Religion => Places of Worship (Former) => Topic started by: kyn on April 29, 2010, 19:13:47

Title: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on April 29, 2010, 19:13:47
In 1256 the Bishop of Rochester, Lawrence de San Martino (Lawrence of St Martin; r. 1251-1274), obtained the canonization of St. William by Pope Innocent IV. A beginning was at once made with his shrine, which was situated first in the crypt, then in the northeast transept, and attracted crowds of pilgrims. At the same time a small chapel was built at the place of the murder, which was thereafter called Palmersdene.

Remains of this chapel are still to be seen near the present St. William's Hospital, on the road leading by Horsted Farm to Maidstone.

Anyone seen the remains?  I can't find anything on the internet or aerial mapping sites.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on April 29, 2010, 19:15:00
And a pic of this:

St. William is represented in a wall-painting, which was discovered in 1883 in Frindsbury church, near Rochester, which is supposed to have been painted about 1256-1266.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on April 29, 2010, 21:32:33
Well I've lived opposite St Williams Hospital for years and have never seen any sign of the shrine at all sadly, be very interesting to know where it is, probably disappeared when they built the houses.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on April 29, 2010, 21:45:57
I hope it hasn't, could it be in the rough ground as you approach the hospital?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on April 29, 2010, 22:09:42
Unless it's actually in the grounds of the hospital, only they demolished all the old one for the Hospice and built new houses, can't see any sign on GE.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: merc on April 30, 2010, 11:37:50
Interesting :)

Is there still a Horsted Farm ?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on April 30, 2010, 13:33:53
As far as I know, Horsted Farm was once almost opposite where the Aircraft is now standing at the airport .There's still the framework of a small barn in the field opposite, so far I haven't found an old map showing that OR what might have been the chapel, must be looking at the wrong maps ?? I do remember cattle being in that field at one time but can't remember when the farm closed now. Last map I looked at showed Lower and Upper Delce with plenty of trees either side of the narrow lane it once was, and showing Horsted at the very top but nothing showing of a chapel ?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 30, 2010, 18:53:07
(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/horsted.jpg)

1939 map
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 30, 2010, 18:56:54
Painting at All Saints Frindsbury.

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/1089.jpg)
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on April 30, 2010, 19:44:37
Thank you, still no neaer to finding the Chapel, is it marked on the map RWTA?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 30, 2010, 20:21:17
Not on that one Kyn but I snipped it cos its got the hospital on. The 1869 map shows that an area of woodland around The Ridgeway and the cross roads was then called Churchland Woods - a clue?

(http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h282/RidingWithTheAngels2/churchlandwood.jpg)

Following the curve at the botom of the map clip leads to Horsted.

Full verson can be accessed here

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsh
eet.aspx?compid=55124&sheetid=4221&ox=3109&oy=1977&zm=2&czm=2&x=259&y=354 (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55124&sheetid=4221&ox=3109&oy=1977&zm=2&czm=2&x=259&y=354)
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Riding With The Angels on April 30, 2010, 20:29:50
I feel a ramble coming on!
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on May 08, 2010, 14:42:05
Get rambeling  :)

Here is another WWII era map, it shows Horsted Farm but still no chapel...
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Chatham_Girl85 on May 08, 2010, 15:51:45
it has got burial chambers (sites of) could it be in this vicinity?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on May 08, 2010, 17:13:04
Mmm! interesting, what's that other hospital up towards the top of City Way then just before the greyhound track ?? Don't know that one at all, it looks as though it was where Warren Wood girls school used to be. But just had a thought, I know someone who worked at the hospital for years before it was demolished, I'll ask her if there was any sign in the grounds of a chapel, you never know.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on May 08, 2010, 19:44:26
Spoke to my pal who used to work at the hospital and she said there was nothing at all in the grounds apart from a couple of buildings ( mortuary etc )  that were built at the same time as the hospital itself. She has some pics that she will lend me, but is off on holiday so they will have to wait until she gets back, she has no memory of there being another hospital further up City Way either and lived close to where its shown on the map ( in her late 70s now )
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: numanfan on May 08, 2010, 23:15:20
The other hospital on the map was a Small Pox Hospital. Erected in 1902, it was connected with, and about half a mile from, St. Williams Hospital for infectious diseases. Situated on the corner of City Way & Arethusa Road.

