Archbishop’s Palace

Conservation

A step back from the brink.

Renovation work was undertaken in the early 1960s. This involved re-sculpting many of the window casements in concrete and, more particularly, re-pointing a significant amount of the tower’s original brickwork. What the well-meaning builders did not consider at that time, was that Portland Cement would keep the water in as well as out. As the light-weight roof steadily failed over the years, the inner structure of the tower absorbed more and more water. The result was that, 50 years later, large pieces of the upper brickwork were becoming detached and the stability of the tower itself was in serious jeopardy. In August 2015, Historic England funded limited emergency repairs.  Much of the Portland cement pointing was removed and replaced with a porous lime mortar mix.  Some of the reinforced concrete window casements were replaced with Kent Ragstone.  Finally, a new weather-tight roof discretely crowned the re-conserved Tower.

In September 2019, The Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust was granted a 99-year lease on the site and buildings.  Work began in March 2022 to repair the bricks and stonework in the lower sections.   The Trust’s intention is now to re-glaze the windows and make the Tower weatherproof.  In the longer term, the floors will be re-introduced and the building will become an interpretation centre for the landscape and built heritage of the Darent Valley.  For further information or to help with this important project, go to the Trust’s website at https://otfordpalace.org 

The palace is one of the oldest standing historic buildings in west Kent. In the future, it is intended that it become a springboard for families wishing to discover the fascinating past of the Darent Valley. 

The First Manor

The First Manor

William Warham

William Warham

The Vanished Palace

The Vanished Palace

Romantic Ruin

Romantic Ruin

Conservation

Conservation

The First Manor

The First Manor

William Warham

William Warham

The Vanished Palace

The Vanished Palace

Romantic Ruin

Romantic Ruin

Conservation

Conservation