The FoRCE team
20 May 2022
The latest news from Friends of Rochester Churchfields & Esplanade
FoRCE Evening Volunteer Sessions
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for gardening and litter picking activities - gloves and tools provided. All are welcome! See this website for the schedule.
Friends of Rochester Churchfields and Esplanade are helping to shape the future of the Esplanade, a key park for the centre of Rochester, including Backfields/Churchfields as well as the walk along the river to Baty’s Marsh.
The Esplanade: Rochester has a rich history dating back to Roman times when it became an area of great importance due to its location on the main Dover to London road which crosses the Medway river at its lowest point.
Over the centuries, the local shoreline was previously home to many local, river-dependent, businesses such as barge builders and marine engineers. In 1829 a pleasure walk was created along the foot of the Castle wall, and the site was expanded to create the present gardens in 1961 for riverside recreation offering a wide and varied scenic views over the river Medway, up to the Castle, Cathedral and Satis House and south to St. Margaret’s church over a 4 hectare site.
Churchfields aka ‘Backfields’: During the 19th century this 2.4 hectare site, previously known as Church Mead, was used as pasture land for cattle until it was donated to the City of Rochester in 1906 by Councillor Charles Willis, later to become an Alderman, Mayor and freeman of the City, for use as public recreation ground in memory of his parents.
Sitting on a hillside above the river Medway, Churchfields offers one of the best panoramic and scenic views in Rochester and has provided recreational space for the local community for over one hundred years.
We're helping to protect, improve and promote the Esplanade and Churchfields for the good of our community and as a visitor attraction. Annual membership is currently just £5 and you can choose your preferred level of involvement, from sofa supporter to event organiser. Each membership is greatly valued and helps improve our community and environment.
Photo: Geoff Watkins - Aerial Imaging South East