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Rochester Castle

A Grade I Listed Building in Rochester West, Medway

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Latitude: 51.3894 / 51°23'21"N

Longitude: 0.5014 / 0°30'5"E

OS Eastings: 574137

OS Northings: 168560

OS Grid: TQ741685

Mapcode National: GBR PPN.TV4

Mapcode Global: VHJLT.MBXR

Entry Name: Rochester Castle

Listing Date: 24 October 1950

Last Amended: 2 December 1991

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1336100

English Heritage Legacy ID: 172927

Location: Medway, ME1

County: Medway

Electoral Ward/Division: Rochester West

Built-Up Area: Rochester

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Rochester St Peter Parish Centre

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Listing Text

TQ 7468 SW Rochester Castle
7/1 (formerly listed
as the Castle)
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).

Listing NGR: TQ7413768560

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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