Dickens in Rochester 5

From 1856, Charles Dickens had a summer house at Gads Hill near Rochester. In 1864 a friend gave him a pre-fabricated Swiss chalet style cottage, which Dickens had erected on property that he owned across the road from his Gads Hill house. In the spring and summer he often used the top floor of the Swiss Chalet as a study, and some parts of his later novels were written there. 

Dickens’ Swiss Chalet has been moved to Rochester and visitors can see it in the garden behind Eastgate House at the eastern end of the High Street.

Dickens Swiss Chalet Rochester




  1. I can remember on Friday afternoons going into the Chalet to help dust the desk in the upper Room of the Chalet. The curator would allow me to also dust all the mirrors which walled the whole room. The book ‘Edwin Drood’ was left opened where Charles Dickens had last wrote. .I was a student at the Medway College of Art, which was situated opposite the gardens. I would regularly sit on the bottom step of the Chalet sketching . I was a fashion student there for4 years from 1961. Oh they were such happy days. I am so sad to hear that the Chalet , museum and College are no longer open to the public . I have retired after 46 as a teacher of textiles and a great deal of my studying in the area of the grounds helped to map the road l travelled. I have been asked to give a talk about my life along side an exhibition of my work. I will obviously mentioning all of the above. I would love to have any photos that are available. I have been retired for nearly 7years and my life has been amazing. lt all started opposite THE DICKENS CHALET.

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