Find the nearest History & Heritage in Kent
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s Kent listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Kent day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next Kent activity.
- St Leonard’s Tower was built between 1077 and 1108 by Bishop Gundulf. It probably served as a fortified house, although it is also said to be the tower of the church of St Leonard. Constructed of ragstone, the three storey tower survived the church and is 32 feet (9.8 m) square, and 60 feet (18 m) to 70 feet (21 m) tall, being built into a hillside.
- Chartwell House had been built upon at least as early as the 16th century, when the estate had been called ‘Well Street’. Henry VIII is reputed to have stayed in the house during his courtship of Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle. The original farmhouse was significantly enlarged and modified during the 19th century. It became, according to the National Trust, an example of ‘Victorian architecture at its least attractive, a ponderous red-brick country mansion of tile-hung gables and poky oriel windows’. The estate derives its name from the well to the north of the house called ‘Chart Well’. The highest point of the estate is approximately 650 feet above sea level, and the house commands a spectacular view across the Weald of Kent. Sir Winston Churchill owned and restored Chartwell House. The house has been preserved as it would have looked when Churchill owned it. Rooms are carefully decorated with memorabilia and gifts, the original furniture and books, as well as honours and medals that Churchill received.
- Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. In 597AD St Augustine established his seat (or ‘Cathedra’) in Canterbury after being sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
- Knole is one of England’s most important, complete, yet fragile historic houses, set at the heart of Kent’s last remaining medieval deer park. One-time palace to archbishops and former royal property of the Tudor dynasty, Knole, was a place of extraordinary wealth and grandeur. Knole has collections in various state rooms, galleries and intriguing smaller spaces, Knole’s unrivalled collections of royal Stuart furniture, textiles, portraits and tapestries have gradually been worn by light, damp, pests and time. Nevertheless they retain a humble, faded glory, whilst pieces such as the rare silver furnishings of the King’s Room proudly attest to Knole’s more prosperous past.
- Historic Dockyard Chatham reveals the full dockyard story Step aboard the Three Historic Warships and discover over 100 years of life at sea. Don’t miss the Victorian Naval Sloop HMS Gannet, Second World War Destroyer HMS Cavalier, and Cold War Submarine Ocelot!
- Known as ‘The key to England’, the great fortress of Dover Castle has played a crucial role in the defence of the island for over nine centuries. Commanding the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent. Venture below ground with a tour of the eerie medieval underground works and see how the tunnels were adapted by engineers during the Napoleonic war in preparation for French invasion. These tunnels also had a secret use during the second world war as an operations’ nerve centre and include a hospital.
- Ightham Mote originally dates to around 1320, and successive owners have made relatively few changes to the main structure. In fact the last major work was the completion of the quadrangle with a new chapel in the 16th century. This medieval manor house is a great example that shows how such houses would have looked in the Middle Ages with the main focus being on looking inwards rather than outwards.
- Leeds Castle was built in 1119 to replace the earlier Saxon manor of Esledes, the castle became a royal palace in 1278 for King Edward I of England and his queen, Eleanor of Castile. Major improvements were made during his time, including the barbican, made up of three parts, each with its own entrance, drawbridge, gateway and portcullis. Leeds castle sits on two islands. The castle grounds have formal gardens, woodland walks, an aviary, a maze, a grotto, children’s play area and a museum of dog collars.