Across England the sites of some 150 archiepiscopal residences have been identified. There were 17 in Kent alone, each around 14 miles apart, representing a day’s ride for the Archbishop of Canterbury and his entourage as they progressed from Canterbury to London and around the estates in his See. Today, none that remain have more significance than the Palace at Charing.
Charing Archbishop’s Palace is unique in how its plan and layout, together with its townscape and landscape contexts, remain legible today – ironically, preserved by the relative indifference of its previous owners. Three hundred years on, its time for its restoration and revival to begin.
Restoration will save this valuable part of England’s heritage for the nation and in the process tell us more about its archaeological, architectural and historical significance – by taking the story of Charing Archbishop’s Palace back from its surviving 13th century remains to its 8th century origins.
More than making it simply a window on the past, though, reviving the Palace and making its purpose and uses relevant to today will ensure that it will be accessible to all, to be enjoyed over centuries by generations to come.
It’s a project that will be a labour of love, requiring time and dedication from those who undertake it – a team of passionate volunteers backed by experienced heritage professionals and craftspeople. And it’s one that will need lots of money to bring it about.
We’re under no illusions about the scale of the challenge that faces us. We estimate that it will take, perhaps, 10 years and as many millions of pounds to deliver in full.
To this end we’ve created the Charing Palace Trust, a charity dedicated to telling the Palace’s story and raising the funds required for its preservation: from grant awarding bodies, foundations, businesses and private individuals.