Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

19/02/2021 03:37

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
Welcome to the Elham Historical Society database website. Feel free to browse and uncover the history of Elham. Our dedicated team of historians has recently finished recording the details on all the memorials in the graveyard. Our chairman Derek Boughton has overseen the operation, correlating the data and checking for errors. The results of their labours can be seen on the burials page.

Elham beat off stiff competition for the title of Kent Village of the year 2011 organised by Action with Communities in Rural Kent.

Censuses for outlying communities in the parish will be rolled out gradually. Check out the stats page for interesting facts and

trivia about the village. We still need your help so please send us any information relating to Elham that may be of interest.

Les Ames hits out
Les Ames in action

Elham resident Les Ames in action for England against the West Indies in 1939. He was one of the finer wicketkeeper - batsmen and played for Kent CCC.

Abbot's Fireside c 1450
Abbot's Fireside

The Abbot's Fireside is one of the older buildings in the village and probably dates back to the mid fifteenth century.

Audrey attends school
Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn (neé Rushton) lived in Orchard Cottage (Five Bells) for five years in her childhood (1935-1940) and attended the local village schools. She took ballet lessons and dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. I wonder what became of her?

George V Playing Field
George V Playing Field

Dave Lee opens Elham's brand new playground with a sensory garden and a pretty flower meadow created by the Play for Elham charity. 21st November 2010

Swing Riots of 1830
Swing Riots

The machine breaking that led to the riots of August 1830 onwards started in the Elham Parish, writes our historian Derek Boughton, who has made a lifetime's study of the subject.

Elham residents were prominent in the gangs that sought out the new fangled threshing machines and destroyed them. Some of them cost the not inconsiderable sum for the day of £100. Full Story

Mary Smith 1904 - 1990

Mary's diary for 1940 was used by the author Dennis Knight as the basis for his book Harvest of Messerschmitts which tells the story of Elham and events during the Battle of Britain. She was educated at Rigden's private school and then accepted to the Simon Langton Girls' School even though she failed the entrance exam. Later she went to University College and Goldsmiths' College, London where she lived away from the sheltered life of Elham. She read English and Latin, emerging with an honours degree and the University Diploma in Education. At the outbreak of war she was teaching at a private school in Folkestone, but this closed down. Harvest of Messerschmitts Mary Smith

Frederick Castle dies 1997

Born in Elham, Frederick became a schoolmaster in Bath Somerset and played first-class cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club in the school holidays for the four summers immediately after the Second World War. He also played football for Crystal Palace F.C. Cricinfo

Elham Manor 1387

This delightful house stands at the top of Culling's Hill, on the Old Road which was once the only way through Elham towards Canterbury. The present house is L.-shaped in plan, and consists of the old hall, once open to the roof, and a large wing on the Culling's Hill side. The services wing, where the buttery and the pantry were, is missing, and was evidently pulled down to make room for the long timbered house on the right of the Old Manor, where a long row of windows on the first floor show that a weaver lived here in the 17th century.

The site of the earliest manor house, sometimes referred to as the 'Palace of the Earls of Eu', was situated a little to the south of the present house, around St. Mary's Church Hall, where fragments of foundations have been found. Some ancient stone walling in the cellars of the two cottages, Nos. 1 and 2 the New Road belong to the Old Palace.

The history of the present house dates from the execution of Sir Simon Burley in 1387. He owned the manor at that time, and his estates were forfeited to the Crown, and were granted shortly afterwards by Richard 11 to the Dean and Canons of Westminster. It would appear that the Old Palace was then demolished, and the present house erected, this having a central open hall, with a two storey wing on each side of it. The hall had a floor inserted in it when the first brick chimneys were added in the 16th century.

Today, the interior of the house is a most charming place, with its wealth of old beams and panelling. The massive tiebeam and crown-post seen upstairs, mark the centre of the old hall, and the moulded and crenellated beams once adorned each side of the hall. The two dragon-beams allowed the joists to give an overhang on three sides. All these features belong to the original house, except the panelling and the old floorboards, which are 17th century. The Old Manor House has been granted the plaque of the Committee for the Preservation of Rural Kent and the Kent Archaeological Society.

Elham Study

What's in the database
11714 People
6513 Demography entries
2409 Events
1293 Marriages
415 Properties
417 Photographs
Completed projects ...
  • Properties 1841-1911
  • Demography records 1841-1911 (village only)
  • Cemetery & Graveyard burials
  • Memorial and graveyard inscriptions
Work in progress ...
  • Demography records 1841-1911 (parish)
  • Marriages within the Elham parish
  • Audio/verbal accounts by Elham residents
Coming soon ...
  • Mapping of all properties within the Elham parish
  • List of artefacts
Future projects ...
  • Audio village tour
  • Complete list of shops - past and present
What's new!
Michael Hayes
Doctor Who Producer
Arthur Frederick Broadbridge
Elham resident and diplomat
Charles Alfred Fortin
Elham assistant surgeon
William Lewis Cowley
Elham resident and author
George W Palmer
Graveyard burials
John Midgeley
Henry Clayson
STATS - Facts & Trivia
Windlass Cottage Title Deeds
Church Cottage history back to 1720
Anthony Eden
Prime Minister and Elham resident

Swing Riots
Les Ames in action
Audrey Hepburn

EHS Database

Swing Riots of 1830 recounted by Derek Boughton our local expert historian.

Les Ames for England v West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica 1930 or 1935. WK Ivan Barrow watches on.

Audrey Hepburn attended private schools in the village and dreamed of being a ballerina. I wonder what became of her?

What's in the database? Find the latest additions here.