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Chapel, witb an endowment of 181. per annum, payable out of the bridge lands, for supporting three priests. This is now a dwelling house, and the entrance into it is through a portico nearly opposite the east end of the bridge. In the apartment above the portico the muniments of the bridge are kept, and over the gateway of the Crown Inn is the audit-chamber, in which the wardens and assistants hold their meetings. A considerable part of the stone moulding of the Gothic door of the chapel is in good preservation, and on each side of the door are mouldings of the west windows, with pointed arches. Traces of the old windows in the east and south walls are discernable in the yard of the inn; and the house on the north side, in leases, has been usually called The CHAPEL House, as having been the residence of the chaplains. By the rules established by the founders, there were to be three masses said every day; the first between five and six o'clock in the morning, the second between eight and nine, the third between eleven and twelve, to the end that travellers might have the opportunity of being present at these divine offices, this being the principal cause for which the chantry was endowed. But at each mass there was to be a special collect for all living and dead benefactors to the bridge and chapel, and for the souls of Sir John Cobham and others, whose names were to be recited *.
Immediately beneath the centre window is the following inscription :
Anno 1734. * There was another chapel at the west end of the bridge, but where placed is not known; chapels for the like purposes were not uncommonly fixed near bridges that were much frequented, and a custom is said to have obtained in Ireland, at the beginning of this century, for the natives at passing over a bridge, to pull off their hats or shew some other token of respect, and pray for the soul of the builder of the bridge.
To the right of the Audit Room, or Bridge House, are the magnificent remains of RochesTER CASTLE. The entrance to this stately ruin is behind the Crown Inn. Lainbard thinks that the castle was the work of William the Conqueror, who erected such fortifications in England, to keep the English in obedience; hence we may conclude, that nearly eight hundred years have elapsed since the foundation of this building Its present remains prove it to have been a strong fortification, especially when it is considered, that during the several conflicts betwixt the barons and the kings of England, this castle sustained many sieges. The architect is supposed to have been Gundulphus, bishop of Rochester. It stands on a small cminence near the river Medway, and is nearly of a quae drangular form; being about three hundred feet square within the walls, which are seven feet in thickness, and twenty feet in height. The sides of the castle were sur. rounded with a deep broad ditch, now nearly filled up, and the Medway. In the angles and sides of the castle still re. main several square towers.
But the chief attraction of a spectator, is, the noble tower standing in the south-east angle, so lofty, as to be seen distinctly at twenty miles distance. It is quadrangular; its sides parallel with the walls of the castle, about seventy feet square at the base, and the walls twelve feet thick. Adjoining to the east angle of the tower is a smaller, about two-thirds height of the large tower, and about twenty-eight fect square. The apart. ments are divided by a partition wall, from the bottom to the top, so that the rooms were twenty-one by forty-six feet on each floor. In this wall are arches by which a communication was opened from one room to the other. In the centre is a curious well, two feet nine inches diameter, by which every floor was supplied with water. On the north-east side of the tower is a descent, by steps, into a vault under the smal} tower, probably used as a prison. In the east angle there is a winding staircase, which ascends from the bottom to the top of the tower. In the west angle is
another staircase, winding from the tloor of the first story to the top of the tower, with communications with every room. There are many boles in the outward walls, on every side, for the admission of light, and for annoying the enemy. On the third floor, were the apartments of state, and here the architect seems to have exhibited immense ability. These apartments were about thirty-two feet high, and separated by columns, forming four grand arches curiously ornamented. About midway to the ascent to the next floor, is a narrow arched passage or gallery in the main wall, quite round the tower. From the upper, or fourth floor, the staircase is carried the height of ten feet, to the top of the great tower, which is about ninety-three feet from the ground; round the top is a battlement seven feet high, with embrasures. From this elevation is an agreeable and extensive prospect of the country, the city and adjacent towns, the barracks and dock-yard at Chatham, and the pleasing and romantic meanders of the river.
Near the castle is a descent to Bully or Boley-hill. From the many Roman urns and lachrymatories found on digging this hill, it is conjectured to have been a place of sepulture of the Romans; and historians add, with great probability, that the mound was cast up by the Danes when they be. sieged the city in 884.
Whence the hill itself derived its appellation, has puzzled antiquaries; but an attention to its situation with respect to the castle, and the use to which it was applied while that fortress was in its prosperity, may lead to a very reasonable surmise concerning the etymology. To most old castles were appertaining outworks called Ballia ; and that there was an outer ballium is clear, from Matthew of Westminster's History, who, relating the unsuccessful attack of Montfort earl of Leicester and the confederate barons against the castle, observes, that having by a fireship destroyed the bridge, and a tower of wood upon it, he be. camne possessed of the city cum exteriori ballio castri. But
there is clearly no spot without the castle, except Bullyhill, which can be meant by this passage*.
The south gate of the city was at the east corner of the Bailey; the arch of it was taken down in the year 1770. Through this gate was the high road to Maidstone, up a street called St. Margaret's. On the right side of St. Mar. garet's Street, is a house, that, towards the end of the seventeenth century, was given by Francis Head, Esq. to the bishops of Rochester, for the better accommodation of their lordships, when they should visit this part of their diocese,
The parish church of St. MARGARET, is situated at the south extremity of St. Margaret's Street, and consists of a Dave and two chancels on the south side. At the west end is a tower, covered with ivy, containing five bells. Here are memorials for Syr JAMES ROBERTE, preest, 1549; THOMAS Cod, vicar, a benefactor to the steeple, 1465; and in the chapel west of the Lee chancel, the bust of a person with a crown on the head, much defaced.
Near the bottom of St. Margaret's Street, on the right, are the precincts of the antient priory. Here is the Royal
* King Edward IV. in 1460, granted to the mayor and citizens a right to a view of frankpledge in the city, and in a certain place called the Boley within the suburbs of the city. It is a court-leet still kept separate from that holden in the Guildhall. The inhabitants of this small district are to appear before the recorder of the city as steward of the court, which is held on the Monday after St. Michael, and an officer is then appointed, called the baron of the Bully. The form of admission is by the delivery of a staff, no oath of office being required. It is thought that the baron might be the first officer under the governor of the castle, before the institution of the court-leet. The court is kept under an elm tree at the east end of the hill, and the householders of the several tenements within its limits are generally appointed in succession to this office. The habitation of the benevolent Mr. Watts, was opposite the castle. He had here the honour of entertaining queen Flizabeth in 1573, who, as tradition reports, gave to this mansion the title of Satis, as a compliment to the generosity of her host; it still bears that name. The large house on the eminence, is held by lease from the governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.