In 1066 Lanfranc became the first Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Étienne at Caen in Normandy. He was a close friend of Duke William (William the Conqueror) and subsequently exercised a perceptible influence on his master’s policy.
Lanfranc turned down the honour of the See of Rouen when that became vacant in 1070 in favour of Canterbury. He had a reputation and a builder of churches and built a manor house at Otford (probably of wood) for his use when he was staying in the Village. It is possible that the lower courses of the eastern wall of the chancel of St Bartholomew’s Church may have been built by Lanfranc.
During his time as Archbishop, Lanfranc separated the great Church holdings in Kent into two. Some belonged to the monastic foundation of Christ Church Canterbury (now Canterbury Cathedral) while others – including Otford – became the property of the Archbishop by virtue of his office.