Visiting the Cathedral
The Cathedral is open daily from 07:30 to 18:00 (17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays). Tours are available from 10:00 to 15.30 (14:00 on Saturdays). Occasionally access may be restricted due to services or special events.
In order to allow changes to the exhibition, access to the exhibition space in the Cathedral crypt will not be available on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May. The new exhibition ‘Textus and Town’ will open on Saturday 27th May.
Tue 18 July - the Cathedral will be closed to visitors all day due to Graduation ceremonies for the University of Kent.
Exhibition Opening times:
Mon to Sat 10:00 until 16:00.
Please click here for an aerial view of Rochester: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EbmaFQJ7Aw&feature=youtu.be
See our Crypt on film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIK4HTtQU6w
Rochester Cathedral has held a library since the establishment of the Benedictine Priory in 1082. For the monks, reading was as much a part of the Benedictine Rule as prayer and labour and by the time of writing of Textus Roffensis in 1122, the catalogue of the Priory Library contained therein a list ninety-three volumes. In today’s library we remain custodians of five volumes from the original priory library which have remained in Rochester in addition to a further four significant pre-Reformation volumes that were acquired by the later Deans and Chapters. Some of the original manuscripts recorded in 1122 have had their journeys traced over the years and can now be found in British and International libraries and institutions whilst most have been lost to time.
After the dissolution of the monastery the former monastic vestry was designated the Cathedral Library and remains so to this day. It can be found in the south east corner of the quire and is approached through a celebrated fourteenth century doorway.
Use of the Library
Today the library is available for general viewings and for the study of our books by appointment on a Tuesday and a Friday from 10am to 4pm.
Please click here to view the Reading Room Regulations.
For General Handling Guidelines click here.
The full pre-1900 catalogue can be found here
Please enter your keyword, title or author in the first box and in the second box drop down to the Rochester Cathedral collection. There is functionality to refine your search or browse within the collection.
If you wish to make an appointment to view a book or manuscript please follow the instructions on the request form. We do require that visitors complete a reading room membership form and this can be done on the day of your visit if you bring photographic proof of identity and proof of address to Garth House in advance of your appointment.
We are committed to keeping entry to the Cathedral free for all individual casual visitors although donations are always welcome.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Rochester Cathedral. This ancient and beautiful building has relied on the generosity of its visitors and congregation from its earliest times. For information please see here.
You can download our Group Visits leaflet here. (Please check with us for the most up to date fees).
We appreciate that often groups are working to tight timetables, so to help you plan your time effectively we have devised a number of ways for you to explore and enjoy the Cathedral.
Although entry is free for the casual visitor the Cathedral can be extremely busy and we are limited in the numbers allowed. Therefore it is essential that groups book in advance to avoid the disappointment of us being unable to accept your group due to Health and Safety reasons.
Fee: £2 per head to cover administration
Our team of trained guides will be able to lead you on a fantastic journey through the Cathedral, imparting interesting anecdotes and information that you could never discover on your own.
Guided tours must be booked in advance and can be tailored to your interests.
Fee: £4 per head / £3 per head for Parish Groups within the Rochester Diocese
If you would like to book a group visit, please contact the Bookings Co-ordinator on (01634) 810073 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There is access for wheelchairs through the North door into the Nave. There are WCs for people with disabilities in the Tea Rooms and in the Cathedral (by the South Door).
Among the many historical, architectural and spiritual wonders the Cathedral holds, there is a small shop (at the welcome desk) stocking a selection of gifts and souvenirs.
The Welcome Desk is situated in the North Transept of the Cathedral and open mostly between 10 am and 4 pm Monday to Saturday and between 12 noon and 4 pm on Sunday, except for occasions when the Cathedral is being used for events or services. For a comprehensive list of our wide range of souvenirs and gifts please see our gift list.
Tea Rooms provide excellent food at affordable prices, whilst the Gardens offer a delightful haven of tranquillity.
Photography, Video and Mobile Phones
There is no charge for taking photographs. However, no photography, video or mobile phone recording is allowed during services or rehearsals for services and concerts. We ask that visitors respect this sacred space and turn off their mobile phones during their visit.
You may find either of these websites useful for researching various accommodation options near the Cathedral: