Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

14/02/2022 05:19

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


A well. known inhabitant of Elharn passed away last week in the person of “Dr. Cresswell." Although he had no diploma, yet he had a most extensive practice, among farmers, and labouring classes. His reputation reached every part of East Kent, and some astonishing cures have been reported under his treatment. Such was his reputation for skill, that several held his abilities in great reverence, and would trust in no other than Dr. Cresswell, who was in many things a most eccentric man. A large number who placed implicit faith in his skill will mourn his loss. Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 13 April 1889

Thomas Thompson 1751

He applied from America to the S.P.G. to be appointed by them the (apparently first) missionary to Africa. " Somebody must be the first one," he said, and " God only knows how long it may be before any other person will take the same resolution." He was appointed 15th Feb Internet archive

Les Ames 1905 - 1990

Former Elham resident Leslie Ethelbert George Ames CBE; who died suddenly at his home in Canterbury on February 26 1990 - aged 84 - was without a doubt the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman the game has so far produced; and yet - at the time he was playing - it used to be said there were better wicketkeepers than Ames - and that he was in the England team because of his batting. If this was so would Jardine - for example - have preferred him to Duckworth in Australia in 1932-33? Surely not. When fully fit - Ames was England's first-choice wicketkeeper from 1931 to 1939 - when he virtually gave up the job. For Kent - he was an integral part of their Championship side from 1927 to the first match of 1951 - when a sharp recurrence of back trouble - which had dogged him for so long - brought his career to an end while he was actually at the crease. By this time he had amassed 37248 runs - average 43.51 - made 102 hundreds - including nine double-hundreds - and passed 1000 runs in a season seventeen times - going on to 3000 once and 2000 on five occasions. He had had a direct interest in 1121 dismissals - of which more than 1000 were effected when he was keeping wicket. His total of 418 stumpings is easily a record. In Test cricket - Ames played 47 matches - scoring 2434 runs with a batting average of 40.56 - and taking 74 catches - and 23 stumpings. Record 8th wicket partnership in all tests of 246 with GO Allen :Made 123 in the pre-lunch session of the 1923 test against South Africa (a record for runs in a session): Scored centuries against every first-class county apart from Kent. Unusually for a wicket-keeper - he also bowled over 200 overs - taking 24 first-class wickets with a bowling average of 33.37. Ames was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1929. He was a pupil at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone and he also played five times for Gillingham FC. Wisden obituary

What's in the database
11716 People
6513 Demography entries
2411 Events
1295 Marriages
415 Properties
418 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.

1947 Elham Valley Railway closed