The Trust owns three major bridges across the Medway at Rochester – the two A2 road bridges and a service bridge which carries pipes and cables across the river. The maintenance and management if these bridges is carried out at no cost to the public by the Trust using its own funds derived from donations made by benefactors in the 14th and 15th centuries. Today about half of the Trust’s annual income is received as rent from property which it owns across Kent and Cambridgeshire.
The Kent estate, comprising 2534 acres of land in various locations across the county, consists of some original endowment holdings with subsequent agricultural and commercial purchases in the 20th century, and various residential properties acquired in the last couple of years. The estimated value of the Kent estate is £31,582,006, and the total current annual income is £1,535,565. Property holdings are located in seven local authority districts in Kent and Medway, and are mainly in locations near or adjacent to Dartford, Maidstone, Faversham and Canterbury.
The property estate is actively managed to ensure that its value is preserved and enhanced and that vital income is protected. In early October, some of the Wardens and Assistants, their staff and professional advisors, carried out a visit to some of the key properties on the Kent Estate. These visits are carried out every other year and give the opportunity for the Wardens and Assistants, as trustees of the charity, to meet their tenants and gain a deeper understanding of their investment property portfolio.
On this occasion, visits were made to agricultural, commercial, and residential property holdings at Cooling, Detling, Rosecourt Farm on the Isle of Grain, Gillingham Business Park, Westmoor Farm at Rainham, Pond Farm at Newington, and Westlands Farm at Borough Green.
1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.
2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
For more information:
The Rochester Bridge Trust
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125