Five things you may not know about Rochester

Rochester is a small town that’s big on character. The town has a rich heritage as well as a creative and energetic arts and music scene. It’s very well connected, with regular trains running from Rochester to London taking just 40 minutes.

But did you know…

  • The oldest pub in Rochester, The Coopers Arms, was built during the reign of Richard I (1189-1199), and opened its doors to the public as an inn in 1543.
  • Author Charles Dickens lived nearby as a child and came to know Rochester very well. Many of Rochester’s buildings are instantly recognisable in Dickens’ books.
  • Rochester Castle’s twelfth-century keep is the tallest in England.
  • Rochester hosts the annual Sweepers Festival on the May Day weekend, when a colourful mixture of music, dancing and entertainment celebrate the one time of the year that chimney sweeps were able to leave the soot behind and have some fun.
  • A Dickens Festival is held in Rochester in the first week of June each year, celebrating the author, his stories and characters.


Our Rochester campus enjoys fantastic views over the River Medway, and is home to more than 1,200 students studying a range of courses in fashion, computer animation arts, contemporary jewellery, photography, crafts and design. You can find out more about our Rochester campus, as well as the town itself, here.

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