On a warm and pleasant bank holiday weekend, I paid a visit to the oldest of buildings associated with our project; Maison Dieu, Ospringe, near Faversham. Set on the main road are two properties which are all that are left of the medieval complex. One is a private residence today.
Maison Dieu, (God’s House) which is manned by a staff of volunteers, is open at weekends during the summer season from 2pm until 5pm.
This site was one of 50 to have a Camera Regis – a King’s Chamber. This meant that high status pilgrims and travellers would have stayed here, including royalty.
The famous poet and storyteller, Chaucer, would have stayed here. Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ has made the pilgrims’ route part of English Literature. Our Volunteer Research and Archive Members are busily researching into the establishment of the hospital part of the complex; the Hospital of the Blessed Mary as well as other similar buildings in the area. The third resting place from London, after Dartford and Rochester, this site was one of 50 to have a Camera Regis – a King’s Chamber. This meant that high status pilgrims and travellers would have stayed here, including royalty.
One of the chambers has a beautiful plaster ceiling, another has an amazingly undulated floor surface. On the road side, a chamber shows the evidence of the river which once flowed underneath. A small building packed with history.