How did Rochester Castle changed over time?
After the abandonment of Rochester’s first castle it was replaced by another on the current site, in the south-west corner of the town walls. Founded between 1087 and 1089, some parts of the castle survive, much altered by use and reuse in subsequent centuries.
How long did it take to build the Rochester Castle?
The great keep of Rochester was built in 1127, but even after almost 900 years, two sieges and centuries of post-medieval abuse and disuse, it remains a very imposing building. The castle has actually been besieged three times, the first occasion, in 1088, before work had begun on the keep.
When was the first castle built in Rochester?
It wasn’t until 1088 after the Norman invasion that Rochester had its first stone castle built on the remains of the old Roman Fort. The then King, Rufus asked his Bishop Gundulf, an architect, to build him a stone castle and later a magnificent Cathedral, which is the second oldest in the country.
Why was Rochester Castle important to the Normans?
Castles were introduced to England by the Normans in the 11th century and their construction, in the wake of the conquest of 1066, helped the Normans secure their new territory. Rochester was an important city, built on the site of a Roman town at the junction of the River Medway and Watling Street, a Roman road.
Who was the Bishop of Rochester when it was built?
Between 1087 and 1089, Rufus asked Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, to build a new stone castle at Rochester. He established the current extent of the castle. Though much altered through the centuries, some parts of Gundulf’s work survive. In 1127 King Henry I granted the castle to the Archbishop of Canterbury in perpetuity.
When was the great keep of Rochester built?
In 1127 Henry I entrusted it to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who began to build the great keep – a masterpiece of medieval architecture, and the tallest such building to survive in Europe. The castle endured three sieges, including a famous assault by King John in 1215, when one corner of the keep was destroyed.