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Historic England Research Records

Kennington Palace

Hob Uid: 404412
Location :
Greater London Authority
Lambeth
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ3114078330
Summary : The site of Kennington Palace, a royal residence acquired in 1337 by Edward of Woodstock, later known as the Black Prince. Before 1337 documentary evidence indicates that there was a manorial estate on the site. This was rebuilt and altered by the Black Prince in two phases: the first between 1340 and 1352, and the second between 1353 and 1363. The palace remained largely unaltered until it was completely demolished by Henry VIII and its stone was used as building material for Henry's Whitehall Palace.Descriptions of the building and the works carried out on it are recorded in the Black Prince's register and the site was extensively excavated between 1965-8. These indicate that the main buildings of the palace comprised of a hall, great chamber, kitchen and stables. These were mainly built during the two building phases mentioned above at a large cost of £1845-5s-5d. The palace continued to be a favourite residence of Richard II and the Lancastrian kings, however it fell out of favour of the Tudors and was demolished by Henry VIII.
More information : Kennington manor became a royal residence in 1337, and remained so until 1531 when Henry VIII had the building demolished to provide materials for Whitehall Palace. (1)

The site of Kennington Palace, situated between Cardigan Street, Sancroft Street, and Kennington Lane, is in the process of excavation. The main buildings were probably situated in the area TQ 31147833. (2)

The manor of Kennington belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall. The Black Prince, as Duke of Cornwall, inherited the manor and rebuilt the manor house between 1346-1362. a new hall was built on vaults from 1351-7 at the very large cost of £1845-5s-5d. Kennington was a favourite residence of Richard II. Under him, there was expenditure on the great hall, chapels and stables. Although a favourite residence of the Lancastrian kings, it fell out of favour under the Tudors, and was demolished in 1531 to provide material for the King's new palace at Whitehall. (3)

Kennington was acquired by Edward of Woodstock, later known as the Black Prince in 1337 when he became Duke of Cornwall. He rebuilt the already standing manor between c. 1340 and 1352 and again between c.1353 and c. 1363. The palace remained largely unaltered until it was completely demolished by Henry VIII and was used as building material for Henry¿s Whitehall Palace. The main parts of the building, including the Hall, Great Chamber, Kitchen and Stables were excavated between 1965-8.

Not much is known about the pre-1337 building at Kennington, and the first documentary evidence associated with the building dates to 1304. There probably existed quite a sizeable manorial complex which was altered by the Black Prince when he owned it.
Information on and descriptions of the building and the works carried out are documented in the Black Prince¿s register. For example it describes the completion of the hall in 1358 and further refurbishing of older buildings in 1359. Documents from the late 14th century and 15th century indicate that only minor work was carried out on the palace. In 1531 the buildings were demolished by Henry VIII.

For a full description of Kennington including details of the excavations and reports on the finds, please refer to the source "Kennington Palace BAR 26". (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Survey of London, volume 23 : South Bank and Vauxhall. The Parish of St. Mary Lambeth, part 1
Source details :
Page(s) : 05-Jul
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : G.J.Dawson - Asst.Curator, Cuming Museum, S.E.17.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 967-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : British Archaeological Reports : complete catalogue 1974-1994
Source details :
Page(s) : 1-213
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 26, 1976

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Became a royal palace 1337
Monument End Date : 1337
Monument Start Date : 1337
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Excavated Feature
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt 1340-1363
Monument End Date : 1363
Monument Start Date : 1340
Monument Type : Royal Palace, Royal Chapel, Great Hall, Stable, Kitchen
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Excavated Feature
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Demolished 1531
Monument End Date : 1531
Monument Start Date : 1531
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Excavated Feature

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Greater London)
External Cross Reference Number : 90015
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 37 NW 30
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CARDIGAN STREET/SANCROFT STREET/KENNINGTON LANE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FORMER ELECTRICITY SUBSTATION, SANCROFT ROAD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31