The site can be found on Church Green, Frindsbury, Rochester. The nearest train station is Strood and there is a bus that goes to Chatham that passes near there too. It is roughly a 15-20 minute walk (depending on how good you are with hills!)
The church and site merged with others in the area on the 24th October 1950. It merged with Upnor and Chattenden. The site itself however is way older than that. It is believed to be from Saxon times, dating around 1075. Although this is not proven, it is widely believed that this is the origin.
Thomas Buttler – He served Queen Elizabeth I.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
It seems that the site has always been known by this name. Hundreds of years ago, it may have been known by an independent saint or even an by the Olde English version of the town, however, I can find nothing to back this up.
SIZE & LAYOUT:
When I first came across the site, I went around the long way which unfortunately, led me to walking up a very steep hill. Once you get to the top however, it is very much worth it. The site for one is amazing as you can see the whole of Rochester, including the castle. This is due to the site sitting isolated on top of some chalk cliffs. You will also notice the very strange layout. Some of the graveyard (which I believe is the older part) is situated within the walls. The rest is outside of it. The west churchyard (which is closed) is managed by the Medway council. The east churchyard is managed by the PCC.
You will straightaway notice the huge church. In 998 AD, Strood was pillaged by the Danes. The church was wrestled back by Harold Godwinson. After his defeat at the battle of Hastings, The site was taken over by William the Conqueror, who gave its lands to Odo, bishop of Bayeux. Around the church you will see many tombstones on the floor. These were translated from the south aisle and the north wall after its 19th century rebuild.
The site is housed in by a wondrous wall of tall trees and little mini chalk hills. Many of the tombstones are walled in by rot iron gates or are built in the style of memorials. Despite how old the site is, it is very much well looked after. In fact, we had to make a lot of effort to avoid the men trimming the grass that day! Many of the graves are weathered but just about readable. We even found some carved in writing on the walls from around 1907! There is one little stone pathway that goes around the church, the rest of the pathway is just grass, but that shouldn’t put you off.
Despite the weather, it was a lovely day. It was nice to be in a graveyard for once that wasn’t next to a busy road. Being on top of a hill, it was very quiet and peaceful. You couldn’t ask for a better location. If you are not one for graveyards however, I suggest you go up there anyway to get a marvellous view of Medway.
On some of the photos that I had taken, I am pretty sure that there were some orb activity. However, as it was such a rainy day I cannot prove whether it was orbs or not. They seem to have congregated around the graves in particular which, had it been a sunny day, I would have concluded it as possible spiritual activity. It is one of those common situations where I can’t say whether it is or isn’t unfortunately.
FINAL (RESTING) WORD:
As I stated before, it is extremely peaceful up there. Although it is still near a busy town, you can barely hear the rustle and bustle. I would love to come back here when the weather is better, not just for the scenery but to see if I can actually capture something paranormal which I believe this place has the potential, not because it is just a mere graveyard but because of the vast amount of history that lies behind it. Who knows what you may discover when you are not searching….
“Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see”
RATING: 3/5 – Very old and very beautiful with plenty of history around it.