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May Day at the Palace

The Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust is hosting a Mayday celebration on – surprise, surprise – Monday 1st May (which is a bank holiday). The last recorded Maypole dancing in Otford was 1951 – 72 years ago!  We will bring back to Otford this historic tradition, with which inhabitants of the palace would have been familiar. A Maypole will be set up on Palace Field Otford, for local children (and adults) to dance around.  There will also be:

  • A re-enactment of the banning of May Day by the Puritans and its reinstatement after the Restoration
  • Invicta Morris and Marling Morris Dancers
  • Food and drinks provided by local businesses, and local crafts.
  • The Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Virtual Reality experience
  • Treefellas: An interactive comedy walkabout about a tree family looking for somewhere to settle down.
  • Children’s games that would have been recognised in Tudor times and can still be enjoyed today.

The event is being supported by the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership and admission is FREE!  Doors open 11:00h; official opening 12:00h; ends 15:00h

More information – Nick Rushby: 07968 721 958,

Here is the programme for the May Day celebration on Palace Field:
11:00h Visitors start to arrive
11:15 Treefellas session 1 (40 minutes)
11:30h Maypole dancing session 1 practice
(11:55h Official proclamation banning May Day
12:00h Official opening by Cllr Avril Hunter, Chair of Sevenoaks District Council
12:10h Invicta Morris set 1
12:30h Treefellas session 2 (40 minutes)
12:35 Marling Morris set 1
13:00h Maypole dancing session 2
14:00h Treefellas session 3 (40 minutes)
14:15h Invicta Morris and Marling Morris – combined set
15:30h Celebrations close