Bekesborne Archbishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameBekesborne Archbishops Palace
Alternative NamesBeaksborne
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishBekesbourne With Patrixbourne

This was the Gatehouse of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's Palace. Two storeys red brick laid in English bond. Hipped slate roof. Three casement windows of 2 lights with 4 centred heads and stone mullions. In the west wall is a four-centred stone doorway with a stone over it inscribed "T C (Thomas Cranmer) 1552" and a cartouche of the arms of Archbishop Parker of Canterbury. Chimneybreast on north wall. To the east of the cottage is a red brick barn with a tiled roof with gable ends, hipped waggon entrance and casement windows. (Listed Building Report)

Site of an archiepiscopal palace, built in circa 1552 for Cranmer using buildings belonging to Christchurch, Canterbury and destroyed in the Civil War; only the gatehouse, now a cottage survives. Excavations uncovered Roman settlement debris. The present house is late C18 to C19. (PastScape)

The prior's apartment and adjoining chapel, the hall and the prior's dormitory and everything else except a lodge and two barns, were built during the reign of Henry 7th by Prior Thomas Goldston of Christchurch, Canterbury. At the dissolution the estate passed to Thomas Colepeper and then to Thomas Cranmer who made the buildings into the Archbishop's Palace and built the gateway in 1552. The remains of the palace are in the gardens around the house. (PastScape ref. Scheduling report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTR193555
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  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 320-25
  • Keevill, Graham D., 2000, Medieval Palaces, An Archaeology (Stroud; Tempus) p. 149, 157
  • Tatton Brown, Tim, 2000, Lambeth Palace: A History of the Archbishops of Canterbury and Their Houses p. 73-4
  • Hasted, Edward, 1801, The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 12 p. 524-5 online transcription
  • Hasted, Edward, 1800 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 9 p. 266-76 online transcription


  • Tatton Brown, Tim, 1980, 'Excavations at the "Old Palace" Bekesbourne, near Canterbury' at Bekesbourne' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 96 p. 27-57 online copy
  • Tatton Brown, Tim, 1977, 'Excavations in 1977 by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 93 p. 216 online copy
  • 1976, 'Excavations in 1976 by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 92 p. 240-1 online copy