Why are you doing this work?
The last major refurbishment of the Bridge Chamber and Bridge Chapel took place more than 80 years ago, when the Chapel was restored from a ruinous state. Both buildings have been maintained since then, but the time has now come to carry out a more significant overhaul.
What do the works include?
The project includes improving access; installing new services and accessible toilets; upgrades to the archive facility, creating a dedicated archive research facility; internal lighting; and more. We will provide more detail in our dedicated news section.
Why are you talking about two buildings? Isn’t there just one?
The Bridge Chamber and Bridge Chapel are two distinct buildings, joined by a door. The Bridge Chamber is the larger of the two buildings, and was constructed in Victorian times. Standing outside the building and looking to the left, you can see a smaller building with a big wooden door, this is the Bridge Chapel, which was constructed more than 600 years ago.
What are the buildings for?
The Bridge Chamber is the administrative heart of the Trust. Historically this is where the Wardens and Assistants meet to discuss matters relating to the bridge. You can find out more about the history of the Chamber here.
In medieval times, Bridge Chapels were a common sight next to bridges, offering a place for travellers to pause and pray for safe passage across the river. Find out more about the history of the Bridge Chapel here.
Who is paying for this?
The Rochester Bridge Trust is paying for the works from its own reserves and at no cost to the public. This is as per the Trust’s motto: Publica Privatis, which can be translated as “public service from private means”. The Trust does not receive any income from local or national taxes.
Who is carrying out the work?
The lead contractor is Hoo-based Coleman & James (Services) Ltd.
How much noise will there be?
The majority of the work will take place indoors, which will reduce noise. Hoarding has also been erected around the site to help with this. Where outdoor works are required the contractor will be sensitive to noise disturbance.
When will the works finish?
The works are scheduled to be complete and all hoarding removed in summer 2021.
What about the pandemic?
The government has ruled that construction work should continue during the pandemic. All activities are reviewed for Covid-safe working, with distancing and PPE implemented for the safety of all involved.