Info from the 1937 Kellys Directory.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on May 09, 2010, 14:06:29
Thanks numanfan, now I know what the other hospital was, I guessed it was in that area, probably went about the 40s ? then because of the house on the corner there now and it's style.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on May 13, 2010, 21:00:33
Well I don't know how to add the map, but here's one that COULD be the shrine. Dated 1869

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55124&sheetid=4221&ox=2745&oy=2516&zm=1&czm=1&x=322&y=382

There's a small triangle almost middle of map  , is THAT the shrine ?
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on May 13, 2010, 21:14:16
Nope, got that one wrong, it's a trigonometrical station sadly. Apologies. :)
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on May 13, 2010, 21:30:53
 :)  It must be marked on a map somewhere, surely!?  Thanks for looking Lyn L!
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kevin payne on July 16, 2010, 18:46:07
hi lyn and others,i was born opposite the hospital so ive always been intrigued with the legend of st.william,many years ago at rochester reference library i saw an old map with a sign for williams shrine,and after much scrutinizing worked out that by the map,the shrine once stood around where the steps are that lead up to the wisdom hospice,i also heard several accounts of workmen finding medieval coins around that same area when building the hospice,regards,kevin.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kyn on July 17, 2010, 00:41:05
Thanks for the addition, I hope some remains can still be found but it is not looking hopeful!
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on July 17, 2010, 13:21:45
Not a 'sossidge' of remains sadly, will try and get a pic, thought it must have long gone, even before the steps were put in place for the Hospice it was only a grassy bank and we've lived over the road from it for over 30yrs. Got the pics of when it was just St Williams Hospital, but they only show it just before and during demolition.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: Lyn L on July 17, 2010, 22:09:56
Courtesy of Kevin Payne who loaned me a copy of St William of Perth. His Story. From Rochester Cathedral.


William of Perth was a pilgrim who was given food and shelter by the monks before making his way onwards. Instead of taking the road that went eastwards by what is now Orange Terrace and then onward by Old Chatham Road to Chatham Hill, our pilgrim bore southward passing the old manor house of Delce Magna and it's old steading, into the old trackway for long called Dark Alley and now St Williams Way. He had not gone far, only to where the boundary wall of St Williams Hospital begins when by blow or a stab,he fell to the ground and someone dragged his murdered body up the bank, hid it in undergrowth and his earthly pilgrimage was ended.
A Chantry Chapel was erected on the spot where his murdered body was found and a cross was erected nearby. Later the field was known as Chapel Field and the fever hospital built on this field not inappropriately called St Williams Hospital.

The present writer has interviewed several Rochester citizens who as boys played around and within the ruined walls of this little Chapel. Their memories didn't agree, but the majority thought it was a little further northward of the fragments of the Chapel flintwork, which had been inserted in the west boundary of St Williams Hospital  and which were damaged recently by enemy action . It is perplexing to know why in recent days,( a relic so interesting to Rochesters historic past ) as the ruined walls of this 13th Century Chapel- closed at the Reformation- was ruthlessly destroyed. The large cross was also destroyed.


This must have been written sometime in the 1940s by Sydney W Wheatley  FSA, Hon Canon and Asst Librarian of Rochester Cathedral as it refers to recent enemy action.

Not a lot has changed then has it, if they were destroying historic buildings then. Apparently when the Hospice was built in the early 80s , workmen were finding old coins etc but where anything went is a mystery. So we may never know quite where the Chapel was, Kevins scrutinizing does make it look as if it could have been where he suggests.
Title: Re: Shrine to Saint William, Rochester
Post by: kevin payne on July 22, 2010, 19:44:57
thanks for putting that info on here lyn,once i know how to do it,i'll place a photo of a stained glass window  of saint william on here that the wisdom hospice staff aloud me to take.