Palace Farm is just a short walk from the beautiful village of Doddington, in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you will find the Chequers Inn, a great pub for food and drinks and S W Doughty an award-winning butchers and delicatessen.
The Kent Downs many small country lanes, footpaths, bridleways, and byways allow you to travel through a scenic mixture of woodland, pasture and farmland, making a great place to discover the wonderful mix of wildlife flora and fauna, either by car, on foot or by bicycle. We have a good collection of maps to use with many local walks and cycle rides to suite all abilities. This includes some informative self-guided walks and cycle rides which will allow you to discover more of the area. Doddington, with the neighbouring villages of Newnham and Wychling, have a wonderful and well documented history, it is well worth discovering, stay with us to find out more.
There are several Country Estates with their large houses and manicured gardens close by, some open to the public. Doddington Place has about 10 acres of garden and opens regularly throughout the spring, summer and autumn on Wednesdays and Sundays, and has a very popular tea room. The house was built by Sir John Croft, famous as a Sherry and Port producer (Croft’s Original). Sir John built many houses in the village and built the present Palace Farm, in about 1867, as a Model Farm, probably to impress any friends he entertained.
There is a long history of farming in the area, a feature of which are some of the many Dean Holes, or Chalk Mines used to obtain chalk to sweeten farmland and for use as lime mortar for building houses and farm buildings including those at Palace Farm. Many of the woods in the area are regularly coppiced as they have been for many centuries and the wood being used mostly for Chestnut Fencing.
Doddington Church, with the unusual dedication to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, has some 13th century wall paintings. The church is mentioned in The Domesday Book. At the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 Doddington, as part of The Hundred of Teynham, was gifted to Bishop Odo of Bayeux, William’s half-brother, but by 1084 it had reverted to the Crown. One theory is that Palace Farm was built on the site of a Bishop’s Palace, maybe from that time?
The historic town of Faversham is just 7 miles by road and is famous for the Shepherd Neame Brewery. For 400 years Faversham was a major gunpowder and explosives manufacturer and it is thought that the gunpowder used in the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo was made in the town. The town has its own Magna Carta, in fact it has quite a collection of different documents dating from the early 14th century many with original wax seals from the king of the time. It is a Cinque Port and harbour that sits on Faversham Creek. The creek, which is tidal, winds its way through the Oare Marshes on its way to the Swale Estuary which divides the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland. The Oare Marshes reserve which is run by the Kent Wildlife Trust is very popular with birdwatchers.
The City of Canterbury, a half hours drive, with the country’s oldest Cathedral, is well worth exploring and historic Rochester, which has the second oldest Cathedral, also makes an interesting day visit. We are also only 10 miles from Leeds Castle, a beautiful, moated castle, once owned by King Henry the 8th, which has extensive gardens, a maize and a wonderful children’s playground. Much of the county of Kent is surrounded by sea, there are many beaches to visit and many more smuggling tails to enjoy.
Green Tourism Gold Award winners.
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