News: The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or possibly from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook"
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Topic Summary

Posted by: CAT
« on: February 22, 2017, 16:17:17 »

A similar view, but dated between 1847-57.
Posted by: CAT
« on: February 22, 2017, 14:46:34 »

Both correct smiffy and Signals99. It is a common problem with glass plate negative if of an unfamiliar view and little to aid in getting them the right way round, such as distinctive surviving buildings or even street names. Using either pointer can help orientate an image.
Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 22, 2017, 14:15:19 »

Thanks Cat, took me a while to get it, so the wall on the left must be the boundary wall of Satis House, may have originally been a glass plate type negative, so the road to the right would be Century Walk ?
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 22, 2017, 14:07:18 »

The road the man is walking into is known as Centenary Walk, which runs along the rear of Minor Canon Row.

Here's the view from Google
Posted by: CAT
« on: February 22, 2017, 13:08:21 »

It may be easier if you look at the image flipped.

The photographer appears to have been standing in the junction of St Margaret's Street and the road along the back of the garages (don't know if this has a formal name?). The building with the curving wall on the right of the corrected image is The Old Bursary.

What clinched it for my is the position of the round corner tower on the castle and the fore-building, which should be on the right, not the left.
Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:43:59 »

If that's the house in the moat, and using the round tower as a reference point, that puts the photographer in St. Margarets Street, just below the entrance to Vines Lane and next to the entrance to Love Lane, in my mind, if so where's the Robuck Arms? Or am I missing something.
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 21, 2017, 20:26:02 »

CAT has it. I was scratching my head for half an hour before I realised. I think the clearly printed and authoritative "Maidstone Museum" deceived me a bit - obviously even official sources can sometimes be prone to error.
Posted by: Lyn L
« on: February 21, 2017, 19:28:56 »

The houses in the moat ?
Posted by: CAT
« on: February 21, 2017, 19:16:54 »

Is the image reversed?
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 21, 2017, 18:45:48 »

This is a picture of the Castle that probably dates from around 1900. Try as I might, I couldn't reconcile this view with the modern one despite the fact that the road layout hasn't changed. It finally dawned on me why, and no doubt many members here will twig sooner than I did.
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 18, 2017, 01:42:40 »

The Rochester tank in all its glory, shame it was scrapped:
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 18, 2017, 01:27:05 »

I think you're right Signals - there's a whole section on the forum about WW1 tanks:
Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 17, 2017, 23:13:42 »

Smiffy -  point of interest ref. the Ashford tank. At one time it contained low voltage switch gear, part of the town network, so maybe that's why it's still in situ?
Posted by: Rochester-bred
« on: February 17, 2017, 14:30:15 »

I have lived in Rochester since 1958 and have always visited the castle many times during the year and have never seen a tank there in that time .
Posted by: smiffy
« on: February 17, 2017, 13:55:45 »

Looks like the only one left in the country now on public display is in Ashford.
Posted by: CAT
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:36:22 »

its gone by 1947 as can be seen on an image from 'Britain from above'. I assume it was removed during the early years of WWII for scrap as a lot of them where?
Posted by: Mike S
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:27:34 »

There was definitely not a tank there when I lived in the area 1956 - 1966.
Posted by: KeithJG
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:12:38 »

Not disputing what anyone says but if the tank was put there in 1919 and it was still there in 1976 why is it not here in this shot in 1948?

The concrete plinth is still there as it has always been........anyone know the date of removal?
Posted by: Stewie
« on: February 10, 2017, 18:13:48 »

Just  a thought but the four masted ship in the background of KeithJG's aerial picture isn't the Arethusa by chance? Although my memories of this ship were always moored at Upnor, I have seen a painting by local artist Geoffrey Hall showing it roughly in this position.
Posted by: KeithJG
« on: February 10, 2017, 17:41:55 »

This has my memory cells on the go....i moved to Frindsbury in October 1956 when i was 8yrs and from then on used to frequent the Rochester Swimming Pool during holidays and ordinary weekends.

Being an only child i was always alone and so wondered around anywhere of interest on my way to catch the bus... i do remember from around `56 to `63 scaffolding being all around the rear of the Castle, it covered the toilet side and the rear side up to the sloping footpath ........the reason i remember is because i was a wonderer and wanted to get around the back just because i wanted to and couldn`t. I don`t think this would have anything to do with the King`s School....scaffolding??

