Registered with the Civic Trust
Affiliated to the Council for the Protection of Rural England
and the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies
Registered Charity no. 272974
Otford is a Kent village on the river Darent two miles north of
Sevenoaks and twenty-five miles south east of London. The Pilgrims
Way passes through the village and its centre is the duck pond,
which is unique in being designated a listed building.
People have lived in the area for at least three thousand years;
a Bronze-age urn was found in Greenhill Road in 1970, and there
have been many Iron-age and Roman finds. The name Otford seems
to have been used as early as 800AD and may be associated with
the battle that Offa, King of Mercia, fought in the district against
the Kentishmen about the year 776. The name Offa could have been
corrupted to Ottenford and then to Otford. Some hundreds of years
later a Canterbury scribe endorsed one of the king’s charters
of 790: "The same Offa gave to the church of Christ in Canterbury
a vill name Oteford".
|| The village has always centred around the church,
the first stone church being built between 1050 and 1080,
and the Bishop’s Palace. St. Bartholomew’s Church much added
to and altered down the years is steeped in history. Part
of the original 11th century wall is still to be
|| Otford Palace was one of the residences of the
Archbishop of Canterbury from the ninth century until Henry
VIII forced Archbishop Cranmer to relinquish it to the Crown.
In the early sixteenth century Archbishop Warham built the
Palace in size and splendour to rival Hampton Court. Sadly
only one part of the gate house remains but it is thought
provoking to gaze at brickwork and think that Henry Tudor
did the same.
There are many interesting private dwellings in Otford such
as Pickmoss in the High Street and Broughton Manor. Descriptions
of these can be found in a leaflet published by The Otford Society,
which is on sale at the library and many local shops at 30p. The
Society also provides leaflets on two pleasant walks from Otford
free car park at the same price.
The Otford Society is a non-profit making organisation having
over one thousand members who are residents of Otford. Its purpose
is to preserve, as far as possible, all aspects of Otford’s character
and village life.