The Theatres Trust

Theatre Royal (Rochester)

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1791 - 1884
  • Current state
    Fragmental remains
  • Current use
    Converted to other use (Incorporated into Conservative Club)
  • Address
    Star Hill, Rochester, Kent, England


Built in 1791 by Mrs Baker (who died in 1815) for her Company, the theatre was altered in 1842, in 1846 when it was acquired by Henry Thornton and again, apparently, in 1851 after his death in that year. It continued as a theatre under the name of The Lyceum until 1894. The theatre originally had a plain five-bay façe with simple cornice and parapet and a Classical porch extending over the full depth of the public footway. What is seen today is the red brick and stone, late nineteenth century façe of the Conservative Club, flanked by Georgian houses. The club lost part of the depth of its own porch in the widening of Star Hill. Behind the façe there is an altered fabric, whose joinery details suggest that substantial parts of the dwelling-house attached to the theatre may still remain. The rectangular brick extension at the rear looks, in external views, very like the shell of an eighteenth century theatre, but there is nothing visible internally of a date earlier than the late nineteenth century and many alterations clearly date from the 1980s. There is a small auditorium with stage, but it has more of the character of a church hall than a theatre. A modern suspended ceiling conceals the roof construction.

Hide further details

  • Other names
    Lyceum Theatre
  • Events
    • 1791 - 1884 Use:
    • 1791 Design/Construction:
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1791 Owner/Management: Mrs Baker, owner (d.1815)
    • 1839 Owner/Management: Downton & his Company, lessees?
    • 1842 Alteration: unspecified improvements
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1842 Owner/Management: Henry Wallck, owner
    • 1845 Alteration: new ceiling; refurbished
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1846 Owner/Management: Thornton, owner? (d.1851)
    • 1849 Owner/Management: C Gill of Theatre Royal Natwich, lessees?
    • 1851 Alteration: possible internal reconstruction
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1851 Owner/Management: Mr Angel, lessee
    • 1853 Owner/Management: Alfred Davis, lessee
    • 1854 Owner/Management: E Blanchard, lessee
    • 1855 Owner/Management: Mr C A Clarke
    • 1859 Owner/Management: W H Swanbkirsch, lessee
    • 1862 Owner/Management: Richard Thorne, lessee
    • 1862 Owner/Management: Clarke-Austen, lessees
    • 1879 Owner/Management: T E Evans, owner
  • Listings
    • Grade II

Of the period

Side Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1999
Redgrave Theatre (Farnham)

Have you seen?

Exterior of the London Pavilion
London Pavilion

Protecting theatres for everyone