Michael Wood Introduction
Michael Wood’s exploration of the famous Textus Roffensis (‘Book of Rochester’) comes as the first instalment of Rochester Cathedral’s new initiative, Leafing through the Library. The cathedral’s manuscripts and early printed books will be shared and investigated online bi-monthly. Digital images from Rochester cathedral’s library will be accompanied by articles examining the content, context and significance of a wide variety of books including, amongst others, Henry VIII’s Great Bible, one of only thirty-five copies of the 1662 Sealed Book of Common Prayer, a 1744 navigation atlas and Isaac Newton’s observations.
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Leave Your Mark in History
As part of the Cathedral HLF Building works, The Library Roof will be refurbished.
An Interesting Initiative which has caught the imagination of the public is the sponsoring of a Roof Tile.
The tiles, which are being cleaned and rehung may be sponsored for a suggested donation of £5. For this you may write a personal message on the underside of a roof tile before it goes back on our library roof. The names of those who have donated will be recorded in a special book which will be held in the Cathedral Library. For further details Please contact the Volunteer Manager . Donations may be gift aided, if you are a UK tax payer.
Textus Roffensis Online
Rochester Cathedral's World Firsts
In partnership with the The University of Manchester Library’s Image Collections, Rochester Cathedral has, for the first time, made the greatest treasure in its Library available online in its entirety. The Textus Roffensis is the only existing copy of the first code of English law and was written in Rochester during the early 1120s. It has been described as one of the most important documents in English history. This manuscript, written in Old English and Latin, is hugely important in the history of English law and language and is believed to have influenced the wording of the Magna Carta of 1215 and, later, the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. Historian and television presenter, Michael Wood, who has supported the project, says that the Textus is of ‘supreme importance...one of the few crucial works in the history of the civilization of the British Isles.’
Included in the Textusis an account of ceremonies of ordeal for testing innocence using red-hot irons, boiling water and a terrible curse in which the wrong-doer is cursed by the Holy Trinity, archangels and angels; he is cursed living or dying, working or resting, and every part of his body is cursed down to his toes nails!
The Cathedral has digitised another unique manuscript, the Custumale Roffensis, which is now available online for the first time. Written in Latin in about 1300, it tells, not only, of the Priory’s lands and income, but also details the domestic arrangements of the Monastery at Rochester. This manuscript throws light on the services and bell ringing of the Cathedral and, together with descriptions of services and the duties of senior officials, and vergers, we are told of the bakers, porters, brewers, cooks tailors and laundrymen, even of the arrangements for the stabling of horses! The title page of the book carries a warning: ‘Whoever shall alienate or fraudulently destroy this title, or diminish the rights of the monks contained in the same, let him have his portion with Judas, the traitor...So be it. Amen.’
2017 Fundraising Concerts
The first one is The Lithuania event which will take place here at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 11th March 2017 at 12 noon until 1.30pm. This concert is to celebrate Lithuanian Independence Day and we are delighted that the concert will be attended by The Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Asta Skaisgiryte.
We are very pleased to be able to present soprano Lina Dambrauskaite, baritone Romanas Kudriasovas accompanied by pianist Marija Struckova.
This concert is free of charge and we look forward to seeing you.
Our last fund raising concert for the year will be a performance by the Kent Police Male Voice Choir and this concert will be on Wednesday 8th November.
Tickets for all of the above will be available from firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01634 810074
Hidden Treasures Fresh Expressions Project
Click this link for a copy of the HTFE Brochure
Click this link to access the video on our recent Archeaological tours
Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions (HTFE) is a project that focuses on the Crypt, Library and the 'hidden collections' in the Cathedral's ownership. At the very heart of the project is the creation of a secure exhibition space within the medieval crypt for the display of the collections; a wealth of texts, books, documents, charters, stonework, embroidery, plate, paintings and historical artifacts. The library will also be repaired and renovated to house our remarkable collection more appropriately and enable us to make this part of the collection more accessible.
In February 2013 it was announced that we have been awarded £3.55million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It was the very welcome final piece of the funding jigsaw and would not have been possible without the generosity of other funders including Colyer-Fergusson, Friends of Rochester Cathedral, Rochester Bridge Trust, Garfield Weston, Wolfson, Headley Trust, Esmee Fairbairn who between them have committed over £1million to the project.
However since this award, the delay in sending the tenders out for the main building works resulted in all tender submissions coming in over budget. This gave the Project a bit of a set back but following further submissions to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to the World War 1 Centenary Cathedrals Repair Fund, additional funds have been secured to ensure that this project can now be delivered in full.
It will therefore be very challenging as we embark on a programme of construction works to undertake the necessary repairs and modifications to deliver our project. The works commenced in Summer 2014 expected to take just over one year. Whilst some areas will be closed during the works we will continue to be open to visitors and services will continue as normal albeit mostly in the Nave.
Further Information will be posted on the website and we hope you will follow our progress as we look forward to the future.