Rochester Cathedral
Rochester Cathedral
The first mention of a Cathedral in Rochester was when King Ethelbert founded the Cathedral in 604A.D. The Cathedral was consecrated by St. Augustine and was blessed to St. Andrew who was the Patron Saint of Monasteries, where St. Augustine was from.

The first Bishop of Rochester was Justus in 604 A.D. The original Cathedral has since vanished through the re building of the present day Cathedral. However, in 1889, work on the Cathedral uncovered the foundations of the original Cathedral under the west end.

The foundations were about 1.5m (5 feet) deep and what was left of the walls were 70 cms (2' 4") thick. The walls were made of stone and Roman brick. The original Cathedral had a round end named an 'Apse.' The length was about 14 metres (46' 6") and the width was about 8.8 metres (29' 6") When the Normans invaded England in 1066, Gundulf became the Bishop of Rochester in 1077.

Gundulf also built the Castle opposite the Cathedral. He also built the Tower of London. Gundulf started to design the new Cathedral for Rochester. In 1115, Ernulf was inaugurated as the Bishop of Rochester. In 1137 and 1179, fires engulfed the Cathedral and was badly damaged. In 1215 the Cathedral was looted, first by King John and then in 1264 by Simon de Monfort's men when they laid siege on the City.

It is traditionally thought that King Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves in the cloisters of Rochester Cathedral. Unfortunately, in the 1800's Rochester had became one of the poorest Dioceses in the country. Again it was robbed of its treasures by unruly soldiers. Unbelievably, the Cathedral became a place of ill repute, where often gambling and drinking took place. Samuel Pepys described it as a 'Shabby place.' Through the 1800's, the Cathedral had gone through a number of restoration processes, and finally in 1880, Gilbert Scott restored the Cathedral to its present day appearance.