What’s been happening at the Palace

A great deal has been happening in the Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust over the past couple of months.  You will remember (I hope) the news item on the merger between the Otford Heritage Centre and the Trust.  The enlarged organisation is working well with members of the former Heritage Centre forming a Museum Committee with direct responsibility for the Otford Heritage Collection.

We have appointed two new trustees.  Emily Stammittee-Campbell is an experienced archaeologist who teaches at the West Kent College.  Charles Shee was a member of the Otford Heritage Centre.  Both are members of the recently formed Archaeology Working Group which will lead these activities for the Palace Trust.  In addition to these two valued individuals, we are seeking to recruit further trustees to increase the diversity of the Board and to have representatives from other parts of the Darent Valley.  If you know of anyone who might wish to apply, please draw their attention to the notice in the News section of the Palace website – or ask them to contact me (secretary@otfordpalace.org)

 If you have had an opportunity to look at the website you will have seen a number of changes – particularly under the menu for the Heritage Collection.  That is where you can find the online collection catalogue which is continually being extended.

The other main activity is fund-raising.  We have to raise about £1.5M to carry out all of the work that is needed on the buildings and create the interpretation centre.  This will come from a number of sources including the major heritage funders.  Some of it will be contributed (we hope) by local businesses – and some of it will come from private donors.  Every single contribution is important and helps us to work towards our ambitious target.

Finally, we are keen to increase the number of Friends of Otford Palace who take an interest in the project and with whom we keep in touch through these emails.  Do you have friends who are interested in history and heritage, perhaps elsewhere in North West Kent or in London?  Please let them know about the Archbishop’s Palace and encourage them to sign up using the form on each page of the website.

Best regards,  Nick Rushby Secretary, Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust