Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral


Rochester Cathedral is England’s second oldest, having been founded in 604AD by Bishop Justus. The present building dates back to the work of the French monk, Gundulf, in 1080

The glorious Norman architecture of the nave, parts of the crypt, as well as one of the finest Romanesque facades in England, make this an inspirational place to visit. The Cathedral is blessed with some fine examples of later Gothic styles as well as the magnificent 14th century Chapter Library door. Hidden from view (although it can be viewed by special appointment) is one of the oldest doors in England.

The Cathedral became a major place of pilgrimage in the 13th century, following the death of William of Perth, a Scottish baker who was murdered nearby. His body was brought to the Cathedral and at his shrine, of which no trace remains, miracles were reported. Modern pilgrims who journey to the Cathedral still climb the Pilgrim Steps, now worn by the many thousands of medieval pilgrims visiting the shrine, often lighting candles at the William of Perth prayer-station in front of the oratory. Visitors who journey to the Cathedral today are direct descendents of those early pilgrims.

John the Baptist's Fresco - The first real fresco to be created in an English Cathedral for 800 years was dedicated on St John the Baptist’s Day 2004. The fresco is on the theme of baptism. Its creation is the first step towards creating a baptistery in the north nave transept. The fresco was painted by Sergei Fyodorov, the Russian iconographer, and the richness and size of this narrative painting draws visitors from near and far; some to admire its artistry, and others to use it as a focus of meditation and prayer.

Come and visit - Whatever your reason for coming to Rochester Cathedral, we hope you take away a sense of its worship, history, and architecture.

Opening times (please check before visiting)
The Cathedral is open daily 07:30 –- 18:00. Occasionally access may be restricted due to services or special events.

Admission is free to individuals, but donations are vital to the maintenance of this magnificent working cathedral. We receive no financial support from central or local government and ask you to help by giving as generously as you can. There is, however, a charge for group visits

For further information please contact the Visits Officer on 01634 401301 or email above.

The Tearooms - located in the 18th century Deanery and open throughout the year between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, for breakfast, light refreshments, light lunches and afternoon tea. We also offer a wide range of Fairtrade teas and coffees. We are open during the Sweeps Festival and the Dickens Festivals, and also participate in the Rochester Food & Drink Festival.

Disclaimer: The information on this attraction was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above attraction should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015