Dickens in Rochester 2

Across the road from the Bull Hotel is the 17th century Guildhall which is now a museum. In Great Expectations, Pip is apprenticed to Joe Gargery in the Guildhall, with Dickens describing the building as a “queer place with pews higher than a church”.

Visiting the Guildhall today you can still see its ornately decorated rooms, plus recreations of scenes from the Victorian era, and a display and diorama about Dickens. There is a very evocative display about the Hulks, old warships that were moored in the Medway River and used as floating gaols. Magwitch, the convict who attacks Pip in the beginning of Great Expectations, escaped from one of these prisons.

Guildhall Rochester

 

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