Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle History

The Rochester Castle at the time of the Domesday survey was built of earth and timber. Work began on the current castle in 1087 by Bishop Gundolf, Bishop of Rochester at his own expense.

Rochester Castle keep and cathedral

The castle was to guard the crossing of the Medway and it was to have one of the tallest keeps at 113 feet high, nearly 35 meters.

In 1215 King John laid siege to the castle and it took him two months to overcome. In the end, he had to undermine the southeast tower by burning the props to make the tower collapse. The same tower was later rebuilt round rather than square.

In 1088 Bishop Odo, the king’s half-brother and Earl of Kent laid waste the lands of the king and of the archbishop and brought the booty into his castle at Rochester.

The king sent his men after the bishop who swore to leave England and give up the Castle at Rochester.

Rochester Castle courtayd

Just as the bishop was going with an intention to give up the castle, the men in the castle rose up, took the bishop and the king’s men, and put them into prison. The king went to the castle and persuaded those within to give up. The Bishop with the men in the castle were sent abroad in disgrace.

Early in the 12th century, Henry, I granted custody of the castle to William de Corbeil, the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the Baron Wars, the castle was held against the rebel barons for King Henry III, by his loyal supporter, Roger de Leybourne.

Rochester Castle

In 1370 Edward III repaired a lot of the damage done in previous years. However, during the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was left to fall into ruin.

In the early 1600s, James I granted ruins to Sir Anthony Weldon, presumably the same individual who gained possession of Canterbury Castle in a similar state.

In 1884, the castle was purchased by the Corporation of Rochester.

Rochester Castle Visitor Information

Rochester Castle is open for visits. An adult ticket is £5.50, a child ticket £3.50 and a family ticket is £14.50. For updated info about opening times visit the official website.

Rochester Castle Location

The Rochester Castle address: Rochester ME1 1SW, United Kingdom. Use this map to get help with directions:

Rochester Castle Map

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