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© Mr M.K Lofthouse

IoE Number: 172927
Location: THE CASTLE,
  ROCHESTER, MEDWAY, KENT
Photographer: Mr M.K Lofthouse
Date Photographed: 02 April 2001
Date listed: 24 October 1950
Date of last amendment: 02 December 1991
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

ROCHESTERTQ 7468 SWRochester Castle7/1(formerly listedas the Castle)24.10.50

ROCHESTER TQ 7468 SW Rochester Castle 7/1 (formerly listed as the Castle) 24.10.50 I GV 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).

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