As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, this exhibition examines some of the people and places that provided inspiration for his novels and essays. We look, too, at his childhood memories of Chatham, and life at his much-loved house at Gad’s Hill Place.

‘I have often heard him say,’ said John Forster, friend and biographer of Dickens, ‘that in leaving the neighbourhood of Rochester he was leaving everything that had given his ailing little life its picturesqueness or sunshine. He was to be taken to London inside the stage coach, and Kentish woods and fields, Cobham Park and Hall, Rochester Castle and Cathedral, and all the wonderful romance together, including the red-cheeked baby he had been wildly in love with, were to vanish like a dream.’

Black and white image of a house