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Rochester to mark 800th anniversary of the castle siege with Lottery funding

By Medway Messenger reporter

Medway Council has been awarded almost £40k to mark the 800th anniversary of the siege of Rochester Castle.

A series of events will celebrate the landmark date, Rochester’s medieval heritage and the part it played in shaping the future of Britain.

The project will see Medway's heritage team working with a number of local organisations including Strood Academy pupils and University of the Creative Arts students.

Rochester Castle
Rochester Castle

The planned activities have been given a £37,700 funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Siege 2015 will be a magnificent way not only for people to learn more about the history of the area and its splendid castle but also the important part Rochester played in shaping the future of the country.”

During the siege in 1215, the castle was held for the barons against King John for seven weeks.

King John personally attacked the keep, breaching the southern curtain wall, and famously mining under the south-east tower causing it to collapse.

Stuart McLeod, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “At a time when so much national attention will focus on Magna Carta, this project adds a vivid new dimension to the conflict between King John and the barons.

"It provides the whole community with opportunities to become involved in celebrating a period in history that helped lay the foundation for our democracy.”

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