With the big improvement in the weather recently, my thoughts turned to outings and I started looking for new and different places to visit.
My recent research resulted in a visit to a stunning building virtually on my own doorstep, which I had vaguely heard about but had sadly previously ignored.
Temple Manor in Strood was originally built in 1240 by the Knights Templar and was used as a stopping point for travelling dignitaries. Today, following restoration by the Ministry Of Works in the 1950s, it stands proudly in a leafy garden, nestled between business units on an industrial estate. Incongruous as this sounds, the surroundings do not spoil the peace and charm of this lovely building.
Cared for under the English Heritage umbrella, the property is open weekends between April and November and admission is free (although donations appreciated).
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Temple Manor, the building has been lovingly restored and there are some very interesting information boards not only about the building and local area, but the Knights Templar too. Although unfurnished, the building has some interesting details, including traces of original wall paintings, grand fireplaces and a vaulted undercroft.
This really is one of Kent’s hidden gems.
What ‘hidden gems’ have you found where you live?