Guildhall Museum

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Rochester, England
01634 848717

Guildhall Museum Rochester Reviews

Vikram Vikram
309 reviews
Guildhall museums are fast becoming the byword for A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Sep 29, 2013
This place is really something! Talk about stumbling into a place to kill time, and then coming out with so much of knowledge and admiration for what, in my opinion is not only one of the best museums I've visited, but also a sense of despondence that its underratedness may mean that the world never gets to see its glory.

It starts off with a museum on scientific (and just plain convenient) inventions of the past and I loved seeing (and marveling at) all of them: particularly the one with the tea maker cum alarm clock, and the "laptop" of the old day! Hilarious, fun, interesting, all the same.

From the "inventions" room, you go up to the first floor. This one was about grand decorations (about the normal one you'd find in any English palace) so I didn't spend much time here, and then you head down to the basement, to the Hulks section.

So what are Hulks then? (not referring to the 'incredible' kind!) Well, hulks are ships that were unable to move, and often used as prison ships. Rochester, with its proximity to the English Channel is famous for the hulks, and this museum gives a very good history of the origin and evolution. I liked how the museum was kind of small and damp and had a very nice 'authentic' feel to it compared to the big luxurious made-for-rich tourist spots in London (not that I hate those, mind). It made the timelessness and helplessness of being on a hulk feel so 'real'.

The next part of the museum is in another building. So you follow the directions from the basement/Hulk section to the outside, which then leads you inside again to the neighbouring building, and we have a contrast again! This section is totally focused on Charles Dickens. I really wish I'd read more of his history and books to get the connection, but it seemed to have a lot of Dickens' memorabilia. There was a showcase full of dolls, and of course pictures on the walls telling us his story. It seemed very detailed, and very well maintained considering it was free (where does the money come from?).

Overall, a very pleasant afternoon - I never expected a "kill my time" place to be this interesting. To those visiting Rochester, just please don't miss out on this!

Entrance to the museum
I really don't know who they are, …
Another shot of the mannequins
There it is - this invention both …
15 / 15 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Travel2014 says:
Great to know Vikram! Great review!
Posted on: Jan 22, 2014
sarahsan says:
Great place, nice review, a well deserved feature!
Posted on: Dec 16, 2013
cotton_foam says:
Congrats, Vik!!
Posted on: Nov 29, 2013
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photo by: Vikram