A Rare Discovery at Abdication House, Rochester

A rare discovery in Abdication House, Rochester

Working on older properties always holds the potential for the discovery of old belongings and artifacts. However, in Abdication House in Rochester, we have been amazed at a previous discovery and the story that sits behind it.

Whilst renovation was taking place in one of the rooms over 100 years ago, stripping back the walls of this 17th Century building revealed some beautiful artwork all around the room in the form of decorated wooden panels.   These hand painted oak panels are said to be dated to the Jacobean era and were found in 1924 when a contractor (Mr Webb) discovered them whilst carrying out renovation work to the bank.  The panels were removed from the wall and stripped of paint revealing the hand painted panels as we see them today.  It’s unknown which room the panels were originally found in but they were replaced in a rear room on the first floor where they remain today. We have created a 360 degree image that shows the panels in their full glory below:

The significance of the panels is not only due to their rarity but also due to the fact it’s thought that King James II would have had sight of them before Abdicating the throne and escaping to France in December 1688, via a skiff from the river behind the building.

King James II was fleeing England following increased tensions between the Catholic Church and the Church of England and it was believed that his removal as the King was key in the avoidance of a civil war. The building at that time was owned by Sir Richard Head, a member of parliament, and close aide to the king.

To be involved in such a project has been fascinating for the team and just goes to show why we are never quite sure what we will encounter in the course of our design and planning work on a daily basis. We would like to thank the building owners for allowing us to share this insight into England’s past, and if you are considering any planning and property developments, please contact us, either by calling on 01634 710 881, or email info@synergyppc.co.uk. We have a quarter of a century of experience in successful planning applications for individuals and property developers. Navigating through all stages required to make a successful planning application is not easy for larger projects especially now that ecology forms a significant part in developments now,  We pride ourselves on being up to date on the latest requirements so we can do our best to ensure every application we take on can be successful.