Henry Acquires and Abandons

1537 AD

Henry Acquires and Abandons

Henry VIII became its owner and spent lavishly on it. However, in time, he decided that he preferred Knole House a few miles away in Sevenoaks, because it was less damp, away from the River Darent.

Archbishop Cranmer’s secretary Ralph Morrice was present in c 1543 when King Henry VIII visited Cranmer at Knole.
‘I was by when Otteford and Knole was given him.  My Lord Cranmer mynding to have retained Knole unto himself, saied, that it is too small a house for his Majestie.  “Marye” (saied the King), “I had rather to have it than this house (meaning Otteford), for it standith of a better soile. This house standith lowe and is rewmatike like unto Croydon where I colde never be without sykeness.  And as for Knole it standith on a sounde parfait holsome grounde.  And if I should make myne abode here as I do suerlie minde to do nowe and then, I myself will lye at Knole and most of my house shall lye at Otteford.”  And so my this means bothe these houses were delivered upp unto the Kings hands, and as for Otteford, it is a noteable greate and ample house, whose reparations yerlie stode my Lordew in more that wolde thinke.