Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Medway (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 74137 68560


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).

Listing NGR: TQ7413768560


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Allen Brown, R, Rochester Castle Kent, (1986)
'Archaeologia Cantiana' in Archaeologia Cantiana, , Vol. 94, (1978)
'Archeaologia Cantiana' in Archeaologia Cantiana, , Vol. 27, (1905)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 02 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03834/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr M.K Lofthouse. Source Historic England Archive
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