The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.389322, 0.477858

4 Annotations

michael j. gresk m.a.  •  Link

england 2nd oldest cathedral foundation-founded 604. an eclectic combination of norman, romananesque, early english and gothic. a bit of victorian 'gingerbread'. smallest cathedral in england. a wonderful day-trip excursion from london.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sadly Pedro's link is dead. The City of Rochester has a history page at… But in case it dies, here is the short version:

Rochester is an old city; there was an important settlement here well before the Roman occupation of Britain in AD43. It was also where the ancient highway which later became part of the Roman Watling Street, forded the River Medway. The Romans probably built the first bridge and fortified the town, which became known as Durobrivae – ‘The Stronghold by the Bridge’.

The first Christian church in Rochester was established in AD604 and Justus (a contemporary of St. Augustine) was appointed its first Bishop. The Norman’s recognised Rochester’s strategic importance and a castle was built here soon after William’s Conquest of 1066. The city received its first charter from Richard I in 1190.

The River Medway divides the County of Kent in two, separating the ‘Men of Kent’ on the East Bank from the ‘Kentish Men’ on the West.

Many Kings and Queens visited Rochester: In 1540, Henry VIII came to see the woman who was to be his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves -- and wasn't happy. Elizabeth I came to Rochester in 1573, staying at the Crown Inn (still standing at the bridge end of Rochester High Street, albeit much changed). She also stayed at the home of Richard Watts, MP for Rochester. Watts’ former home is known as ‘Satis House’ in tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s comment when asked how she had enjoyed her stay.

James I visited the city three times. In 1625, Charles I passed through on his way to Dover. In 1660, Charles II stayed overnight at the home of Sir Francis Clerke, prior to his restoration to the throne. The house, known since then as ‘Restoration House’, was the inspiration for Miss Haversham’s house in Dickens’ Great Expectations. In 1688, James II was a semi-prisoner in a house on the High Street before his escape to France (this house is now known as ‘Abdication House’).

Samuel Pepys visited Rochester and Chatham in 1661, and again in 1667 to view the damage done by the Dutch Fleet following its attack on Chatham Dockyard. [HA! We know better!]

The personality most often associated with Rochester is novelist Charles Dickens. He spent his early childhood in Chatham, where his father was employed as Clerk to the Pay Office. Young Dickens and his father would go for long walks through the surrounding countryside and it was on these walks that Dickens first saw and admired Gad’s Hill Place in nearby Higham. This house, about four miles from Rochester on the road to Gravesend, was to become Dickens’ home from 1859 until his death in 1870.

Rochester features in Dickens’ work more than any other town except London, either by its own name or a fictitious one – ‘Cloisterham’ in ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ and ‘Dullborough’ in the ‘Uncommercial Traveller’.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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