Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Occupying the country’s south-east corner, Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England.’ Early Neolithic settlement can be seen in the Medway Megaliths, while later Bronze Age residents left round barrows dotted around the county. Being close to the continent, Kent absorbed Roman influence even before becoming part of the Empire. Many elite villas were established in Roman Kent, the best-known of which is at Lullingstone, while the Romans also established fortifications like those at Richborough to defend their territory. An independent Kingdom of Kent emerged after the collapse of Roman rule, eventually becoming integral to the Christianisation process – Canterbury Cathedral is still the heart of English Christianity and was a major medieval pilgrimage site. Later rulers saw the importance of defending Kent’s coast, reflected in the medieval castle at Dover, King Henry VIII’s fortifications at Walmer and Deal, and the 19th-century Martello Towers.

Archaeology & History Sites in Kent

Chartwell, Winston Churchill Family Home

Churchill lived at Chartwell from 1922 to 1965. Originally built in Tudor times the house has been extended and renovated extensively since. It is set in magnificent gardens in the Weald of Kent. In 1946 the house was given to the National Trust. Churchill and his family continued to live there until his death in 1965. A tour of the house takes in many of the rooms in which he worked and raised his family, including his study and art studio. It retains a homely feel with personal photographs and many of his official gifts, all the while presenting details about his life and premiership.

Dover Castle

Dover Castle, the ‘gateway to the realm’, is one of Britain’s best-surviving Norman castles. Excavations suggest the site was in 800 BC an Iron Age hillfort. A Roman lighthouse was converted into a bell tower. Over the last 1,000 years it has been a royal palace, a Napoleonic fortress, a military base for ‘Operation Dynamo’ during the Battle of Dunkirk and a Cold War communications office. Walk the battlements to enjoy views over the White Cliffs, get lost in secret underground wartime passages and imagine life as the king from the palace in the Great Tower.

Great Maytham Hall

Although beginning its life in the 18th century, Great Maytham Hall was devastated by a fire in 1893, resulting in the structure largely being rebuilt to the design of the prominent architect Sir Edward Lutyens between 1909 and 1912. Meanwhile, between 1898 and 1907, the writer Frances Hodgson Burnett lived on the estate and developed a fascination for its garden, using it as the inspiration for her popular 1911 children’s book, The Secret Garden. Today, the garden can still be visited on select days thanks to the National Garden Scheme.

Lullingstone Roman Villa

Lullingstone Villa is one of the best preserved Roman villas in England. The wall paintings provide some of the earliest evidence for Christianity in Roman Britain. Construction began around 100 AD, but the villa was at its most luxurious during the mid 4th century AD. Besides the exquisite wall paintings, the villa is also known for its well preserved mosaics. The ruins have been preserved in situ and covered, making this a great all-weather site to visit. A light show is used to bring the villa back to life.

Museums & Art Galleries in Kent

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