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Author Topic: Rochester Castle  (Read 50252 times)

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Sirenetta

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2013, 19:28:50 »
In my days at Rochester Maths, (1954-61), I would sometimes wander round the Castle Gardens and "take the air".  I remember being fascinated with the mulberry trees at the opposite end from the Esplanade entrance.  I had never seen such fruit before.  Are they still there?

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2012, 13:22:51 »
Lovely pics numanfan, I'll have to look at them again when the dark old winter days come in and remind myself that we did have a few lovely summer days.
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Offline busyglen

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2012, 11:36:59 »
Lovely photos, the contrast between the colour and the grey is great!  :)
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

merc

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2012, 08:48:34 »
Lovely pics of the Foot walk numanfan :)

I must admit, I haven't been on the Foot Walk for a while. I usually go past or below it...

Offline numanfan

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2012, 23:48:44 »
Lovely pictures Numanfan. Have you seen 'Ironclad'? That tells a dramatised story about the great seige. I thought it was a good movie, though it did take some liberties with the facts.

Thanks. Yes, I quite enjoyed the movie - although it was very graphically violent and as you say, not entirely accurate with the facts.
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Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2012, 23:34:38 »
Lovely pictures Numanfan. Have you seen 'Ironclad'? That tells a dramatised story about the great seige. I thought it was a good movie, though it did take some liberties with the facts.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2012, 12:50:31 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle


Did you notice the date on the well?


The castle began to be restored in the early 19th century - I don't think the 19th century owners were too concened with 'sympathetic' or unobtrusive restoration work!
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Offline swiftone

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2012, 11:48:55 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle


Did you notice the date on the well?



Offline sandi_01

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2012, 10:55:25 »
That's a cool photo of the castle well...I have never seen it before. I will look next time I am at the castle.

And the baker's oven door...I have noticed that many times and wondered why it was there...now I know!

Thanks for the information guys! :)

Offline kyn

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2012, 08:33:47 »
LewisE's picture of the well inside the castle

Offline Merv

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2012, 23:29:50 »
The arial photo posted by Dover Dan is great, in the area above the Castle where the Pool is we used to play there when we were Kids.
My Father said that Kent actually played a game of Cricket there at one time.
When the Pool was derelict we used it for making and mucking about on Rafts :)
I believe the pool was used by The Maths school

kevin payne

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2012, 15:42:32 »
i am told that the original timbers went to the brewery that once stood on the site that is now the french hospital just off high st by francis isles.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2012, 03:02:03 »
Darn, I should have scrolled right back before writing my last post as kyn's original post contains much of the information I put in mine! But hopefully I've added a few more details in some parts, and I don't think the dates I've given clash with kyns!
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2012, 02:58:26 »
I'm going purely from memory here so the dates mat not be perfect, but they should be pretty close.

The original castle was built around 1067 as a simple bailey castle with wooden walls. There was some dispute amongst historians as to whether there was ever a motte too, but last time I looked into this (about a decade ago) most were saying there was not - this may have changed by now!  However, it probably did contain a simple wooden keep, whether on a motte or not. The subject of location is also often debated - Boley hill is suggested where an outcropping of rock may have served as a natural motte, the name being derived from the bailey of the castle. Other experts argue that it was always on its current site, but there was a later siege fortification on Boley Hill. I'm not sure if this one has been resolved yet.

Following the rebellion over the succession in 1088, in which Odo supported William's eldest son, Robert Curthose, against his brother, William Rufus, the King ordered Gundulph to rebuild the walls in stone which he did in about 1089, incorporating part of the Roman city wall into the curtain wall of the castle.  The Keep was (re)built in stone by Richard de Corbeil on the instruction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the castle having been granted to the the Archbishop in perpetuity by Henry I in 1127. The building of the keep took place soon after this (and I think was completed around 1135).

As The Collector mentioned, King John laid siege to the castle during the First Baron's War and the south-east corner was brought down by mining. When it was rebuilt the latest defensive technology - a round tower was constructed.  Following this the castle gradually fell into a state of decay until the reign of Edward III when it was restored and a number of towers were added to the curtain wall that Gundulph had originally built.

By the 16th century the castle was considered obsolete and was used as a 'quarry' to supply stone for the building of Upnor Castle. By the 17th century it was in such a poor state it did not even figure in the battle when Royalists captured the city from Parliamentarian forces in the English Civil War. Diarist Samuel Pepys commented on the poor condition of Rochester Castle, and it seems that by the late 17th century the castle may already have become a tourist attraction.

Destruction of part of the outer wall in began in the early 18th century when the owner decided to sell off the stone as building material. It seems he originally intended to dismantle more of the castle to sell the stone, but the plans were abandoned, but not before the cross wall had been removed. Although some other parts of the castle were dismantled, the two towers in the south-east wall continued to be used for accommodation. At some point in the 17th or 18th century the wooden flooring in the keep was sold off (I have a vague recollection it was sold to a brewer, perhaps one of the Best family.)

In the 1740s prisoners were held at the castle, but these were probably in huts built within the walls rather than in the castle itself. In about 1780 the commander of the Royal Engineers for Chatham, Colonel Debbieg (who also oversaw the modernisation of Chatham Lines) put forward a (unsuccessful) plan to reuse Rochester Castle as an army barracks.

In the early 19th century the castle began to be restored, and in the late 19th century (about 1870 I think) the castle gardens were instituted as a public park. In the 1880s the Corporation of Rochester bought the castle. Work on restoring the keep began in the early 20th century by the Corporation, but in the mid 1960s The Ministry of Public Building and Works took over care of the castle from the Corporation of Rochester. This in turn passed over to English Heritage (1980s?) although I believe Medway Council is still responsible for some (or most) of the upkeep.
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The Collector

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Re: Rochester Castle
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2012, 01:04:54 »
The Keep is open to visitors but the "Round Tower" is closed off due to the amount of missing facing stone making the steps unsafe also as this was the tower that was collapsed in the Siege, you can see that the walls around it (repaired building work) is becoming detached and in time could collapse, work will have to be done here to save it. all the other Towers are of square design but by the time of the siege, the crusades had started and they had found that round towers were stronger, hence 3 square 1 round.

Also although the Castle was built by Bishop Gundulf, it was not the First Norman castle, the first was on Borley Hill and was a wooden Mott and Baily, following the Death of King William I, Duke of Normandy, some of the Old barons rebelled against William II (William Rufus), The rebels were not doing too bad but William managed to persuade Roger de Montgomerie (Montgomery) 1st Earl of Shrewsbury to change sides,  the rebellion ended at Rochester where Bishop Odo (Earl of Kent, Bishop of Bayeux) surrender outside the gates of Rochester Castle.

 

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