Rochester Cathedral

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 15th April 2015

Visiting Rochester today to have a sneak preview of the soon to be opened Huguenot Heritage Museum, I decided to have another look at Rochester Cathedral.

On my last visit I didn't have time to take an Audio Guide. On this occasion I did so - and at the moment it is free because part of the Cathedral is under renovation - very generous of them I thought but you can always make a donation! The Audio Guide is extremely good and I tend to prefer them to Guided Tours because you can visit, pause and take photos at your own pace.

The Cathedral, apart from being beautiful, has some particularly interesting tombs and other artefacts. There's a plaque to Colonel Chard awarded a VC at the Battle of Rorke's Drift and on whose character was modelled the part of Stanley Baker in the film 'Zulu'. That is to the left of the incredibly worn Pilgrim's steps up into the Transept - the steps are so worn they are covered, but still visible, by wooden ones. And the commentator points out that these weren't just worn by feet but that many pilgrims traversed the distance to the shrine of St. William on their knees!

There's a tomb to Bishop Merton who founded Merton College in Oxford. In the Quire one sees two heraldic shields, close to each other of two martyrs at opposite ends of the Religious Spectrum - John Fisher who refused to acknowledge Henry Vlll as Head of the English Church and Nicholas Ridley who refused to accept the Catholicism of Queen (Bloody) Mary. Fisher lost his head and Ridley was burned at the stake - they both achieved Sainthood.

I have a particular interest in Green Men and I found several hidden away. I could write an essay on the interesting aspects of Rochester Cathedral but I hope I've wetted your appetite to pay a visit.

Whilst there, go across the road and look at Rochester Castle - predominantly the Keep which is now a ruin but very interesting to compare and contrast with the totally refurbished Keep at Dover Castle. I've posted a photo of the Pulpitum - with interesting historic characters such as King Ethelbert - King of Kent who converted to Christianity at the behest of his wife the Frankish Christian Princess - Bertha. Do Enjoy our visit.



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