Aylesford Priory, An Important Spiritual Centre And Conference Venue

Welcome to our Aylesford Priory page. As many as a quarter of a million people visit this Carmelite centre every year making it one of the most popular destination to visitors to the Maidstone area. The Friars is primarily a spiritual/religious venue but it's defined as being.

"a place of peace, a community of prayer, an experience of God, a centre of welcome, a venue for gathering, a work of art"

Connections between the Order of Carmelites and Aylesford go back nearly 700 years, today it is a retreat and pilgrimage destination.

For more suggestions of places to see in and around the area check out our Discover Kent page. If you've visited Aylesford Priory as a visitor, pilgrim or conference delegate we welcome your feedback. Our contact details are at the foot of the page.

The Priory was founded in 1242 when a crusader knight Richard de Grey gave the first friar a small piece of land. The work of the Carmelites flourished and a church was consecrated on the site in 1417. In common with many other places of spiritual importance The Friars changed hands under the dissolution of the monasteries and the site was taken over by local land owners in the 16th century. The site saw many highs and lows over the centuries but just after the end of the war The Friars was put up for sale and purchased by the Order.

Aylesford Priory

The Shrine was rededicated in 1965 and has become an important centre for Christians throughout the area and is a destination for many people looking to find a meaning in their life from all backgrounds.

School visits occur regularly, there is also a well established conference centre offering businesses and other organisations excellent facilities for meetings and events.

The Friars Opening Hours

Our most recent information was that the grounds are open every day of the year, but the gift shop, tearooms and pottery are open:

  • Summer (April to September) - Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sundays 11am to 5pm.
  • Winter (October to March) - Monday to Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm

The Friars Entrance Charges

There is no charge to enter The Friars, the grounds are open every day, there is a suggested donation for the main car park.

Location And Contact

  • The Friars, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7BX
  • 01622 717272
  • www.thefriars.org.uk

The Friars Feedback & Disclaimer

Our content is checked regularly but if you find any error or omission in our coverage of Aylesford priory let us know.This page is under constant improvement. We welcome feedback, please see our disclaimer.

Your Comments

"I'd like to recommend The Friars to anyone who feels spiritually at a low ebb, I've stayed their twice and and come back home completely rejuvenated, they make everyone feel completely welcome."

Dear YC"

Your readers may not know but all are welcome at the Friars, you don't have to be a Catholic, many families come for a day out or a picnic or just to experience the calm tranquility of the place. Ms Swain."