Why?

Our purpose went beyond the simple restoration of the Great Hall. We aimed to give it a sustainable future by making it relevant to today’s needs and placing it right at the heart of Charing village life.

We saw the principle benefits that would result from the successful achievement of our vision of a restored, revived and revitalised Great Hall as:

  • The building and its context within this scheduled monument, which is currently at extreme risk of being lost, would be saved and given an assured sustainable future
  • Trust ownership would make the Great Hall and its attendant grounds open and available to all, to be enjoyed and experienced by future generations
  • The process of its restoration would enable us to learn more about and document the archaeology, architecture and cultural history of the site from its origins through to today
  • The Great Hall would become a centre for learning, telling the Archbishop’s Palace’s story and providing formal education and training resources for students at every stage of the educational system and informal education to visitors to Charing
  • New public facilities would provide a point of focus for social interaction within the village and the wider Ashford community and offer greater opportunity for leisure and relaxation for residents and visitors
  • The revitalised Great Hall would attract visitors to Charing, supporting current independent businesses and attracting new businesses to the shops in Charing High Street
  • The mixed-use nature and management of the revitalised Great Hall would support the creation of varied new employment
  • The unique character of Charing would be enhanced and its independent identity protected

Main image: Detail of the Great Hall – Courtesy of Harold Trill