Erasmus was critical of the old palace, writing in 1523 (Ep 14500) Nor should I have found it very attractive before William Warham, the present Archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England had built there on such a scale that he seemed not so much to have restored an old house as to have raised a new one from the ground, so little did he leave of the old palace beyond the walls of some hall or other and of the church.
Erasmus and Warham were friends and when, during the erection of the building Warham received news from Erasmus that he was suffering from gall stones, he facetiously replied:
“What business have you with such a superfluous load of stones in your small body, or what do you propose to build super hanc petram [on this rock] ? Stones are heavy carriage, as I know to my cost when I want them for building purposes. I presume you do not contemplate building a palace, so have them carted away, and I send ten angels to help you rid yourself of the burden.”