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Rochester Castle

Heritage and Gardens
Heritage and Gardens

Rochester Castle Keep will be closed to the public on 6, 7, 8 & 9 July as the Castle Concerts will be taking place in the grounds.  From 30 June – 12 July there will be no access to Rochester Castle Gardens and access to the Keep on all days with the exception of 6, 7 , 8 & 9 (when it is closed) will be via Bakers Walk.  Directional signage will be in place. 

Siege of Rochester Castle 

In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John.

In this short film we learn more about this siege and why we now have one round tower and three square ones

Strategically placed astride the London Road, guarding an important crossing of the River Medway, this imposing fortress has a complex history of destruction and rebuilding. Today it stands as a proud reminder of the history of Rochester, along with the cathedral and cobbled streets.

In 1087 Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester began the construction of the castle. One of William the Conqueror’s greatest architects, he was also responsible for the Tower of London. Much of what you see remaining of the walled perimeter remains intact from that time. William de Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury was also a contributor to this grand castle building project. Henry I granted him custody of the castle in 1127, a responsibility that lasted until King John seized the castle in 1215.

In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John. Having first undermined the outer wall, John used the fat of 40 pigs to fire a mine under the keep, bringing its southern corner crashing down. Even then the defenders held on, until they were eventually starved out after resisting for two months.

Rochester Castle remains one of the most impressive Norman fortresses and continues to attract visitors from far and wide. 

Heritage Volunteers


Get involved in your local history! Volunteer with Medway Heritage

Medway Council’s Heritage Service cares for some of Medway’s most iconic historic sites and its archive. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us deliver exciting activities at these exceptional venues.  No previous experience is necessary. Full training for all opportunities will be given.  For further information contact [email protected]

Support Services

Pricing

  • Adults: £7.40
  • Children (5-17 yrs):£3.20
  • Concessions: £5.30
  • Family (2 adults, 2 children): £18
  • English Heritage Members and Under 5s: Free
  • Adult group (11+ people) £6.30 per person
  • Child group (11+) £2.70 per child

Joint attraction tickets:

  • Admission to Rochester Castle and Eastgate House Adult £10.65, Senior £6.80, Child £4.70, Family £25.90
  • Admission to Rochester Castle, Upnor Castle and Eastgate House Adult £15.50, Senior £10.35, Child £6.80, Family £37.80

Address

Castle Hill, Rochester
Rochester

ME1 1SW

Opening Times

Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am and 6pm, with last admission at 5.15pm. Closed Mondays except on Bank Holiday Mondays. Please note, the castle will be closed during the summer concerts taking place on 6,7, 8 and 9 July 2022. From 30 June to 12 July access to the castle keep will be via Bakers Walk and not via the gardens (with exception of the dates when the keep is closed).

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