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Rose tribute in Rochester for novelist Charles Dickens

By: Nicola Jordan njordan@thekmgroup.co.uk

Published: 13:08, 08 June 2021

Updated: 13:10, 08 June 2021

A simple bunch of roses marks the spot where novelist Charles Dickens was reportedly last seen alive in public 151 years ago.

The posy has been attached to the railings of The Vines in Crow Lane, Rochester, where the author was spotted resting before making his way home on Monday, June 6, 1870.

Posy where Dickens may have last seen alive in Rochester

He had apparently walked into the town after lunch to visit the London and County Bank in the High Street.

He was seen by a number of people wandering around and buying a copy of the Daily Mail.

Three days later, he died after suffering a stroke at his home in Gads Hill Place, Higham.

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He passed away in his Swiss chalet in the grounds as he was penning his last work.

Visit Rochester's Shane Waterman said: "Today that encounter is accepted as the final time anyone confirmed seeing Dickens alive in public and it took place opposite Restoration House where we have marked the anniversary with a small spray of roses for the second year.

Charles Dickens in front of the house that is now Gad’s Hill School in Higham. Picture courtesy of Gad's Hill School

"Last year's single rose lasted nearly a full 12 months. Let's see if this year's are similarly long-lasting.

"If you're in The Vines, take a look at the card attached. On the reverse, you'll find Dickens' eulogy to the place he loved, the unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood."

The flowers were supplied by Ginger Lily Florists in the High Street. Dickens used landmarks in the town for the inspiration of many of his novels.

He was also a regular at the Crispin and Crispianus pub in Strood where he would stop off for an ale or two on his way home.

The chalet is now currently in Eastgate Gardens in Rochester and there is a fundraising campaign is ongoing to refurbish it.

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