- Old friends are best. John Selden
Travel to Rochester
he City of Rochester has grown from a little Saxon village to a historic city representing one of England finest cities. Romans came over in 43AD and made Rochester one of their most important towns by building a stronghold and a bridge over the River Medway.
It wasn’t until 1088 after the Norman invasion that Rochester had its first stone castle built on the remains of the old Roman Fort.
The then King, Rufus asked his Bishop Gundulf, an architect, to build him a stone castle and later a magnificent Cathedral, which is the second oldest in the country. Bishop Gundolf also built a leper hospital namely St. Bartholomew’s which was the oldest hospital in the country, albeit the original hospital has since disappeared.
One of Rochester most famous connections is that with Charles Dickens. His family moved to Chatham when his was five years of age. After moving away from Chatham he later returned to Gad’s Hill place in Higham. By then many of his novels were published and read around the world. However, he died whilst writing his novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. Many of Dickens novels included references to Rochester and the surrounding area where today two festivals are held in his honour, the Dickens and Dickensian Christmas Festival.
Many other festivals are held in Rochester: from May, with the 'Sweeps Festival' , July with the Summer Concerts held in the castle grounds, through to the 'Dickensian Christmas' and the lamp light procession through the streets of Rochester.
Not only are there celebrations and festivals going on throughout the year, there is also Rochester’s quaint Victorian High Street containing many of the original shops of the time.
The City of Rochester in the county of Kent is situated some 20 miles south east of the capital of England, London. The City of Rochester is also within easy reach of mainland Europe and is only one and half hours from France by train.