Rochester Eastgate House scheme receives lottery cash

Charles Dickens Charles Dickens used Eastgate House for the Nun's House in The Pickwick Papers

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A lottery grant has been awarded to repair an Elizabethan town house in Rochester that featured in the work of Charles Dickens.

Medway Council has received £80,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out work at Eastgate House and turn it into an exhibition space.

Plans include restoring the Dickens Chalet which stands in the grounds.

Eastgate House, built in the 1590s, features as the Nun's House in Dickens's novel, The Pickwick Papers.

Girls' school

Medway Council said it could now move on to the second stage of the lottery application process and submit more detailed plans for a full grant of just under £1m.

The £80,000 grant will be used for development work which includes appointing an architect and recruiting volunteers.

Eastgate House was a family home for several generations, and then used as a girls' school during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

It is now home to the Swiss chalet where Dickens used to write. The chalet was previously at Gad's Hill, where Dickens lived, and was moved to Eastgate House in the 1960s.

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