Ancient Monuments

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The 'Gatehouse', Palace Gardens, Mill Street

A Scheduled Monument in High Street, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2714 / 51°16'16"N

Longitude: 0.5212 / 0°31'16"E

OS Eastings: 575963.484167

OS Northings: 155488.280826

OS Grid: TQ759554

Mapcode National: GBR PR7.6KR

Mapcode Global: VHJMD.Z9CQ

Entry Name: The 'Gatehouse', Palace Gardens, Mill Street

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1959

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005499

English Heritage Legacy ID: KE 168

County: Kent

Electoral Ward/Division: High Street

Built-Up Area: Maidstone

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


An outbuilding of the archiepiscopal palace known as ‘The Gate House’, 81m NNW of All Saints’ Church.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 March 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a 14th century outbuilding, known as ‘The Gate House’, of a medieval archiepiscopal palace surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated west of Mill Street in Maidstone near the confluence of the River Len with the River Medway.

The building is a single storey range constructed of ragstone rubble, rectangular in plan and about 19m long by 7m wide. It has three trefoil-headed single light windows, arched doorways and a tiled roof. On the north side is a garderobe projection. The timber gabled roof to Mill Street is thought to have replaced a former hipped roof. The remains of a relieving arch to the west indicate that the range continued, possibly with a water gate to the rear off the River Len.

The building is thought to have largely functioned as an outbuilding to the nearby palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The palace was begun by Archbishop Ufford in about 1348 and completed by Archbishop Islap by about 1366. It was enlarged in the 15th century and exchanged by Archbishop Cranmer with Henry VIII for other lands in the 16th century.

The outbuilding is Grade II listed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The building known as ‘The Gate House’ 81m NNW of All Saints’ Church functioned as an outbuilding of an archiepiscopal palace. Bishops' palaces were high status domestic residences providing luxury accommodation for the bishops and lodgings for their large retinues; although some were little more than country houses, others were the setting for great works of architecture and displays of decoration. Bishops' palaces were usually set within an enclosure, sometimes moated, containing a range of buildings, often of stone, including a hall or halls, chapels, lodgings and a gatehouse, often arranged around a courtyard or courtyards. The earliest recorded examples date to the seventh century. Many were occupied throughout the medieval period and some continued in use into the post-medieval period; a few remain occupied today. Only some 150 bishops' palaces have been identified and documentary sources confirm that they were widely dispersed throughout England. All positively identified examples are considered to be nationally important.

The outbuilding of the archiepiscopal palace survives well with a appreciable amount of surviving medieval fabric. It includes architectural details such as the trefoil-headed windows and arched doorways. The site will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and history.

Source: Historic England


NMR TQ75NE81. PastScape 415244. LBS 173436.

Source: Historic England

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