Rochester Cathedral 604 to 1080 AD

In 604 AD Æthelberht, King of Kent, granted land in and around the Roman town of Rochester to Justus, on a mission from Rome to convert the Kentish peoples to Christianity. Bishop Justus’ constructed a cathedral dedicated to St Andrew ‘from the foundations’, probably from re-used Roman materials.

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This Anglo-Saxon cathedral stood for nearly 500 years until the remains of its saints were translated into the recently constructed Norman cathedral and the building was demolished. Its materials were probably reused in the construction of the west façade.

Click here to explore Gundulf’s cathedral of 1080 AD.
Further Reading

Anonymous, 2003, The Anglo–Saxon Church, Friends of Rochester Cathedral Annual Report, 18-19

Bede (ed. L Shirley-Price), 1955, A History of the English Church and People (Penguin).

Clapham, A., 1964. English Romanesque Architecture before the Conquest (1st edition 1930).

Livett, G. M. 1889. Foundations of the Saxon Church at Rochester, Archaeologia Cantiana 18, 201-78.

Livett, G. M. 1895. Medieval Rochester, Archaeologia Cantiana 21, 17-72.

Hope, W. H. St John, 1898, The architectural history of the Cathedral church and monastery of St Andrew’s Rochester, Archaeologia Cantiana 23, 194-328.

Palmer, G. H., 1899, The Cathedral Church of Rochester: A Description of its fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See (1st edition 1897).

Flight, C. 1997, The Bishops and Monks of Rochester 1076-1214.

McAleer, J. P. 1999. Rochester Cathedral 604–1540: An architectural history. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Ward, A., 1999a, Saxon Roots, Friends of Rochester Cathedral Annual Report, 16-20.

Ward, A., 1999b, Boley Hill, Rochester: repaving project, Kent Archaeological Society Newsletter 43.

Ward, A., 2001, Boley Hill repaving, Rochester, Canterbury’s Archaeology 1998-1999, 33-42.

Ward, A., 2002, Archaeological Observations Undertaken During the Repaving Project at Boley Hill, Rochester (unpublished archive report).

Ward, A. 2015a, Still more archaeological problems at Rochester Cathedral, Kent Archaeological Review 197, 254-71.