Larkfield Priory Hotel
|Larkfield Priory Hotel|
|Number of rooms||52|
A manor house was located on the site from the 18th century on what was known as Larkfield farm. In the nineteenth century it was the home of the Reverend William Lewis Wigan and his family. Wigan died in 1876 and the family continued to live at the residence. In 1892, a fire damaged the building and it had to be restored. It was eventually extended and became a hotel. The hotel now has 52 rooms and was renovated in the early 2000s.
The Wigan family
Reverend William Lewis Wigan (1817-1876) built Larkfield Priory (then called Larkfield House) in the 1850s. He was born in 1817 and was the son of John Alfred Wigan of Clare House, East Malling. He was educated at Eton and obtained a Degree at Cambridge University in 1840. He became the Vicar of East Malling in 1847. Two years later in 1849 he married Caroline Ramsay Akers (1830-1910) who was the daughter of Aretas Aker of Malling Abbey. The couple had five sons and two daughters. William died in 1876 and his wife Caroline continued to live at the house with her two daughters Eliza and Isabella who both remained unmarried. Her son William Lewis Wigan (1853-1940) also lived with them for several years before his marriage. In 1892 there was a fire at the house which damaged part of the house but the front remained untouched. Two photos taken before and after the fire show that the house is still substantially the same as it was in the 1850s.
William their son was married in 1894 and moved to Clare House to live with his new bride Laura Carr daughter of the Rector of Barming. Caroline died in 1910 and the house was rented for the next 20 years.
As a hotel, the Larkfield Priory Hotel has had great corporate backing. Forte Hotel, Corus and Swallows have all benfitted from the hotel's great location, picturesque grounds and wonderful facilities.
- "The Larkfield Priory Hotel". MisterWhat UK Business Directory. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Larkfield Priory. English Inns.co.uk. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- Visitation of England and Wales, Vol 13 1905, p. 127. Online reference
- England Census of 1881, 1891 and 1901.
- Photo of House before fire is shown here
- Photo of House after the fire is shown here