Guildhall Museum

Medway Towns


High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1PY

Tel: 01634 332680

Photo of exterior of Guildhall Museum


The Rochester Guildhall was built in 1687 and is one of the finest 17th-century civic buildings in Kent.

Its staircase and main hall have magnificent plaster ceilings, given in 1695 by Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell, who was the Member of Parliament for the city of Rochester at the time. Outside, mounted on the roof, is an amazing weather vane in the form of a fully rigged 18th-century warship. This is 1.52m tall and weighs just under 51kg. It is made of gilded copper and lead alloy and has weathered the ever-changing climate since 1780.

The museum was founded in 1897, in honour of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. It was first set up in Eastgate House further along the High Street and was moved into the Guildhall in 1979.

The collections follow a timeline through Medway’s history and are housed in one of the finest civic 17th century building in Kent, along with a small gift shop. Highlights of the displays include::

• a full-size reconstruction of part of a Medway prison hulk;
• a 200,000 year-old axe that visitors can touch;
• a wide range of domestic artefacts from Darenth Roman villa;
• the most complete set of 18th-century cabinet maker's tools in the world;
• a model of Rochester Castle under siege;
• a large selection of paintings and prints of the area;
• a full programme of temporary exhibitions;

Book Tickets


Establishment Features

  • Gift shop
  • Groups welcome - Groups of 15+ must pre-book visit
  • Open all year round - Closed on Mondays (except during school and bank holidays)

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge) - Parking at nearby pay and display car parks

Provider Preferences

  • Indoor Attraction

Specialist Features

  • Educational Groups - Educational Officer on-site
  • Family Fun - Special children and half term activities organised


Map & Directions

Road Directions

From A2 follow signs to Rochester. The museum is at the river end of Rochester High Street.

Public Transport Directions

Nearest rail station is Rochester.

What's Nearby

  1. Rochester Castle

    One of the finest keeps in England. Also the tallest, partly built on the Roman city wall…

    0.1 miles away
  2. Rochester Cathedral

    Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in England having been founded in AD…

    0.14 miles away
  3. Eastgate House

    Situated in the heart of historic Rochester, Eastgate House featured in the work of…

    0.3 miles away
  1. St Peter's Church Sandwich

    St Peter's Church Sandwich

    0.77 miles away
  2. Temple Manor

    A 13th century great chamber, on a vaulted undercroft, of a manor house of the Knights…

    0.79 miles away
  3. The Historic Dockyard Chatham

    Explore Chatham's shipbuilding legacy at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Step back to the…

    1.06 miles away
  4. The Brook Theatre

    Formerly Chatham Town Hall, The Brook Theatre is a hive of entertainment, activity and…

    1.07 miles away
  5. The Central Theatre

    Located in the heart of Chatham town centre, this beautiful 965-seat venue is already…

    1.11 miles away
  6. Royal Engineers Museum

    There is something for all the family. Zulu War items, Boer War, World Wars I and II,…

    1.43 miles away
  7. Upnor Castle

    This attractive, turreted castle is set in a picturesque village area that is backed by…

    1.47 miles away
  8. Oare Gunpowder Works County Park

    Oare Gunpowder Works - Gunpowder was manufactured at Oare for several centuries on a site…

    1.8 miles away
  9. Capstone Farm Country Park

    Capstone Farm Country Park is one of Medway's finest green spaces, offering wonderful…

    3.12 miles away
  10. Chatham Ski & Snowboard Centre

    Chatham Ski Centre has the longest artificial slope in the South East and is the premier…

    3.48 miles away
  11. Cobham Hall

    A large house standing in 150 acres of Repton's landscape garden and dating from 1587. It…

    3.64 miles away
  12. Riverside Country Park

    Riverside Country Park is an excellent site for Winter birdwatching.
    Situated alongside…

    4.07 miles away
  13. St James' Church

    St James' Church dates from the late 13th century. No evidence of an earlier building…

    4.57 miles away
Previous Next