Before our visit the only Rochester that registered was a city in upstate New York, and even while a friend I know still lives there, I knew very little after that. Whether it was named, directly or not, after this town in Kent is anyone’s guess, and with no huge preparation or research at all, Rochester became our morning destination before leaving the county and heading west. Half an hour after our final breakfast at Castle View, we were parked and ready to uncover a new town, and from the onset it was impressive.
Founded in 607 AD, incredibly it’s still only the second oldest cathedral in the U.K., beaten by just a little over a decade by Canterbury’s. Coming from countries that either lost cultural heritage from war and neglect (The Philippines) or simply had less to start with (the United States), it’s amazing to me that historic and historical patrimony like this are still around, ready for anyone interested. With awe and a little bit of envy, we walked around breathing in all the history and imagining what it could have been back when they laid the first building foundations, or 400 years after that when the current structure was finished. So much marvelous history.
Strangely there was an actual complete mini-golf set-up inside the cathedral. With all that space and increasing lack of religious interest from the locals I really shouldn’t be surprised, but as it was the first time I’d seen such a thing, after a bit of contemplating I thought it was commendable. A hole in one would surely get people back to church.