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Medway Archives Centre is the place to visit for anyone researching their family history, or the history, geography and people of Medway... or who would like to know more about the writer Charles Dickens.

If your interest is in local history and photos from the past, why not join our facebook community page?

Here are a few images but there's much more to be discovered.  For details on the archives centre in Strood visit our website.

Cage Lane Strood
Circa 1870 and 1876

Sladden's old drapers shop at the corner of Cage Lane, which is now called North Street, Strood. Also known as Angel corner this was the site of Strood Turnpike which was established 1768 and abolished in 1876.

Cage Lane Strood - Circa 1870s

Station Road Strood
Circa 1920 and 1930

Looking north towards the railway arches. The Gem Cinema is visible on the left. The Gem was opened on Christmas eve 1910 and had seats for 700 customers.

Station Road Strood - Circa 1920-30s

Rochester High Street
Circa 1930s

Any ideas which end of the High Street this could be?  Some members reckon it maybe Bourne & Hilliers end near the site of the old Rochester Train station.

Rochester High Street - Circa 1930s

Barnard's Palace of Varieties, Chatham
Circa 1915

Barnard’s Palace of Varieties was at numbers 107 and 109 on the north side of Chatham High Street (West). Next door at number 111 is Martin, tobacconist.

Barnard's Palace of Varieties, Chatham - Circa 1915

High Street Rainham
Circa 1930

The Rainham and District Co-operative on Rainham High Street. A very popular shop for the community selling groceries, clothing and homeware.

High Street Rainham - Circa 1930s

High Street Chatham
Circa 1901

Chatham High Street (West) in 1901. The view is looking east with The Globe Hotel in the distance. he Theatre Royal and Manor Road are to the right.

High Street Chatham - Circa 1901

City of Rochester Map
Circa 1700

It shows the area contained with the Rochester city wall, Boley Hill, The Common, Rochester Bridge and sailing vessels on the River Medway. The city coat of arms depicted in top right corner.

City of Rochester Map - Circa 1700s

The Viscount Hardinge Public House Gillingham
Circa 1937

The Viscount Hardinge Public House was situated on the corner of Gillingham High Street and Marlborough Road. The building still stands today, now a grocery shop, and has hardly changed.

The Viscount Hardinge, Gillingham - Circa 1937

Strood Steam Brewery High Street Strood 
Circa 1890-1900

Employees of Biggs Brewery on the north side of Strood High Street on a lovely sunny day. Outside the building with beer barrels and horses and wagons waiting in line to be loaded/unloaded.  The tower of St Nicholas Church is visible in the background.

Strood Brewery, Strood - Circa 1890-1900s

Charles Dickens Swiss Chalet at Cobham Estate
Circa 1920

Dickens did much of his writing in this Chalet which stood in the Wilderness opposite Gad's Hill House and later moved to Cobham Park. In 1961 it moved to Eastgate House Gardens, Rochester.

Dickens' Chalet at Cobham - Circa 1920

Aveling & Porter Factory Strood
Circa 1920-1930

One of the boiler shops in the engineering works of Aveling & Porter, manufacturers of steam engines and traction engines.

Aveling & Porter, Strood - Circa 1920-1930s

95 High Street Rochester
Circa 1897

Once the residence of J.L. Edwards, Mayor of Rochester in 1873, prior to the Rochester, Chatham and Strood Gas Company taking over and it later became the Gas Board Showrooms. Now home to the Medway Visitor Information Centre.

95 High Street, Rochester - Circa 1897

Angel Inn High Street Strood
Circa 1896

Looking a little like a scene from a Hollywood western, this view is of Strood Turnpike at the junction of North Street and Strood High Street and adjacent to the Angel Inn.

Angel Inn, Strood - Circa 1896

Temple Manor Strood
Circa 1890-1900

Around this period it is believed Temple Manor was farmland under the ownership of Rochester Corporation. Temple Manor is today a visitor attraction.

Temple Manor Strood - Circa 1890-1900s

St Bartholomews Hospital
Circa 1920s

Known locally as St. Barts, the hospital was founded in 1078 for the care of the poor and lepers.  

Until its closure in 2016, St. Barts is believed to be one of the oldest existing hospitals in England.

St. Barts Hospital - Circa 1920s

Useful local research links:

Medway Archives -
Huguenot Museum family history -
Royal Engineers Museum Library & Archives -
The Historic Dockyard Chatham -

Medcouncil Cmykstrapline
Visit Medway
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council
Our Destinations
Official website of Visit Medway, Medway Council