Welcome to the Charing Palace Project

WORKING TO RESTORE AND REVIVE CHARING'S FORMER ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE

RESTORE | REVIVE | REVITALISE

At the foot of the North Downs in Kent, just off the route taken by pilgrims for centuries on their way to Canterbury Cathedral, lies the historic village of Charing. At its heart is a twelve hundred year-old gem of architectural and historical importance – The Archbishop’s Palace.

This complex of buildings – once domain of more than fifty Archbishops of Canterbury, host to many of England’s kings and witness to some of the most significant events in European history – is now in great danger of being lost.

Since passing from church hands at the time of the Reformation in 1545 – first into the crown estate and then into private ownership – the fabric of this once grand residence and its attendant buildings has, over the last 300 years, been in a state of progressive but accelerating decline.

The Palace complex – a scheduled ancient monument covering some 4.5 acres: comprising four Grade 1 listed buildings, surrounded by a Grade 2 listed boundary wall – regarded as being in the top 2% of all English built heritage sites in its importance, now features high on Historic England’s Register of buildings at risk of being lost.

The Charing Palace Trust has been set up to ensure that this won’t be allowed to happen: working to tell the Palace’s story and do everything necessary to save it for the nation by giving it a sustainable future.

We are working to raise the funds needed to purchase the remainder of the Palace complex from its current private owner and bring it into public hands Then working with heritage professionals we intend to sensitively restore its structures and give the Palace a sustainable future by giving its buildings and grounds new purpose.

Our aim, post restoration, is to make the Palace complex a hub of facilities for heritage education, community interaction and events, cultural and leisure activities, with workspaces for creative business, art and craft studios – putting the Palace back in its rightful place at the centre of Charing life.

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PLEASE NOTE: THE PALACE COMPLEX AND ITS GROUNDS ARE STILL PRIVATELY OWNED AND VISITORS TO CHARING ARE ASKED TO RESPECT THE PRIVACY OF ITS OWNERS AND REQUESTED NOT TO PASS THROUGH THE GATEHOUSE ARCHWAY OR ENTER ONTO THE PALACE GROUNDS. THANK YOU.

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Main images: Courtesy Harold Trill and Bruce Vigar
Site Plans: © Drury McPherson Partnership, Thomas Ford + Partners and Historic England