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Guildhall Museum - Its a little bit of history repeating.

This afternoon was the first meeting to discuss building an historical exhibit for the Guildhall Museum in Rochester, Kent.

The entrance of the Guildhall, opening out onto Rochester High Street.


The Rochester museum was set up originally in Eastgate House in 1897 and moved to Guildhall in1979, founded in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

There are displays in it ranging from the Pre-historic to the Present day. Charles Dickens has an exhibit in there documenting his links with the area as well as a life size exhibit of what life was like on a Thames Estuary Prison Hulk. This is really worth checking out.

Collection type

Biology and Natural History



Social History


Costume and Textiles

Fine Art


Decorative and Applied Arts





Local history and archaeology; Napoleonic prisoner of war work; 18th-century tool chest; comprehensive 19th-century collections, including costume and toys; local maritime collection; fine art, including works by Charles Spencelayh. Dickens Discovery Room and audiovisual theatre.


Peter Boreham - Curator

Peter, who is passionate about real objects and local history, has worked previously in some unusual museums locations - in a palace, a castle and a coalmine.

For the past nine years he has been Curator of Rochester's highly popular Guildhall Museum - a veritable treasure house of Medway's history. Peter and his team are responsible for interpreting the history of Medway to local residents and the many thousands of tourists who visit Rochester each year.

The museum houses fascinating collections - everything from decorative Roman pottery to objects once owned by Charles Dickens. Younger visitors love the ‘Hulks Experience', a walk-through part-reconstruction of one of the famous River Medway prisoner-of-war hulks. State-of-the-art technology also has a role to play in the museum. The Rochester Riverside Eye camera installation enables visitors of all ages to view real time images of Rochester's cultural quarter and exciting riverside developments.

Peter's aim is to help visitors discover and understand the history of Medway in a fun way with an emphasis on ‘enjoyable education'. Learning about the past helps reinforce a sense of place and identity in a fast changing world.

When not ‘curating', Peter's other passions are music and 18th century porcelain.

Dr. Jeremy Clarke - Education Officer

Jeremy Clarke is Education Officer at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester, where he is responsible for all learning programmes relating to the collection, including the Dickens material within it. His 2007 PhD considered the contemporary Dickens in the light of the heritage industry and literary tourism. His book The Charles Dickens Miscellany was published in 2014 (The History Press)

Kits Coty House

For this project a group of nine will be making a replica of Kits Coty.

Kit's Coty House and its neighbour, Little Kit's Coty House, are the remains of two megalithic 'dolmen' burial chambers. Kit's Coty is the larger of the two monuments, with three uprights and a massive capstone, while the smaller, Little Kit's Coty (also known as the Countless Stones), is now a jumble of sarsens. Although the origins of their names are unknown, what is certain is that long barrows such as these were initially constructed during the early Neolithic period to act as communal burial sites. (English They were constructed between about 4000 and 3000 BC. They represent the burial places of the earliest farming communities in Britain, and are among the oldest surviving prehistoric monuments. Often only parts of the human remains were selected for interment – and it is probable that they acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time.

This is a photo I took of Kits Coty for school homework in 1979!

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