Christmas with Charles Dickens in a castle
A Dickens Christmas market will take place in the grounds of Rochester Castle over four weekends this winter. Charles
Dickens, the author of A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and many other much-loved novels, spent his childhood and his later years in the Chatham and Rochester area in
During the Christmas market the castle walls will be illuminated in traditional Christmas colours and the trees lit with
Christmas lights. There will be street entertainers and Dickensian characters as well as bands and carol singers to
entertain visitors to the market.
Rochester Castle and other Rochester landmarks are mentioned in The Pickwick Papers. Rochester’s Guildhall appears in Great Expectations and Satis House, Miss Havisham’s house in Great Expectations, was inspired by Rochester’s Restoration House. Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 and there will be many events
celebrating this bicentenary in 2012. He died at Gad’s Hill Place just outside Rochester.
Rochester Castle is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England. Its great keep, is one of the tallest
in the country, and has walls 3.6 metres (12 feet) thick in places. There are regular train services to Rochester from
London Victoria and Charing Cross (45 minutes to one hour) and from Dover (one hour).
The castle is open 10am–4pm in November and December, admission £5.50 adults, £3.50 children and concessions, £14.50
family ticket. The Dickens Christmas Market will be held there Thursday–Sunday between 24 November and 18 December,
The Castle Grounds, Rochester, Kent ME1 1SX