Charing’s loss is Otford’s gain

The great hall of Charing Palace

Ambitious plans to save and make accessible the Archbishop’s Palace at Charing have been abandoned.

With no prospect of being able to achieve its objectives in the foreseeable future it has been resolved by the trustees to wind up the Charing Palace Trust .

This is a blow to all who are aware of the important role played by the building known to Thomas Becket and Henry VIII as well as many other significant figures.

Charing was an overnight stop for archbishops and VIPs on the London-Canterbury road.

Another was Otford. The Charing trustees have very generously transferred their remaining assets to Otford’s Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust.

Otford is today a pivotal resting place on the Pilgrims’ Way since it is where the Winchester and London routes merge.

The remains of Otford Palace, also known to Becket and Henry VIII, are impressive. Indeed Otford inspired Wolsey’s Hampton Court Palace.

Meanwhile there must be continued concern about the future of Charing which has recently lost pubs and teashop.

A corner of Otford Palace

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