Ruins of the Palace and Church at Wrotham.
The view is drawn from Edwards Hasted's The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, vols. 1-3, 1777-1790).
Wrotham belonged to the Archbishops of Canterbury from before the Conquest. It was used as a resting place for them on their way from Canterbury to London. The palace buildings were partly demolished in the mid-fourteenth century so that the materials could be used to finish building a palace at Maidstone. The ruins and surviving buildings remained in the hands of the Archbishops until 1538, when they were conveyed to the crown.
The old palace buildings and grounds came into the ownership of the Byng family in 1556. They restored the remaining buildings, which possibly formed part of the former kitchen wing of the palace, as a manor house, with gardens. This is the origin of the house now called The Old Palace, Wrotham, which is listed Grade II*. The Byngs were in financial difficulties by the 1620s, and the property passed to the James family, with whom it remained during the eighteenth century. The layout of the palace complex is unrecorded. The church of St George which lies to the east of the old palace was also in the possession of the Archbishops of Canterbury. It was largely rebuilt in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and is listed Grade I. Although little of palace remains, the site is historically important.