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Old Palace, Canterbury

Entrance to the Old Palace

The Old Palace is a historic building situated within the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral. It is the main residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his family when in Canterbury.



Built within the grounds of the Cathedral in the early 10th century, the Old Palace was the residence of the Archbishop when he visited Canterbury. The building was therefore also referred to as the Archbishop's Palace. In 1647 during the English Civil War it was taken over by Parliament along with its estates.[1]


Archbishop Frederick Temple

The Old Palace stayed empty until the 19th century and in 1896 it was restored by W D Caroe. Archbishop Frederick Temple was the first to live since 1647.

It has undergone many modifications and adjustments over the years, most recently reopening again in 2006 after a two -year process of much needed refurbishment. .[2][3]

Current useEdit

In addition to being the official residence of the Archbishop when in Canterbury, part of the building is also the home of the Bishop of Dover who is a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury.

Layout and statusEdit

A curved building with two to three floors, the Old Palace is at the western end of what was once a monastery's refectory.

The building became a Grade I listed building on 3 May 1967.[2]

See alsoEdit


Coordinates: 51°16′49″N 1°04′54″E / 51.2803°N 1.0817°E / 51.2803; 1.0817