Much of the action in The Mystery of Edwin Drood takes place in and around Rochester Cathedral. The town is called Cloisterham in the book, and in his last and unfinished novel Dickens paints a very atmospheric picture of the cathedral and its surrounding buildings.
Edwin Drood’s ominous uncle, John Jasper, was the cathedral choirmaster and lived in Jasper’s Gate House, which is now called College Gate and faces onto the High Street. Next to it is Mr Tope’s House, Mr Tope being the chief verger of the cathedral in the novel.
Founded in 604AD, Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in England. The current building dates back to 1080. The cathedral is open every day to visitors and guided tours are available.