Rochester Castle surprised me, as it had the opposite atmosphere of Dover Castle. The touristy feeling one often gets visiting famous sites, was seemingly absent from Rochester Castle, except for a small gift shop. This made it love at first sight for this girl. It is easy to see why Charles Dickens preferred this English town above all others. The walk to the castle from the train station is full of history, and you will notice plaques on every other building hinting at their varied backgrounds. The fantastic thing about this castle is that it is, in fact, in ruins. There have been no fancy renovations recreating the rooms of the former occupants, there is no banquet hall to see (as the floor it once stood on is long gone) and there are not costumed characters walking the grounds. Yet, the ruins transport you. Without all the tourist distractions you are left to your own devices; imagination is allowed to take over.
The Rochester cathedral can trace it’s origins back to the 7th century. Fast forward to the 1500′s and the foundation you can see today began coming together. As you can imagine, with a history that spans almost 1500 years, there have been a lot of renovations and changes throughout the years. I really took to Walter de Merton here. He has a well-preserved and intricate tomb and I loved the way it is illuminated by the stained glass windows in the background. Not the worst way to be remembered. 2004 marked the 1400th anniversary of Rochester Cathedral. To celebrate the occasion, this beautiful fresco was added to the cathedral’s wall. This is the first fresco to be painted in England in over 800 years! Rochester Cathedral has been an important part of England’s history for centuries. This cathedral is very special, and one of those places that stays with you.