Rochester Castle from the air
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aerial photograph of Rochester Castle, Rochester Kent UK. Rochester Castle is a medieval castle dating from the 12th century. The castle was built to replace an earlier structure that had been constructed shortly after the Norman Conquest. After William died, the castle became the focus of conflict resulting from claims to succeed William on the throne. After this unrest the castle was abandoned for a short while before being rebuilt by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester. The Castle was property of the Archbishops of Canterbury until it was seized during the First Barons' War of 1215 to1217. The castle was subsequently re taken by the King John following a protracted 7 week siege. The castle was then captured by Prince Louis of France. The first Barons war ended when Henry III succeeded to the throne following the death of King John, however conflict soon flared up again with the Second Barons' War from 1264 to 1267 during which the castle was again besieged. This time Henry's Castle held firm and rebel forces under Simon de Montfort were forced to withdraw. The castle was again attacked in 1381 during the peasants revolt and thereafter fell into disuse. By the time of the English Civil war the castle was in such a state of disrepair that it no longer had any military function and was not garrisoned during the war. In the 18th century the castle ruins were painted by J. M. W. Turner and at the end of the 19th century the castle became a park, open to the public and today it is managed by English Heritage
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