Chartham Manor

Venue Type & Location

Monastic residence

Site Name: Chartham Manor
Location: near Canterbury
County: Kent
Location Type: Town - near town at determined location

Performance Spaces


Located on low-lying ground a few miles SW of Canterbury and bordered on 1 side by the River Stour, Chartham Manor belonged to the priory of Christ Church, Canterbury. After the Dissolution, it became known as 'The Deanery' when it became the country residence of the deans of Canterbury.

The early 14th c. hall, though extensively rebuilt and altered, remains the basis of the present house. 3 walls and the roof are original.

Performance History

There are payments in the Christ Church priory accounts for various entertainers, minstrels and players at Chartham Manor recorded between 1363 and 1450.

Current Status

Private residence. No public access.

History of the Venue

mid-13th c. Prior's hall and cluster of buildings in use.

1303 Henry of Eastry demolished the former hall and built a new stone hall with 2 adjoining chambers. New kitchen built, likely in a separate building.

1394 Prior Chillenden made extensive repairs and may have added a W solar wing. Pearson (Gazetteer 28) suggests the addition may have taken place later, ca. 1430--90. The possibility of an enclosed fireplace in the hall from the time the wing was added, as well as several features in the hall roof, suggest a 15th c. date.

1500 Courtyard rebuilt by Prior Goldstone II. Brick and cement buildings added, including the prior's great stable, the gatehouse, and possibly lodgings for visitors.

1540 Surrendered to the Crown at the Dissolution.

ca.1567--84 A fire probably left the building in disrepair.

Early 17th c. The main building was refurbished but the integrity of the architecture was diminished because of the removal of 2 tie beams.

Mid-17th c. The Bargrave family likely renovated the house. At some point 3 tie beams in the hall were removed, causing the dais end wall and its window to bulge. Subsequently leased to various individuals by the cathedral chapter.

Late 17th c. Major renovations were undertaken in the fashion of the era. Buildings adjoining the main house demolished.

1775 William Stacy Coast restored the house and gardens. The front wall of the hall was rebuilt and set back from its original place and the rafters were shortened. Rooms were panelled and windows added. A lofty Doric porch with a Venetian window on either side updated the S facade.

late 19th c. Another rebuilding project was undertaken; the buttery and pantry were demolished and replaced by a brick kitchen.

Record Source

REED Kent: Diocese of Canterbury 1.51, 64--8, 71--2

Bibliographic Sources

  • Brayley, E.W. The Beauties of England and Wales; or Delineations, topographical, historical and descriptive of each county. Beauties of England and Wales. 18 vols. London: Vernor and Hood, 1801–16.
  • Hasted, Edward. The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. 1st ed [1778]. 12 vols. Canterbury: Printed for the author by Simmons and Kirkby, 1778.
  • Igglesden, Charles. A Saunter Through Kent with Pen and Pencil. 38 vols. Ashford: Kentish Express, 1900–194x.
  • Newman, John. North East and East Kent. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth and New York: Penguin, 1983.
  • Pearson, Sarah, P.S. Barnwell and A.T. Adams. A Gazetteer of Medieval Houses in Kent. London: HMSO for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1994.
  • Quiney, Anthony. English Domestic Architecture: Kent Houses. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1993.
  • Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England. 'The Deanery,' Chartham. 1988
  • Sparks, M.J. and E.W. Parkin. '"The Deanery," Chartham.' Archaeologia Cantiana 89 (1974): 169–82.