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Medway MovieBase

Historical Rochester: A survey of some of the monuments left behind by the march of progress

A film by Gerald Springett

Part of Watling Street, the original Roman Road. The film opens with a view of a section of the Roman Road transplanted from Rochester High Street to the rear of Eastgate House, Rochester.

The Roman Wall that once encircled the city. The second part of the film shows the the upper parts of the medieval wall, built on the line of the original Roman wall and bushes, probably filmed in the area of King's Orchard and The Vines.

Rochester Cathedral. The third part of the film shows a metal plaque recording the supposed position of the original cathedral of c.604 at the west front of the cathedral. The scene changes to St. Nicholas' Church burial ground in Boley Hill looking north, the camera panning right and bringing Cherstey's Gate and the west front of the cathedral into view. The cathedral is next viewed from a window in Rochester Castle keep, with the River Medway (Limehouse Reach) and the Frindsbury Peninsula in the distance. The camera pans to the right and lowers to show the cloisters. Returning to ground level, the next scene shows the north-east corner of the cloisters, ruined arcading and trees. There is a brief glimpse of the south elevation of the minor south south transept. The next scenes show the central tower, north transept, minor north transept and choir viewed from the north west, with the war memorial cross in the foreground. There is next a brief glimpse of the south side of the nave with trees in the foreground followed by a second glimpse of the cathedral from the castle keep. The west door is followed by a final view of the cathedral from the castle keep. The next scenes show Prior's Gate with the central tower in the background and the central tower viewed from under the Prior's Gate arch.

Rochester Castle. The next sequence begins with a view of the castle keep seen from the north east. The castle gardens are visible in the foreground and the camera pans to the right to show the western curtain wall and terrace. The Crimean War Russian cannon is glimpsed. A plaque explaining the history of the castle wall is fleetingly shown. There follow a succession of brief views of the curtain wall, north west bastion and northern mural tower or keeper's lodge. Another of view of the keep exterior is followed by a sequence of views of the interior of the keep, taken from different levels and vantage points. The castle sequence concludes with an exterior view of the keep from the north east.

The Vines. This sequence begins with a plaque describing the leasing of The Vines from the cathedral to the corporation in 1880 and continues with a view looking south east along of the main avenue of trees (London plane trees). The camera pans south towards Vines Lane. Subsequent scenes show trees and bushes in the northern area of The Vines and children in the main avenue.

The George Inn, 35 High Street. This scene is a very brief one, providing a glimpse of the street frontage.

Eastgate House and Rochester City Museum, 133 High Street, affording several views mainly of the Eastgate Lane frontage and mural plaque.

Restoration House, 17-19 Crow Lane (formerly 19 Maidstone Road), featuring several shots taken from The Vines, showing passing traffic.

Lloyd's Bank Ltd., 69-71 High Street. Street frontage including mural tablet commemorating stay of King James VII and II as guest of Sir Richard Head, 1688.

Guildhall, 16 High Street. Views of the various mural tablets and colonnade.

Old Corn Exchange, 49 High Street. Showing the street frontage, overhead clock and cupola.

Minor Canon Row, Cathedral Precincts. Street frontage.

Quaker Cottages, Boley Hill. A very brief glimpse of the street frontage, a mural tablet and a tablet in the pavement.

Chertsey's Gate. Viewed from College Yard, mural tablet, with a view of Northgate Lane from beneath the arch, a view of the gable from inside College Yard and finally the High Street frontage looking from Northgate, showing passing motor vehicles in the High Street.

Rochester and District Co-operative and Industrial Society Ltd., 21-33 High Street. Street frontage and mural tablet commemorating link with Charles Dickens' character Joe Speck from The Uncommercial Traveller, 1860.

150 High Street (Eastgate), variously Mr. Pumblechook’s house in Great Expectations and Mr. Sapsea’s house in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, street frontage and gables.

The Six Poor Travellers' House, Watts' Charity, 97 High Street. Street frontage, gables, passing pedestrian and mural tablets.

The Bull Hotel, 16-18 High Street. Street frontage, passing pedestrian, royal achievement of arms carved in stone and entrance to stable yard.

Brief glimpse of mural tablet and cathedral burial ground near the castle moat.

Produced and photographed by Gerald L. Springett.

Black and white, silent.

Updated by Borough Archivist 21 September 2007.


Date: c.1931
Quantity: 13 minutes, 9 seconds
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