Think you know all about Rochester? Think again...
While Rochester has long been associated with Kent’s industrial and maritime past, the residents of our £419m major regeneration scheme in the area, Rochester Riverside, know that this historic town has lots more to offer. Boasting history and charm, you wouldn’t want to miss out. We uncover some fun facts about this popular riverside town.
Rochester has the second oldest cathedral in the country
A staggering 1,400 years old, Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in the country. It was first built in AD 604, during Saxon Britain, however, much of its striking gothic architecture was developed much later following the invasion of the Normans. The Norman architect behind much of this work, Bishop Gundulf, was also the mastermind behind the capital’s Tower of London.
Rochester has its very own castle
Rochester’s castle was first built in the 11th century after the country’s Norman invasion and was commissioned by William the Conquerer to protect the South East coast from invaders. Contrary to popular belief, the Normans were not the first to recognise Rochester’s strategic importance to the country. It was the Romans who had first created a defence for the town, with these very walls forming part of the orginal structure. To this day, the castle remains one of the best preserved of its era across both Britain and France.
The town’s River Medway helped to save lives during the Second World War
Residents at Rochester Riverside are drawn to the development for its views across the glorious River Medway. But, as well as being a sought-after attraction to live by, the river played an essential role in defending the country during World War II.
Giant structures, known as the Red Sands Forts, were tactically located in the river estuary during the war to protect London from naval and aerial attacks from Germany. Each fort could house up to 265 men, and crucially, they prevented 22 planes and 30 V1 flying bombs from reaching the capital.
Charles Dickens loved Rochester as much as we do
Rochester celebrates many historic links to British heritage but one of its best loved is the town’s connections to author Charles Dickens, who grew up in the town. Throughout his work he references his love for Rochester and cites several local buildings in his books.
In celebration, the town comes alive twice a year with Dickensian fans from far and wide. In a fitting tribute, the streets of Rochester are transformed into a Dickensian scene filled with parades, live music and theatrical performances of his work.
Rochester has an exciting future ahead
Rochester is also undergoing a modern day transformation with significant levels of investment and regeneration, creating new homes and facilities to last for generations to come. Rochester Riverside is the area’s landmark scheme by Countryside and Hyde, and is creating 1,400 new homes, school, nursery, shops, cafes and a 2.5km river walkway that will open up the banks of the River Medway to the public for the very first time.
Located by the River Medway, just a short distance from Rochester train station and high street, Rochester Riverside has already become home to a thriving new community. Want to find out more about how you can become part of Rochester’s exciting future? Visit www.rochesterriverside.co.uk for more information.