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Restoration House

Historic formal walled garden at the heart of Rochester.

  • 4.8

  • from 89 Google reviews

Restoration house and gardens
Restoration house and gardens

1 of 13

About the garden

Featured in Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, Restoration House is a unique example of a preserved city mansion, situated at the heart of Rochester. The house is adjoined by a large walled garden which dates back to at least the 1860s, and it is a quiet haven from modern life, only 100 metres from the old High Street. A central wall divides the garden, with archways set into it at intervals and a formal pond connects the two halves.

The Southern garden is dominated by a Box parterre, which sits alongside a herbaceous border and a long shrubbery. This area is more formal in style, with a lawn sweeping back up to the house and a long stone pond, overhung by quinces. The view is capped off by a greenhouse and vegetable garden, with a brick archway leading to a small garden room off to one side.

The grounds were extended in 2007 with the addition of a tiered section, with water cannons spouting into turreted rills and a stunning collection of fountains, statues and citrus trees. A brick gazebo and wooden temple offer respite from the summer sunshine, while visitors can head back up towards the house to see stunning displays of giant Echium and Wisteria beside the historic yew topiary.

The garden is certainly not the only attraction here, and visitors should make a point of visiting the historic house, to see the sensitively restored decor and fascinating collections of period artefacts, while refreshments are usually available at the cafe (closed due to COVID).

Note from Restoration House: Regrettably, we will not be able to open The Tea Shop this year. We will be serving a limited range of refreshments (tea, coffee, soft drinks and cake) from within the garden grounds. As in previous years, all proceeds will go to Wisdom Hospice and Trefoil Guild

Opening times

Open from May 26th- September 30th September 2022 Thursdays & Fridays (10am - 5pm) as well as Saturday 4th June and Saturday 16th July (12am - 5pm) Last Entry 4.30PM

Useful details

Garden area

2 Acres

Dog walking

No - Guide dogs only.

Cafe or restaurant

Food and drink facilities include a .cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.


Yes - Children of all ages. Children are welcome but must be supervised at all times as there are deep ponds.

Wheelchair access

Completely inaccessible. Please note, unfortunately the garden is no longer accessible to wheelchair users.



Medway, ME1 1RF

Day Tickets & Memberships

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


Find the garden

Restoration House
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Public Transport
Rochester train station is ten minutes walk away with high-speed train links to London and beyond.
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Historic Houses Members

Free Entry.

Google reviews

  • 4.8

  • from 89 Google reviews

Ian Collins

5 months ago


This is a hidden gem. It is a private house so the opening times are only Thursdays and Fridays June to September. The house is quirky to say the least. The gardens are wonderful. Lovely coffee and cake. Well worth a visit.

Maggie Servante

4 months ago


Lovely place was there yesterday but came back today with my daughter in law and grandchild. Will return and do the house when you reopen. Only did the garden so far and loved it.

Jacqueline Thompson

4 months ago


A magical place to visit. It is the gift that keeps on giving. There is so much to see and enjoy in a peaceful, beautiful historical place. The staff and volunteers are amazing.

Kevin Allen

4 months ago


Excellent throughout, a must for anyone who loves history, the gardens are stunning well worth the time taken to visit. Not many people know about this place, please note only open twice a week as it is privately owned, season finishes September. Thursday and Friday only.

Christopher Cottrell

4 months ago


Hidden gem in Rochester. Well worth a visit. The house is impressive and the gardens are a real added bonus. A must on a visit to Rochester.

Contact the garden

01634 848 520

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