The Friars, Aylesford, was one of the first English houses of the Carmelites or Whitefriars, founded in 1242. After the Reformation the cloister was turned into a private house passing respectively into the hands of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir John Sedley, Sir Peter Rycaut and Sir John Banks. Under Bank's ownership extensive restoration and enlargements were made turning the Friars into a fine Caroline mansion. The Friars became the dower house until the death of Charlotte, the wife of the third Earl of Aylesford in 1805 and the house was then rented to various tenants throughout most of the nineteenth century. In 1949 the Carmelite order purchased back their ancient house.