History & Heritage
A place of inspiration
The history of Medway can be traced back to Roman times when it became a place of some importance, not only due to the river itself, but because it was the main London to Dover road.
Founded in 604, Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest in England an has been a place of worship and prayer for centuries. Just across the road from the cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecuture in the country. Rochester Castle has a chequered history, having been subject to siege three times and partly demolished by King John in 1215.
Visitors can discover the history of the Medway area from pre-historic times to the present day at the Guildhall Museum in Rochester. Here you can witness the terrible conditions endured by the Napoloenic prisoners in the Hulks Expereince and learn about the life and times of Charles Dickens.
The best way to explore Rochester's rich history is on a free 90-minute circular walking tour around the historic city with a local guide from the City of Rochester Society. Tours take place from April to October, on selected days.
In Strood, across the river from Rochester, is the 13th century lodging house, Temple Manor. The house played an important role for the Knights Templars during their crusades to the Holy Land. For Victorian industrial heriage a visit to the Old Brook Pumping Station in Chatham is a must.