What happened to the stone from the medieval bridge?

Our work is focused on maintaining the bridges at Rochester today, but as the Trust is an historic charity it’s not uncommon for us to end up looking into the past.

One item of history we’ve looked into recently concerns the question of what happened to the rubble from the medieval bridge, which can be seen piled up at the side of the river in the photograph above.

Rumour has it pieces of the stone ended up in local gardens and church walls, but we have no confirmed evidence of this. (So if you could check out the stone in your garden we’d be grateful!)

What we do know of the stone’s fate comes from a contract dated 27th May 1857. The contract was made with the Foord brothers, and it listed three uses for the stone: construction of the Esplanade by the Trust; the continuation of the Esplanade constructed by the Mayor and Aldermen of Rochester; and use elsewhere by the Admiralty. It is believed this stone was used at what is now known as Chatham Historic Dockyard.

As for the demolition of the bridge itself, that took some time, but you can read more about it in our previous post.