Reborn, restored and revealed
Founded in 604AD, Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in England. The earliest parts of the current building date from the 1080s when the Norman monk Gundulf commenced work on a new church and an imposing castle standing opposite. The Cathedral’s newly restored Crypt and Library hold a wealth of priceless manuscripts, books, church plate and historical artefacts which are displayed for the first time in generations. Exhibitions in the Crypt showcase their amazing collections for visitors to enjoy. Kent’s most popular free attraction.
Discover The Library
Via a magnificent 14th Century door, enter the Cathedral’s Library which houses an outstanding collection of rare and historic books, manuscripts, photographs and lantern slides, some dating from the 12th Century.
Discover Rochester’s Mystery Book
Textus Roffensis is the only existing copy of the first code of English law and was written in Rochester during the early 1120s. It has been described as one of the most important documents in English history. This manuscript, written in Old English and Latin, is hugely important in the history of English law and language and is believed to have influenced the wording of the Magna Carta of 1215 and, later, the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. Historian Michael Wood says that the Textus is of “supreme importance… one of the few crucial works in the history of the civilization of the British Isles”.