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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.
The Value of Touch
- Open until 16 April 2017
- An extraordinary art exhibition created by blind and
partially-sighted members of the Kent Association for the Blind
Medway Art Group and a series of new touchable artworks by
- Open times 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
- Free entry.
Friends of the Guildhall Museums
Friends of the Guildhall
Museums, supporting the work of the Guildhall Museum in
Rochester and the Old Brook Pumping station in Chatham.
- Invitations to exhibitions previews and launch events
- Access to specially organised events, workshops and
- A free welcome tour
- Regular e-bulletins keeping you up-to-date with our new
Download a membership
form (pdf 272KB), pop it in the post
or hand to a member of staff at the Guildhall
Quizzes and leaflets
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
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
- 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