prior’s Gate is part of a terrace from the early Georgian period. If you would like to live there and have £850,000 to spare, you might be interested in the end of terrace house, the interior of which you can see on the Jackson-Stops page.

Thorndike house

Thorndike house

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