Archaeology around Rochester Bridge: medieval floor tile

Rochester’s Bridge Chapel has been a feature of the Medway riverside for more than 600 years, having been constructed as a place for travellers to pause and pray for safe passage.

The exact date of the Chapel’s construction is unknown, however it is described as “newly constructed” in 1393, and was built at the request of Sir John de Cobham, one of the two men who paid for construction of the medieval bridge – itself completed in 1391.

This medieval floor title dates from the 14th century and is said to have been part of the original floor of the medieval Bridge Chapel. The claim is unsubstantiated but the tile is very similar to others found at other Kent churches, such as Bishopsbourne and Brook.

The tile is on display in the Bridge Chamber until March 2023, for opening times visit the Forthcoming Events page.

Today, the floor of the Bridge Chapel is laid with plain tiles. This follows the style chosen by Sir Herbert Baker, the architect who restored the then derelict building in 1937.

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