Rochester Cathedral, Kent

Full dedication: Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary
Became a Cathedral in 604

Rochester was Britain's second Cathedral to be founded (Canterbury was the first, also in Kent).

Unlike Canterbury, Rochester didn't grow into a massive shrine or place of pilgrimage. This means that it is a much smaller building, but it is of a far purer form of architecture being almost entirely Norman in character (the spire was added in the 19th Century).

Bishop Gundulph was responsible for the building of the Cathedral in 1090 (and a couple of years before had built Rochester's massive Castle from where this photo is taken). The tomb of William of Perth who died in 1201 became a focus for pilgrims after reported miracles and the Cathedral was extended, his tomb is now marked with just a plain stone slab (the Reformation having dealt with the old shrine).

Another famous monument is to Charles Dickens who wanted to be buried here, but ended up interred in Westminster Abbey.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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