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

Caleb Caister 1833

Caister's Tavern ca.1845-1854. Caleb Caister came from Elham in England to Oxford County in 1833. In 1836 he settled on this site, cleared farmland and built a one storey log dwelling. This dwelling was his family home but also served as an inn and tavern. Until 1848, when what is now Tavistock was established, Caister's home was the only public accommodation in north-central Oxford County for pioneers moving along the Huron Road and thence southerly into the Zorra settlement. By the 1840's Caister held an official municipal licence and a survey map of the time shows that his log dwelling was known in this locality as Caister's Tavern. Location: East side of HWY 59 south of the curve south from Tavistock (East Zorra-Tavistock) 597112 Oxford 59 RD Tavistock, ON Canada plaques

The Chequer 1829

Lease for a Year, 4th November, and Conveyance 5th November: Susannah Morris, widow, Ann Morris, spinster, and William Henry Morris, grocer, all of Canterbury, heirs of Henry Morris of Canterbury, grocer, under his will of 12th August 1828 (and mortgagees), to William Pittock of Elham, surgeon, for £300. Occupiers listed: Thomas Dray, -- Lampart, , Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Lawson, William Lawson, William Bragg.


The quiet of our peaceful parish has for a long period been frequently disturbed by the wild vagaries of Danzey Summerville Cresswell, pseudo "doctor," but it is to be hoped that a wholesome check has been put upon his movements by the decision of the magistrates assembled in petty sessions last Monday, whereby "Dr." Cresswell was mulcted in the penalty of £5 and costs. The circumstances from which the magisterial proceedings arose have long been the subject of our village gossips, but readers of this paper elsewhere may like to know something of the doings of this modern example of ruffianism. It seems from the evidence given on Monday that some time in January last a man named Castle was at work with a horse and cart upon the road just outside Elham, when Cresswell approached riding a horse at his usual rapid pace, and called out to have the road cleared for him. Now as it happened that a waggon, and several gentlemen on horseback had just previously passed the spot where the horse and cart were still standing, Castle did not immediately obey the order, which it is said was given in language not fit for ears polite, whereupon Cresswell without further ado commenced to belabour the head and shoulders of the disobedient curter with blows from the butt end of a heavy hunting whip. A scuffle ensued; the doctor got unhorsed, and commenced " squaring " up for an engagement. Castle, however, quickly felled his antagonist to the ground, and when opportunity offered repeated the performance. The doctor thus got the worst of the encounter, his eyes were blackened, his lips cut and bruised, and the "bridge" of his nose broken. Next morning Mr. Cresswell invoked the majesty of the law, and obtained a summons against Castle for an assault. The simple carter, too, objecting, it is to be presumed, to the Legree style of castigation practised upon him, like-wise obtained a citation to appear against the " doctor," and when the cross-summonses came on for hearing, Mr. Cresswell, by virtue of his having placed himself in the position of the original complainant, had his " say " first. Nothing doubting, Mr. Cresswell stated (upon oath, of course) his version of the affray, but happily for Castle, whose tongue the law now kept silent, he had "free and independ.ent " witnesses to bring forward whose testimony clearly convinced the bench of Magistrates which of the parties was the actual aggressor, and without waiting to hear the evidence in detail they at once dismissed the case. The tables had now turned; the man of the horse and cart was complainant and the soi disant professor of the healing art, defendant. Castle (not only by his own testimony but by the evidence of others who evidently spoke without favour or affection for either party) clearly demonstrated to the bench that a brutal assault had been committed upon him, and the magistrates—most righteously we think—ordered the "doctor" to pay a penalty of £5 and costs. It is said that at first the administrators of justice were inclined to commit the defendant to prison without the option of paying a fine. Who would have regretted it but himself?— From a Correspondent. Whitstable Times 11th March 1871

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.