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A late 15th century archbishop's house, possibly on the site of an earlier medieval manor dating to between 1281 and 1456; later it became a Royal Tudor residence and later still it was altered as a Jacobean country house. It is constructed of Kentish ragstone, except for a later half timbered addition. It was built for Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. King Henry VIII obtained Knole, along with Otford Palace, from Archbishop Cramner in 1532. In contrast to Otford, Knole was a smaller house; and King Henry apparantly intended to reserve it for his personal use when travelling through that area of the country, whilst the bulk of his retinue could stay at Ottford. There has been some debate as to whether Henry VIII had part of the house known as The Green Court added, or if this had in fact been added by one of Cranmer's ecclesiastical predecessors. Knowle eventually left Royal ownership and became the seat of the Sackville family. It underwent major remodelling in the Jacobean style between 1605 to 1608 for Thomas Sackville. There may have been further rebuilding later in the 17th century after a fire.

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