Today we’ve done something quite special: We’ve travelled to the Moon!
Well, okay maybe not the actual Moon in outer space, but about as close as you can get. We went to see the Museum of the Moon, which is currently exhibiting at Rochester Cathedral, until Wednesday 4 March. The Museum of the Moon is an installation artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, and it’s main component is a huge internally lit-up spherical representation of the Moon, using high resolution NASA imagery to make up the lunar surface. Each cm of the sculpture represents c. 5 km of the actual Moon’s surface.
The Museum of the Moon has been exhibited in many different spaces across the world since 2016, and you can find more information about upcoming as well as previous venues here, on the my-moon.org website (link opens in new window).
I was super excited when I realised that the Moon was coming to a space not too far from us, and couldn’t wait to go there with Penguin and hubby. It would also give us the chance to have a look at Rochester Cathedral itself, as well as Rochester Castle which is just across from the cathedral. Both the castle and the cathedral are historically interesting buildings, worthy a visit even without the presence of the Moon, but we’ve not visited either of them before today.
To prepare us for our Rochester adventures, I searched out videos online of the castle, of the Museum of the Moon in the cathedral, and this video showing a walk through the parts of Rochester we were about to visit:
This was helpful both for myself and for Penguin, to give us a reasonably good idea about what to expect when we got there. We also did a little bit of repetition about the Moon itself, to connect some more factual learning to the experience of ‘visiting the Moon’.
Penguin then went onto YouTube and searched out an episode of Big Cook, Little Cook, about Clover the Cow who jumps over the Moon. I pointed out that it was unlikely there would be any cows hanging about by the Moon we were going to see in the cathedral.
It was raining when we arrived, so headed straight into the cathedral for cover. The Moon was magical and magnificent, and it wasn’t too crowded with visitors (I think we were lucky, as a large group of school children left just as we arrived). Penguin always likes to check out new spaces we visit by walking through them at reasonably high pace, so he wasn’t keen on stopping below the Moon straight away, but led us down into the crypt, where we found a recently opened exhibition called BIG History, showing historical artefacts related to the cathedral, and putting them into context. Penguin was still in a hurry to explore further, so we only had a quick look at some of the items there, before going back upstairs and then around other parts of the cathedral. It’s a very impressive and beautiful space, and we will definitely want to go back again at some point to take another look, preferably at a slower pace.
To learn more about the timeline of Rochester Cathedral, take a look at this page on their website: https://www.rochestercathedral.org/timeline
Once Penguin had familiarised himself with the cathedral, he was happy to take a closer look at the Moon, and even took a seat in the side aisle to just sit and take it all in for a moment.
After leaving the cathedral, we made our way up to the castle, and we found that some of the windows there also had very good views of the cathedral, such as this:
The castle itself will need its own blog post, I think, so I won’t write more about that today. But I can definitely recommend a trip to Rochester if you’re in the area, to see the cathedral and the castle as we did today, as well as take a walk down the high street where you will find pubs, cafes, vintage shops and other kinds of shops and eateries. There’s also a visitors information centre, where you can find out more about other places of interest in Rochester and the surrounding region.
We were very pleased with our day out today and loved the experience of seeing the Moon in the cathedral. Penguin was exhausted when we got home and went straight to bed to get some rest! Afterwards, he searched out another YouTube video with the ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ song about the cow who jumped over the Moon in it, this time a music clip from Teletubbies. I love how he likes to reference things he sees or learns about, to things he knows previously from favourite tv shows.
Now, if you too wish to experience The Museum of the Moon at Rochester Cathedral, you need to hurry up and visit by Wednesday 4 March at the latest. Daytime visits are free of charge, but there are also evening times available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, for which you will need to by tickets at the door (only £2 per adult, £1 per child). This Monday, the evening session includes a musical performance, and if we lived closer I’d been tempted to revisit then. All info about opening times etc can be found HERE (link opens in new window).
Have you been to see the Museum of the Moon at any other venue? Have you visited Rochester Cathedral, and/or the castle? Please feel free to comment below, to share about your own experiences or to give feedback or ask us questions. We appreciate hearing from you!
Until next time, take care x
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