Graham Keevill has been Cathedral Archaeologist at Rochester since 2006, and is also Archaeological Consultant for Blackburn and Salisbury Cathedral, Rochester Castle, Christ Church Oxford (cathedral and college) and Tewkesbury Abbey (www.keevillheritage.co.uk).
Original copies of the archaeological reports below are archived with Kent Historic Environment Record and Medway Archives.
Produced by permission of Keevill Heritage ltd. All rights reserved to the author.
A Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey was conducted over approximately 1900m² at the Cloister and Chapter House of Rochester Cathedral, along with the site of the medieval dormitory – now a courtyard to the Old Deanery. Numerous anomalies were identified across the site. They are probably associated with the Chapter House dated between 1080 and 1100, the arrangement of the early Norman Cloister and Garth, the Chapter House dated between 1120 and 1150, the 1805 Prebendal House, Dorter Range and medieval buildings.
Test pits and a limited ground penetrating radar survey have identified a door and walls possibly associated with the medieval Infirmary range.
Four small test pits were hand excavated on ground just to the west of the cloister at Rochester Cathedral. The eastern two pits revealed an ashy mortar and chalk layer at 450-500mm below the current ground surface. This layer is provisionally interpreted as the top of demolition deposits from the medieval west range of the cloister, which was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century.
An archaeological watching brief and photographic recording were carried out at various stages before, during and after the construction of new glazed porches within the Great West Door at the west end of the cathedral, and the North Door in the North Transept. The photography was principally carried out to record the condition of the proposed porch locations as part of the project appraisal.
Report on a watching brief during extensive conservation and repair to the house and the adjacent Deanery Gate as well as limited excavations in front of the house and in its basement. Archaeological recording was carried out at various stages of the project, starting with a pre-construction photographic survey of the building.
A small excavation on the north side of the Cathedral revealed a remnant of a stone wall running parallel with the existing roadway from the Deanery Gate to the Old Deanery. The date of the wall is uncertain but it appears to be of post-medieval origin at the earliest.
An archaeological watching brief was maintained during conservation and construction work to erect a new memorial to the Corps of Royal Engineers in the south aisle of the nave at Rochester Cathedral. This revealed evidence for Norman and 17th-century building work at the west end of the nave.
A substantial stone wall or foundation was uncovered immediately under the existing paving close to the south-east corner of the transept. The masonry is interpreted as the outer (west) wall of the Cellarer’s Lodgings, a substantial building range that ran fully along the west side of the cloister.
Report on a condition survey of gravestones within the lay cemetery area outside the west front of Rochester Cathedral carried out between September and October 2009.