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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.
- Open 10am to 4.30pm (4pm last admission) Tuesdays to
Sundays. Please see our
- Free entry
- Check out the video above for a virtual tour of the museum
or read the full version of the Guildhall Museum
collections feature "A treasure chest of local history" which
appears in the
April May 2013 edition of Medway Matters. (pdf
Flights of Fancy
Take the chance to find out about Rochester's aeronautical past
and try some paper planes at the museum. 15, 16 and 17 April 2014. 10am to 4pm
- Can you fly your design the full length of the Guildhall?
- All materials and plans provided
- Free admission
- No need to book
- Suitable for ages 5 to 11 years
Quizes 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
The Medway Conservancy Board Building of the museum is
now closed between 1pm and 2pm each day.