History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EASTGATE HOUSE

Sir Peter Buck's Coat of Arms  Image
1590s House begun by Sir Peter Buck, Clerk of the Cheque at Chatham Dockyard
1687 The Parker Family inhabited the house
1750s The Bartholemew family followed until the mid-18C
1761 Owned by Annabel Darwin (possibly let to tenants)
1791   Occupied by James Reed. It may have been James or his widow who first set up a school on the site 
1841 The school was governed by Rebecca Norton. It was at this time that Charles Dickens incorporated it as "The Nun's House" in his final novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"
1870s A private dwelling once more, owned by Samual Shaw, a wholesale coal merchant
1890 Briefly used as a young mens' hostel 
1897 Had become a temperance restaurant
1903 Rochester City Council converted the building into a municipal library and museum in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
1923 The museum was extended and a new formal garden and caretaker's cottage built, funded by a legacy from Thomas Hellyar Foord
1961 The Dickens Chalet was relocated here from Cobham Hall
1979 Became the Dickens Centre with displays devoted to the author's life and works
1982 The formal gardens were replaced by the present design
2004 The Dickens Centre closed
2012 Congratulations ! Medway Council's Heritage Lottery Bid is successful and the project is awarded £1.28 million to develop and preserve the house for future generations