The Rochester Guildhall was built in 1687 and is one of the finest 17th-century civic buildings in Kent. Its staircase and main hall have magnificent plaster ceilings, given in 1695 by Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell, who was the Member of Parliament for the city of Rochester at the time.
Open 10am to 5pm Tuesdays to Sundays.
The museum was founded in 1897, in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was first set up in Eastgate House further along the High Street and was moved into the Guildhall in 1979.
The wide-ranging collections are housed in two separate buildings, the Guildhall (1687) and the River Medway Conservancy Board Building (1909).
The museum’s wheelchair-accessible entrance gallery contains a small shop selling souvenirs items, a reception desk, and an attractive introductory exhibition highlighting the role that River Medway has played in shaping the environmental and human history of Medway. Text accompanying this exhibition is reproduced in English, French and Dutch.
All visitors (including those with mobility difficulties, and wheelchair users) can access electronic media in the gallery which enables them to view short films highlighting key features of the museum displays.
Highlights of the displays include:
- a full-size reconstruction of part of a Medway prison hulk
- archaeological objects that visitors can touch
- civic silver and regalia from Medway’s past
- the most complete set of 18th-century cabinet maker’s tools in the world
- a Victorian drawing room and kitchen
- a large selection of paintings and prints of the area
- the Dickens Discovery Room
- the Rochester “Riverside Eye” camera interactive.
Free quizzes for children and families are always available. Borrow a clipboard and pencil and follow a themed trail around the museum.
Call: 01634 332900