Rochester Cathedral

The cathedral has been a place of Christian worship ever since the Saxons built a cathedral on the site in 604 A.D. According to the historian Bede, St Augustine consecrated, Justus, the first Bishop of Rochester. By 1077, the cathedral had borne the brunt of invasion by the Danes but by 1082, the first Norman bishop, Gundulf had established the Benedictine Priory of St. Andrew. A year later he began work on the nave whose rounded arches are now one of the greatest extant examples of Norman Cathedral architecture to be found in the UK.

Over 1400 years of worship and pilgrimage, the cathedral saw the ravages of tumultuous times. The 12th century brought a couple of fires. During the 13th, it was plundered by rebel barons during the reign of King John and later desecrated when the city fell to Simon de Montfort's troops. Cromwell's soldiers would again damage the cathedral in the 17th century. The cathedral proved stronger than both nature and warfare. Aided by generous pilgrims and benefactors the cathedral was restructured and modified. The result is glorious mixture of architectural styles stretching from the Norman nave to the narrow Gothic arches, the Decorated archway and 20th century restoration. On your visit, note the unusual Lady Chapel as well as the vaulted crypt which has retained two Norman bay windows and some well-preserved, medieval, wall paintings.

Postcode: ME1 1SX
Town/city or near: Rochester
County: Kent

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