The Carmelite Order came to Aylesford, in Kent, England in 1242. In 1251 Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, the Prior General of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford, England. In the apparition, the Virgin handed Simon the brown woolen scapular - which was her sign of protection for all her children. With the protection came the promise that whoever wore her "habit" devoutly would be assured eternal salvation. The scapular became an important sign of faith and a signature element of Carmelite devotion. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the Friary passed into many different hands, but finally in 1949 the Friars were able to buy back the property. The Shrine was rededicated in 1965. Today the Shrine is open for visitors 365 days a year and admission is free.
Accommodation: The medieval Priory houses an 80 room guesthouse for pilgrims. Rooms are simple but comfortable and available for single, double, twin, and family bookings.
Transportation: Drive: The friary is approximately a 1 hour drive from London (40 miles). It can be reached via the M2 or M20. Train: London Victoria Station to Maidstone East, then take a taxi or bus 155 to The Friars. London St Pancras Station, change at Strood for Aylesford, then a 20 minute walk or short taxi ride. London Victoria Station to West Malling then take a taxi to The Friars.