Historic Rochester

We recently went to Rochester in Kent for the afternoon, travelling around the dreaded M25 to get there. It should have taken us just over an hour but ended up taking nearly two hours due to congestion at the Dartford Crossing – there is a toll at the crossing of £2 per car.

We learnt a very interesting thing during the day – Kentish people can’t understand Scottish people! We were looking for a castle and Ken decided to ask some locals for directions with quite amusing (for me) results. The first person was a lady on a fruit and veg stall – my beloved asked where the castle was and she replied with the price of her peaches. Ken then stopped a man walking up the street and again asked where the castle was – the man replied, ‘the cancer place?’. It was quite a fascinating phenomenon – as we’re off to Kent again in July we’ll have to see if it happens again.

When we stopped we thought we were already in Rochester but we were actually just short of it in Strood – still found a lovely church (no graveyard) and a rather interesting statue – Ken thinks it’s something to do with shipbuilding.

A very short drive later we were in Rochester – full of ancient buildings and old English quaintness. I loved this weatherboard house with its pretty window boxes.

We walked through the alleyway below – I think these two buildings are having a chat so have to lean towards each other to hear better.

A few more shots from the main street including a waymarker for one of the national cycle routes – we have pictures of a few of these from around the UK.

Rochester cathedral dates from 604 AD – that totally blows my mind to think that the beginnings of this amazing place are 1410 years old!! The current building has bits that are over 900 years old and there are lots of different architectural styles due to various attacks over the years.

As you walk around the cathedral there is a real sense of the history in every nook and cranny – I love touching the stones and imagining the people who have gone before. I also love how within such an ancient spiritual space they have incorporated modern art and sculpture – here are just a few.

This is the Holy Water Stoup made out of spun copper
This beautiful depiction of Mary and Jesus is carved out of Yew
Textile art by Jacqui Parkinson which is touring UK cathedrals

Outside in the cloister are the remains of the priory – very pretty garden with yet more sculptures.

Sunny selfie

Within the cathedral there is so much to look at and I hope these photos give you a sense of what a special place it is. Our only disappointment of the day was that the crypt was closed for repairs.

Beautiful pattern on one of the doors
The high alter which shows gothic architecture
Incredibly beautiful carved doorway

These beautiful panels commemorate people who lost their lives in the war
in Afghanistan in the late 1800’s – how sad that nothing has changed
The organ produced an amazing sound – we were lucky enough to catch the end of
a service so got to hear it in all it’s glory
These are known as the pilgrim steps where medieval pilgrims would walk
– as you can see the stone steps under the boards are very worn by hundreds
of years of pilgrimage. I got down and put my hands on the stone steps
to absorb the history from them
This modern depiction of baptism was completed in 2004
This chappy was my favourite of the day – I think he’s a combination
of the grim reaper and father time

When we were outside admiring the carvings my beloved commented that it looked like there were bats carved on the cathedral – no Ken I think you’ll find that they are angels.

It was a lovely place to visit and even though there isn’t a picture we did stop in the Cathedral tea rooms for sustenance, and yes we did find the castle.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take care of you and yours.

Pamela and Ken
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