West Malling contains many historic buildings. St. Leonard’s Tower, a Norman keep, was built by Bishop Gundulf c.1080. He also built the White Tower of the Tower of London, the castles of Rochester and Colchester, the Priory and Cathedral of Rochester. In c.1090 Gundulf founded St. Mary’s Abbey in West Malling for Benedictine nuns. This historic site contains significant buildings from the Norman, medieval, Tudor and Georgian eras.
There is also a Grade II listed 1966 Abbey Church which is used by the Anglican Benedictine nuns who have made Malling Abbey their home since 1916. Other buildings of interest in West Malling include the Prior’s House, once a residence for those with leprosy; Ford House, over 600 years old; a mainly Georgian High Street and Went House, built c.1720 and noted for its elegant brickwork.
West Malling is reputed to be the site of the first recorded cricket match in Kent. The ground, off Norman Road, was once the home of inter-county cricket in Kent, and it is known that in 1705, “West of Kent” played Chatham.
In 1967, the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour was filmed around West Malling, including in the High Street and at the airfield