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Rochester Castle among Medway's heritage venues to reopen

Historic Rochester Castle has reopened to visitors after being closed since March.

The castle, which is managed by Medway Council on behalf of English Heritage, has no pre-booking but there are limits on visitor numbers, as well as other new steps in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Rochester Castle - the 12th-century keep or stone tower is one of the best preserved in England
Rochester Castle - the 12th-century keep or stone tower is one of the best preserved in England

The imposing fortress, which would have been hosting the Castle Concerts last week, has a Norman tower-keep built about 1127 which stands 113ft high.

In 1215, the castle endured an epic siege by King John and was also rebuilt under Henry III and Edward I.

Visitors are asked to check the website before visiting here and to buy English Heritage membership click here.

English Heritage has a phased reopening for its sites, which have already included Dover Castle and Walmer Castle grounds.

Across the county, Leeds Castle has also reopened its grounds, and its adventure playgrounds, adventure golf; its bird of prey centre and the Lady Baillie & Culpeper Gardens reopened to the public this week.

Rochester Castle - the 12th-century keep or stone tower is one of the best preserved in England
Rochester Castle - the 12th-century keep or stone tower is one of the best preserved in England

Hever Castle is also open, along with its playgrounds, though visitors cannot pre-book tickets to the castle, only to the gardens and upgrade when they arrive.

Elsewhere in Medway, the Guildhall Museum and Visitor Information Centre (including Rochester Art Gallery) are now open, though Upnor Castle, Eastgate House, Temple Manor and Brook Pumping Station remain closed until further notice.

The castle played its part for Clap for Carers while it was closed
The castle played its part for Clap for Carers while it was closed

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Medway is steeped in history, with a number of heritage attractions for the family to enjoy.

“It’s possible that residents may have to queue to access some of our sites and venues due to the new measures, and I would ask everyone to be patient while we all adjust to a new way of life."

Rochester Castle will be the last venue in the county to host Luna Cinema screenings in October. Find out more here.

For more news of venues reopening and events across Kent click here.


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