In their quest to conquer England, the Romans landed in Kent in 43 AD and gained control of the Medway River. To protect their route into England and to house their troops, the Romans built the town now known as Rochester. Frindsbury, being opposite, provided a place to farm the land and produce food for the inhabitants of Rochester.

In the Middle Ages Gundulph, the Bishop of Rochester, established a priory at Rochester called St Andrews. He divided his holdings between himself and the monks of the priory. The monks acquired Frindsbury, Wouldham, Stoke, Haddenham, Lambeth, Southfleet and Benton. As payment for these lands Gundulph requested sixteen hogs, thirty-two geese, two hundred fowls, one thousand lampreys, one thousand eggs, four salmon, and sixty bundles of furze. He ordered that the payment be made on 30th November of every year, St Andrews day, and used for a big feast.

At this time, Strood was part of the Parish of Frindsbury. St Nicholas Church in Strood served as a ‘chapel of ease’ for All Saints Church in Frindsbury. This continued until 1193 when Bishop Glanvile of Rochester founded a Hospital in Strood. Being more convenient for the Hospital community, St Nicholas Church was given Parish Church status. This began a series of disagreements between the Monks of St Andrew’s Priory and the Hospitallers. In 1791, the friction between the Monks and the Hospital Brethren came to a head in an event that became known as ‘the Frindsbury Clubs’. At this time there had been a severe drought in England and the Monks began a procession to Frindsbury to pray for rain. The Monks asked the permission of the Hospital Master to pass through the Hospital orchard. The Master agreed but neglected to tell the Hospital brethren. Upon their arrival, the monks were attacked by the brethren who had armed themselves with clubs and bats. The monks retaliated using their crosses and banner poles as weapons. The hospitallers were punished by having to walk to the priory every whit Monday, carrying their clubs, to beg the Monks for their forgiveness. They continued to do this until there were no longer any monks left that remembered the attack.

Over the years Frindsbury has been the setting for various important industries. Firstly, Frindsbury’s close proximity to the river made it a perfect place to extract chalk. In 1367, fearing a French invasion, Edward III had the walls of Rochester rebuilt and the castle repaired. This increased the demand for chalk. Frindsbury’s materials were also used in the building of Rochester’s new stone bridge in 1387.
Shipbuilding was another important industry in Frindsbury. The years between 1689 and 1815 were known as the ‘age of war’ and shipbuilding was in high demand. Up until 1689, the Royal Dockyards at Woolwich, Deptford, Chatham and Portsmouth fulfilled the county’s needs but during the ‘age of war’ the Royal dockyards were needed to carry out repairs on the existing ships and private yards used to build new naval vessels. Private yards were close to the existing Royal Dockyards to ensure that senior shipwrights could over-see the works. Frindsbury, being just across the river from Chatham’s Dockyard, was a perfect location.

In around 1745 Greaves and Nickolson became the first shipbuilders in Frindsbury. They leased the land from the tenants of the Quarry House and went on to launch many ships included the famous H.M.S Bellerophon. In 1794 the yard was taken over by Josiah and Thomas Brindley who later built two more yards becoming the most established private shipbuilders in the area. As the war with France ended, so did the demand for new ships, leading to the demise of private Shipbuilders.

Between 1801 and 1831, the population had grown by about 80%. Around this time brick-making was the main source of income. There were six brickyards in Frindsbury. The 1800’s also saw a large boom for the cement industry in Medway. Frindsbury alone had 152 chamber kilns and 30 chimneys. In 1899 Frindsbury’s cement companies were at an all time high and they were producing over 3,000 tons of cement a week and employing over 700 workers. Little evidence of these industries remains in Frindsbury today and most of the land was used for a large expansion of housing. All that remains now is a suburban residential area.