Cost: Free

Hidden Treasures at Rochester Cathedral

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

Hidden Treasures at Rochester Cathedral: Recent Discoveries

Lecture by Graham Keevill, Archaeologist of Rochester Cathedral.

Rochester Cathedral was founded in AD 604 - second only to Canterbury - but the earliest visible fabric dates to the decades after the Norman Conquest. The site's history from c 1080-1180, including its Romanesque architecture, has been the subject of much academic research. Excavations and survey work for the Hidden Treasures: Fresh Expressions project during 2014-16 have provided an unparalleled particular, the whole of the Crypt floor was excavated, exposing the foundations of the Romanesque east end (this area was very largely rebuilt after a major fire in 1179). Norman foundations were also revealed externally on the south side of the Cathedral, and some of these represent either an earlier phase of the existing cloister or a previously unknown complex of Norman buildings underlying it. Perhaps the most remarkable discoveries came in the South Quire Aisle, however, where areas of fabric generally accepted as belonging to the late 12th-century rebuilding of the crossing and eastern arm were shown to be Norman as well. The implications of these discoveries will be discussed.

The project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.