Go to navigation
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-4.30pm (4pm last admission) Tuesdays to
- Open Bank Holiday Monday, 27 May and August 26, 2013.
Outside, mounted on the roof, is an amazing weather vane in the
form of a fully rigged 18th-century warship. This is 1.52m tall and
weighs just under 51kg. It is made of gilded copper and lead alloy
and has weathered the ever-changing climate since 1780.
Check out the video above for a virtual tour of the museum
or read the full version of the Guildhall Museum
collections feature which appears in the April
May 2013 edition of Medway Matters.
Gadgets and Gizmos exhibition
Gadgets and Gizmos, an amazing collection of eccentric,
ingenious and unusual inventions from the past, opens on
Friday, 31 May 2013 and runs until 28 February 2014.
- Wonder at the ingenuity of our forefathers, from the first
washing machine to a clockwork teas-made
- More than 200 exhibits are on loan from the Maurice Collins collection
- Read all about how the collection
- Free entry
The Discovery Zone is open 27 to 31 May
from 11am to 1pm; and from 2pm to 4pm
Handle objects from the collection and try out our
- Make a shadow portrait
- Dip into an archaeological dig
- Magnify some minibeasts
- Listen to a sound quiz
- Free entry
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
- 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
The Medway Conservancy Board Building of the museum is
now closed between 1pm and 2pm each day.
Add this page to my Quick Links: Add page
Send this page to a friend: Send