The Medway Towns - Rochester

Overview:

Rochester is probably the most famous of the Medway Towns. It was actually a city until 1998, and is the site of a crossing over the River Medway which has been in use since the Roman occupation around 2,000 years ago.

Bishop Gundolf/Gundulf/Gundulph

Gundulph was appointed Bishop of Rochester by William The Conqueror, held the post from 1077 to 1108. He was responsible for building many of the medieval buildings in the city. One of his most famous buildings though is the Tower of London.

As with many names of the period, there are a variety of recorded spellings of his name, as spelling wasn't formalised as it is today. Indeed, even Gundulf Road in Rochester had different spellings on the signs at each end until Medway Council replaced them.

Places of Interest

The following places are worth a look if you're in the area:

Rochester High Street

The High Street contains the Guildhall Museum and the Dickens Centre, which are both worth visiting. The shops are an assortment of the usual touristy-type, with souvenirs and so on, the more normal day to day shops and banks, and many "Olde Worlde" types as well. As with any tourist town, be wary of how much you're paying. A pound is NOT worth the same as a dollar!

The castle and cathedral are situated behind the main High Street. You should be able to visit them, as well as the Dickens Centre and Guildhall Museum, in less than two days.

Several of the buildings in the High Street are mentioned by Dickens in his novels. For example, The Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel appears as "The Bull Hotel".

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