The Kent Website since 1999
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.
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.
Our most recent information was that the grounds are open every day of the year, but the gift shop, tearooms and pottery are open:
There is no charge to enter The Friars, the grounds are open every day, there is a suggested donation for the main car park.
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.
"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."
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."
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
Disclaimer & feedback
This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know.In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
Your comments matter
This is a website formed, produced and published in Kent. By endorsing any one of the features in this section you will draw the attention of our audience to somewhere well worth a visit. In this way you can play a part in promoting the best Kent has to offer. We welcome feedback on all local tourism issues not just those connected to places to visit.