The scaffolding could not of been later years as i had moved away and never went near the place until around 8yrs back.

I know there has been alterations to the entrance but that did not include rear scaffolding?

I am also on another mission now as i saw a photo of the tank in my Stepmum`s photo`s ...she died 3yrs ago and i am still going through her old belongings she kept.


Just found this and is interesting reading it mentions the bridge over the dungeons in the small original visitors entrance:

Also a Castle Plan showing the tunnel under in the bottom left image.
Posted by: ann
« on: February 10, 2017, 16:26:03 »

Oops!  I was sitting on a cannon gun, not tank.  Sorry.
Posted by: conan
« on: February 10, 2017, 12:46:40 »

I used to go to the castle with my gran back in the 60s and remember the chap selling birdseed to feed the pigeons, a thing that is discouraged now 
Posted by: ann
« on: February 10, 2017, 10:36:24 »

I too remember the entrance and wooden slats to walk over as Keith G mentions, and they were the dungeons directly below. Does anyone remember the 'bird seed seller?.  Over by where the old toilets were was a man from whom you could buy bags of seeds or nuts to feed the pigeons.  I also remember that there was a small childrens golf course on the grass (as you went up the stone steps to the gardens it was on the left hand side).  My memories are from the 1950's.

Regarding the tank. I don't know when it was removed but it was certainly still there in 1976.  Apologise for the photo - but I was young and wild!!!

Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 10, 2017, 07:33:55 »

Cat, thanks for your input . The date given in the report would make me about eighteen? My memory of the visit was that it took place during my last year at St Margarets, just prior to transferring to Troy Town, I'm not to certain at what age that would have happened, maybe ten or eleven  years, so 1951/52 would be the time frame.
There was a brick retaining wall on the castle side of the moat, with a small wooden door in the wall, this led to a few steps up to the height of the embankment in front of the curtain wall, see KeithJG entry for confirmation. The excavation was almost adjacent to that door at this point. I will admit my memory grows hazy, I was more interested in Mr Berry`s story of something referred to as "apied powdre " please forgive my spelling. I think it was French or Latin? But never the less it instilled in me an interest in archaeological things that lasts till today. Bring back Time Team!.
Posted by: CAT
« on: February 09, 2017, 21:01:17 »

I don't know if this helps with the question from singnals99 regards the excavation near Satis House? I have scoured the archives and found that an excavation did take place in late 1959 immediately to the southwest of Satis House by A. J. F. Dulley with the help of pupils of the local King's School, Rochester. However, this was to search for evidence of an earlier Motte and Bailey castle adjacent to the present castle and keep? I attach a copy of the only report I can find from Archaeologia Cantiana Vol 74; 1960. Could this be it, though the date for it is incorrect with singnals99 memory? Could there have been an earlier excavation attempt that has gone largely unreported?
Posted by: Bilgerat
« on: February 09, 2017, 17:14:10 »

And a beautiful four-masted barque in the background......
Posted by: KeithJG
« on: February 09, 2017, 16:44:03 »

I too remember that small door entrance to the keep and paid 3d in around 1957 it was a dodgy looking bridge that had to be walked over and i also thought below were the dungeons?

In fact the last time i went there about 2yrs back i went down the passageway from inside and i do believe it was the dungeons?

I always went up the castle from the swimming pool on my way back home.

I have this interesting postcard taken from the top of the keep and it shows Rochester Bridge but in the right hand corner the old WW1 Tank which i have never seen on a card so we are after 1919.
Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 09, 2017, 05:42:16 »

Bilgerat thanks for lead, much appreciated.
Posted by: Bilgerat
« on: February 08, 2017, 17:27:40 »

Signals99, it's mentioned earlier in this very thread -

The movie 'Ironclad' tells the story too, although there's a fair amount of dramatic license.
Posted by: Signals99
« on: February 05, 2017, 20:54:47 »

Dave Smith. as you have opened this topic again, can I sneak in a question ref Rochester castle?
About 1947/1950 I was nine years old, I was attending St Margaret`s Primary School, just up the road from the castle. Our head master, Mr. Berry took us down to the old moat area where, just outside the entrance to Satis house buildings in the old moat, some houses had been demolished and an archaeological dig was in progress. We were told it was looking for traces of a tunnel or earth work involved with the breaching of the keep during the siege by King John. Never did hear anything more about it. Anyone satisfy my curiosity?
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