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Mayfield; The Old Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, St Leonard's Mayfield School

In the civil parish of Mayfield.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of East Sussex.
1974 county of East Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Pevensey).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ587271
Latitude 51.02137° Longitude 0.26140°

Mayfield; The Old Palace has been described as a certain Palace.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Remains of a medieval palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury converted into a school by E W Pugin in 1863-6. Some C13 work. But the main portion is the C14 hall, now the school chapel. Stone. Tiled roof. Three tall pointed windows of 2 tiers of trefoil-headed lights with triangles above, each trefoil-shaped. Buttresses flanking the windows. Vaulted entrance to south-west. Adjoining this is a C14 tower and C15 well-house. Additions of 1863-6 by E W Pugin to north-east. (Listing report)

Mayfield Palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury was one of the many manor houses of the south that helped to support the dignity and feed the retinue of the mediaeval archbishops; it may be compared with the similar palace at Croydon. It was in the hands of the Anglican church from the time of Dunstan to that of Cranmer and has seen its share of historical events. An important council was held here in 1332 under Archbishop Meopham, who died in Mayfield as did both Stratford and Islip, Cranmer treated with the king for the exchange of Mayfield for other lands and it passed through the hands of many owners. Sir Thomas Gresham held it for a time and here entertained Queen Elizabeth,
In 1740 it was dismantled and left to go to ruin. Its preservation is due to the Dowager Duchess of Leeds, who purchased it and connected it with a convent of the Roman Church. (Jackson 1927)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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