Facts about Rochester
Rochester is a town and was a historic city in the unitary authority of Medway in Kent, England. It is at the lowest bridging point of the River Medway about 30 miles from London. The town and its neighbours, Chatham and Gillingham, Strood and a number of outlying villages form a single large urban area known as the Medway Towns with a population of about 250,000.
The first bridge was subsequently constructed early in the Roman period. During the later Roman period, the settlement was walled in stone. King Ethelbert of Kent established a legal system which has been preserved in the 12th century Textus Roffensis. In AD 604 the bishopric and cathedral were founded. During this period, from the recall of the legions until the Norman conquest, Rochester was sacked at least twice and besieged on another occasion.
During the First World War the Short Brothers’ aircraft manufacturing company developed the first plane to launch a torpedo, the Short Admiralty Type 184, at its seaplane factory on the River Medway not far from Rochester Castle. In the intervening period between the 20th century World Wars, the company established a world-wide reputation as a constructor of flying boats with aircraft such as the Singapore, Empire ‘C’-Class and Sunderland.