In 1321 the king, Edward 11, gave permission for Aylmer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, to give property to the master of the Chapel, or Chantry, at Milton. The income from this property was to pay for two chaplains who would pray for Aylmer?s soul and the soul of his ancestors.
The Site Becomes A Farm
After Henry V111 confiscated the properties of the Church, he gave Milton Chantry with the associated buildings and land, to Sir Thomas Wyatt. In 1540 Sir Thomas rented it out as a farm to William Wilde, who converted the Chapel into a house.
The New Tavern
By 1697 part of Milton Chantry had been converted to an alehouse, The Zoar, later renamed the New Tavern. In 1776 a visitor noted that the tavern offered overnight rooms and had a neat bowling green and garden.
The Fort Today
A fort was built in the grounds of the New Tavern in the 1780?s and the tavern itself was converted for use as a military hospital in 1842. The fort was abandoned after the first world war. The grounds were opened as public gardens and the fort is now being conserved by the Thames Defence Heritage Group. The Chantry has survived, retaining many clues to its chequered history, to house this exhibition about Gravesend today.