HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Otford Palace

Hob Uid: 409637
Location :
Kent
Sevenoaks
Otford
Grid Ref : TQ5283759180
Summary : A Tudor archbishop's palace and later Tudor royal residence, built on the site of a 12th century manor house, which by the 14th century had been fortified and had an adjacent park. The Tudor palace was built by Archbishop Warham circa 1518. The archbishop's palace consisted of a large galleried building with gate houses at the north and south ends, it was divided into two courts by a central hall. The estate included a park (noted already in 1385). After the death of Warham, in 1537 King Henry VIII persuaded Archbishop Cranmer to give him this and other houses in Kent. Henry's officials carried out some building work between 1541and 1543 but its exact nature is not clear. In 1601 Queen Elizabeth I sold the palace to Sir Robert Sidney in order to finance her Irish wars. During the 17th century the house was abandoned and the park was split up into farms. Remains at the site include water conduits, the north-west tower a hall and part of the outer wall of Warham's palace.
More information : [TQ 5281 5920] Tower [NR].
[TQ 5284 5920] Chapel [NR].
The Palace [NR] (remains of) (1)

[TQ 5282 5919] Bishop's Palace [NR] (remains of) (2)

The manor house of Otford was built by Archbishop Warham (1503-33) near the site of one traditionally built by Becket, of which the only remains exist in the Castle Farm [TQ 5285 5923]. Warham's palace, which probably covered an area about 440ft. by 220ft. consisted of a galleried building with gate houses at the north and south ends, and was divided into two courts by a central hall [see plan AO/LP/63/298].Two stone conduits, one in each court, conveyed water from east to west through the hall and these still exist, otherwise, of Warham's house, only the north-west tower, the lower floor of the north-west gallery, a small hall, and a portion of the outer wall of the south end are now in position. [Shown by O.S. in gardens on north side of Bubblestone Road.] A park is noted as early as 1385. Scheduled. (3-4)

Otford Palace is as described and in good condition. The footings and lower courses of substantial stone walling exposed in the gardens and stream bank in the area centred TQ 528 590 are probably the remains ofthe precursor of Warham's house; nothing very intelligible can be made of them yet except to show that Hesketh's conjectural plan is wanting.There are no remains of the park (GP AO/64/116/6 and 7).
Published 25" survey revised. (5)

Building work due to be carried out in 1974 threatened the site of the Archbishop's Palace. Excavations were carried out by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit over a period of five weeks. The earliest finds were of the Romano British period, but no structures were found. (6)

The site was purchased by Sevenoakes District Council aided by a substantial grant from the Department of the Environment. (7)

Of the Palace, excavations revealed parts of both the south and east ranges of the great palace built by Archbishop Warham about 1518 and later taken by Henry VIII. The ranges overlay structures and defensive ditches of the 14th century manor house known to have been fortified, and material of Norman date was recovered from different parts of the site. The east range contained at least four rooms and a passage on the west was crossed by a substantial sewer leading to a series of garderobes shafts in the south range. The junction of the ranges was marked by a massive tower more than 13 metres square and the whole was flanked by a broad moat. The site was abandoned at the end of the 16th century. (8)

Numbers 1 and 3 (Castle Cottages) and Store Building at east end (formerly listed as Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury), Grade II*, The Green, Otford. These building are part of the only surviving range of the palace built by Archbishop Warham in the the early 16th century.
Remains of Walls of Archbishop's Palace in back gardens of numbers 5 to 11 (odd), Grade II, Bubblestone Lane, Otford. Early 16th century.
Remains of Walls of Archbishop's Palace in front gardens of numbers 5 to 11 (odd), Grade II, Bubblestone Lane, Otford. Early 16th century. (9)

The walls of the three storeyed tower are now extremely dangerous. (10)

Additional bibliography. (11-16)

Additional source noting the use of Otford as a Royal Tudor Palace. The source notes the use of water conduits not only to carry water but also used to flush through the sewrs below the building. (17)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 199-203
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 89, 1974
Source Number : 12
Source : The Antiquary: a magazine devoted to the study of the past
Source details :
Page(s) : 16-19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15, 1887
Source Number : 13
Source : Rescue news : the newspaper of RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust
Source details :
Page(s) : 3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7, 1974
Source Number : 14
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 208, 217-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : Moated Sites Research Group report
Source details :
Page(s) : 47
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1979
Source Number : 16
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details :
Page(s) : 195-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 37, AUTUMN 1974
Source Number : 17
Source : The royal palaces of Tudor England : architecture and court life
Source details :
Page(s) : 50, 79,163-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : C Hesketh
Page(s) : Jan-24
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 31, 1915
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ancient Monuments in England & Wales, 1961, 59
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 CFW 08.08.64
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Excavations in the Darent Valley, Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 133-88
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4
Source Number : 7
Source : Post-medieval archaeology : the journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 254
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1975
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeological Excavations (DOE) 1974, 93 (B Philp)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks, Kent R D, Jan 1975, 187, 190
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 367
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 96, 1980

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Manor House, Park
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt as a palace
Monument End Date : 1520
Monument Start Date : 1512
Monument Type : Archbishops Palace, Park
Evidence : Extant Building, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Dismantled C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Archbishops Palace
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 9
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 446061
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 446054
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 55 NW 18
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 55 NW 18
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-08-08
End Date : 1964-08-08
Associated Activities : Primary, ARCHBISHOP'S MANOR
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARCHBISHOP'S MANOR
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARCHBISHOP'S MANOR
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OTFORD PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HOLMESDALE, THE GREEN
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HOLMESDALE, THE GREEN, STAGE II
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OTFORD PALACE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT STATION APPROACH, OTFORD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT CASTLE HOUSE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31