Kent ME1 1JY
Open daily 07:30 –- 18:00 (17:00 on Saturdays). Occasionally access may be restricted due to services or special events.
Free to individuals but a donation of £3 per adult is suggested
Rochester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Norman church located in the Historic Medway town of Rochester in Kent. The bishopric is second oldest in England – only Canterbury is older.
It was founded in 604 AD by Bishop Justus. Construction on the present building was started in 1080 by William the Conqueror’s architect, Bishop Gundulf, and it was finally consecrated in 1130. The west front is one of the finest Romanesque facades in England and the nave and the western part of the crypt are also largely Norman.
There are many inspirational works of art and architecture to discover, including the richly decorated Chapter Room doorway, the Gundulf Door (one of only a handful of pre-12th century doors surviving anywhere in Britain) which can be viewed by special arrangement and the medieval wheel of fortune fresco.
To mark the new millennium and to celebrate the 1,400 years of Christian worship, pilgrimage and prayer on this site, the Russian iconographer, Sergei Fyodorov, completed the painting of the first real fresco in an English cathedral for 800 years in 2004 and this is now on view to the public.
There is much to reflect on whether you visit Rochester Cathedral on your own or as part of a group.
If you visit the cathedral with children, then hunting for the green men or searching for the medieval grafitti are great activities for them to take part in. If you are planning to visit in a group of 10 or more people then you will need to pre-book your visit.