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, lies the historic village of Charing. At its heart is a twelve-hundred-year-old gem of architectural and historical importance – the former Archbishop’s Palace.

This complex of buildings – once the 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, experienced 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 and regarded as being in the most important 2% of all English built heritage sites – now features high on Historic England’s buildings ‘at risk’ register.

The Charing Palace Trust seeks to ensure that this won’t happen: working to tell the Palace’s story and do everything necessary to save one of its most iconic and most endangered buildings – the complex’s former Great Hall – by giving it a sustainable future as a hub for community-based activities, learning, leisure and recreation in the heart of Kent.

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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