Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Otford

Otford

Otford is an attractive village in Kent.  Nestling at the foot of the North Downs the village lies on the River Darent and is about 3 miles from the historic town of Sevenoaks. Otford is a thriving village, steeped in history with many houses and cottages dating back to at least the 15th century. The ruins of  the once impressive Otford Palace sit peacefully near the church and duck pond.

Evidence of occupation in Otford dating back at least 3,000 years includes Iron Age farmers, Archbishops and Royalty. The remains of a Roman Villa, abandoned in the 4th century indicate occupation by Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries. It is thought that from 650 to 750, during the Early Medieval period Polhill Anglo-Saxon cemetery was used by the villagers of Otford. In 791 Offa, King of Mercia gave Otford (Ottanford) to the church of Canterbury. Although Priest Werhard briefly took possession of the village it was returned to Canterbury in 830 and reminded so until 1070. In 1514 under the instruction of Archbishop William Warham Otford Palace was built.

During the late Middle Ages and Victorian period the village continued to flourish and in 1882 Otford Station was opened.  Today Otford is a bustling village containing a number of antique shops, restaurants and public houses.






Otford Palace
Otford Palace was built in 1514 under the instruction of Archbishop William Warham. In 1519 King Henry VIII stayed at the palace and apparently liked it so much that in 1537 Archbishop Thomas Cramner was forced to surrender the palace to him.  When Henry died the palace fell into ruin, The impressive North-West Tower, Lower Gallery (now converted into cottages), the Great Gatehouse and a section of boundary wall are all the remains today.


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