A photo of one of the new smelling stations at Rochester Castle. The station looks like a metal castle.
One of the smelling stations in Rochester Castle
Published: Thursday, 14th September 2023

A trip to Rochester Castle will now be an experience for all of your senses.

From Thursday, 14 September, which is World Taste and Smell Day, three smelling stations will be installed at the Norman castle. 

The smelling stations will give visitors the chance to step back in time and get an even better sense of what the historic building would have been like hundreds of years ago.

Visitors will be able to get a whiff of the food store. This was one of the most important rooms in the castle and would have been filled with fish, poultry, cheese, herbs and spices as well as ale and wine.

Moving on to the chapel, you can expect strong incense smells like myrrh, ambergris, cinnamon, saffron, rosemary and more. This smell sensation is inspired by 11th century medieval manuscripts.

The last stop is the cess pit, which is definitely one for braver visitors. This is where all of the castle’s waste, both human and animal, would have ended up – so be prepared!

This latest addition comes hot on the heels of some brilliant improvements at Rochester Castle this year. As well as new seating around the Mural Gallery, visitors are now greeted by soundscapes as they arrive, as well as in the Chapel and the Great Hall. The soundscapes add an amazing atmosphere and help bring the castle to life, giving people an idea of what they would have heard all those years ago.

Visitors to the castle can also enjoy the new multimedia guide on their visit, which provides an engaging and exciting way to learn about the historic castle. The multimedia guide is included in the price of admission.

A brilliant way to bring the castle to life even more

Cllr Harinder Mahil, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Leisure, said: “Rochester Castle is home to the country’s finest and tallest Norman keep and is a fantastic piece of our heritage in Medway. I think that this is a brilliant way to bring the much-loved castle to life even more for our visitors, who will now be able to take in the smells as well as the sights and sounds! I would encourage residents to come along and discover more about this magnificent piece of history on their doorstep.”

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