City of Rochester-upon-Medway

Coordinates: 51°23′36″N 0°29′56″E / 51.39320°N 0.49880°E / 51.39320; 0.49880
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Medway (1974–1979)
 • 197439,579 acres (160.17 km2)[1]
 • Coordinates51°23′36″N 0°29′56″E / 51.39320°N 0.49880°E / 51.39320; 0.49880
 • 1974143,080[2]
 • 1992147,600[3]
 • Created1974; 50 years ago (1974)
 • Abolished1998; 26 years ago (1998)
 • Succeeded byMedway
StatusNon-metropolitan district
City (1982–1998)
GovernmentMedway Borough Council (1974–1979)
Rochester-upon-Medway Borough Council (1979–1982)
Rochester-upon-Medway City Council (1982–1998)
 • HQRochester
 • MottoLoyal and True
The Arms of Rochester-upon-Medway City Council
Coat of arms

Rochester-upon-Medway was a local government district in north Kent, England from 1974 to 1998. It covered Rochester, Chatham, Luton, Lordswood, Walderslade, Strood and the Hoo Peninsula.[4]

The district was formed as the District of Medway under the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974, as a merger of the municipal borough and city of Rochester, the borough of Chatham and most of Strood Rural District.[1] The district council was granted a charter entitling it to be known as the Borough of Medway, and preserving the mayoralties of Rochester and Chatham.[5]

Name change and city status[edit]

On creation in 1974 the new Medway Borough Council applied to inherit the city status of Rochester, but this was refused.[6] Instead, special letters patent were granted on 18 March 1974, which declared that the existing area would continue to constitute the City of Rochester, notwithstanding its abolition as a local government authority.[5][7] In rejecting the council's application, the Home Office noted that it might be possible to extend city status to the entire borough in the future, provided that "Rochester" feature in its name.[6]

On 3 December 1979 the Medway Borough Council passed a resolution renaming the district as the Borough of Rochester-upon-Medway,[8] and on 25 January 1982 further letters patent were issued declaring that in future:

...the whole of the said Borough and not the said part of the Borough as heretofore should have the name style and status of a City...[5]

Accordingly the district became the City of Rochester-upon-Medway.[6]


Following a review by the Local Government Commission for England, the city was abolished on 1 April 1998, when it was merged with the neighbouring Borough of Gillingham to form a new unitary authority of Medway.[9]

An inadvertent effect of the 1998 abolition was the ending of Rochester's historic city status, due to the failure of the outgoing city council to appoint charter trustees. This only became apparent in 2002.[6][7][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. p. 63. ISBN 0-11-750847-0.
  2. ^ Registrar General's annual estimated figure mid 1973
  3. ^ OPCS Key Population and Vital Statistics 1992
  4. ^ Local Government Commission for England
  5. ^ a b c "Cityark Search Results". Medway Archives. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d Beckett, J V (2005). City Status in the British Isles, 1830-2002. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-7546-5067-7.
  7. ^ a b "Rochester City Status" (PDF). Regeneration and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Medway Council. 4 March 2003. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  8. ^ "No. 48088". The London Gazette. 4 February 1980. p. 1811.
  9. ^ "The Kent (Borough of Gillingham and City of Rochester upon Medway) (Structural Change) Order 1996". Office of Public Sector Information. 1996. Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  10. ^ "Error costs Rochester city status". BBC News. 16 May 2002. Retrieved 12 January 2009.