Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Greenstead Church, said to be the world's oldest wooden building, in Greenstead, England


in the county of Essex

2nd Winter picture of Postbridge Clapper.


in the county of Devon

Pictures of Rochester Cathedral

a Historic Building in the town of Rochester, in the county of Kent

About Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral is awesome in its beauty, matching this is an impressive history stretching back to when the cathedral was founded in 604 by Bishop Justus.

The building then was of an abbey, this was destroyed by the Danes, but was later rebuilt by Bishop Gundulph in the 11th-century when he established an order of Benedictine monks here.

The structure of the building is mainly Norman, particularly the impressive nave and beautifully preserved vaulted crypt, the rest is Early English, but owing to the damage caused by fires of the 12th-century the cathedral shows additions and alterations of several church building styles. The facade of the building is pure Romanesque, probably the finest in England, whilst the rich interior possesses a wealth of interesting features, all quietly contrasting but all displaying a magnificence which constantly draws the eye to every corner of the building.

Rochester Cathedral is noted for its fine funery monuments, probably the most important of these is the one to the Ist Lord Henniker, this is in true Victorian Romantic style, by John Bacon the Younger (1777-1859) he was the son of the famous sculptor John Bacon (1740-1799). The monument is carved from marble, it shows statues of stately, well endowed females in comfortable repose leaning against a casket. To the side of this is a similar monument to Dame Anne Henniker, again this is in high relief with a casket flanked by two free standing figures, one being a bare-breasted angel and the other a winged statue of Time, complete with scythe. Other monuments include those to past Bishops, with the most interesting being the medieval effigies of the medieval bishops, there is also several 20th-century statues and monuments.

Amongst its other treasures is the magnificent 14th-century Chapter library door, and most recently Rochester has become the first English cathedral in over 800 years to be enhanced with a fresco. This rich painting by Sergei Fyodorov dominates the north nave transept and adds to Rochester's unique attraction for visitors.

Of further historic interest is that this is said to be the place where Henry VIII met Anne of Cleeves in the cathedral cloisters, also that Bishop Gundulph built the castle opposite the cathedral, and is believed to have been instrumental in the building of the Tower of London. Another anecdote tells that in the early 19th-century the diocese had become so poor that the cathedral became a place of ill-repute, used for gaming and drinking, causing Samuel Pepys to regard it as a "Shabby place". Eventually after a period of long neglect Sir Gilbert Scott was called upon to restore the cathedral back to its former glory.

With over 1,400 years of worship Rochester cathedral is the second oldest in the land. To-day, surrounded by lawns off-set by pretty flower beds, it presents a strikingly beautiful picture of a serene, historic house of God.

There is a pleasant tea-room and a shop for the purchase of religious articles, music and gifts.

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Recommended towns & villages near Rochester Cathedral

Aylesford medieval bridge over the River Medway in Kent is overlooked by the parish church.

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Complete A to Z of attractions in England