W. & S. Butcher

Stanley Planes

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  The Magic of Seaton's Chest 1 of 6  


I tried so hard to sleep last night... knowing today would be a special day... but try as I might... excitement prevailed, and I dozed lightly, pondering the moment.


Soon I would be honored to be close to a treasure very few are privileged to experience. Not only viewing the tool world's greatest treasure, but touching and examining each and every tool... to live history.

The chest is normally kept behind glass in its own room in Rochester's Guildhall Museum, a short 20 minute drive from my house in northwest Kent, some 30 miles southeast of London.

Viewed from the High Street - the beautiful Rochester Castle built by Bishop Gundulf of Rochester, has one of the best preserved keeps in either England or France, and during the First Barons' War (12151217) in King John's reign, baronial forces captured the castle from Archbishop Stephen Langton and held it against the king, who then besieged it. (source WIKIpedia)

Rochester is famous, amongst other things, as being a favorite haunt of Charles Dickens who lived in nearby Gads Hill Place, Higham and many of his novels are based in the surrounding area.

Rochester High Street, the favorite haunt of Charles Dickens with its ancient leaning buildings and festive bunting.

Beautiful architecture of Rochester.

Rochester Guildhall Museum.

Perhaps a lesser known fact is that it is also the home of perhaps the most important collection of tools in the world, collectively known as the "Seaton Chest". So this is the article about this unique opportunity sharing, I hope, some of my pleasure with other like-minded souls.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
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English Tools

Preston Planes



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