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

Folkestone to Canterbury 1922

The first bus service started to run from Folkestone Harbour to Canterbury. The service was started by Sergeant Brothers with open-top charabancs with solid rubber tyres. They ran for a few years, then the East Kent Road Car Company took over and bought them out.

"They never minded how many stood in the gangway as long as you could get on. Sometimes, when it was fully loaded, they had a job getting up Grace Hill in Folkestone. When it rained the driver had to stop and pull a canvas hood over. I think when the buses started, the railways began losing passengers, because going by bus you could go right into the towns, whereas you had quite a walk from Canterbury South or Folkestone Central Stations."

Memoires of Bill Watson

Thomas Thompson 1772

The Elham vicar was also near the close of his life when he wrote "The African Trade for Negro Slaves" which was shewn to be consistent with the Principles of Humanity and with the Laws of Revealed Religion, 1772: in which " without considering the subject very deeply, he draws his arguments from Aristotle and his illustrations from the Pentateuch."

Murder Most Horrid 1846

On Wednesday morning Sharrock Bragg, a bricklayer, rose at an early hour, and while his wife was in bed with an infant by her side, he struck her violent blows on the temple with a hammer. He then committed the like violence on a little girl five years of age, which lay in a side bed, and then destroyed his own life by cutting his throat immediately afterwards. The particulars attending the dreadful catastrophe may be gathered from the subjoined evidence, which was adduced at the Coroner’s inquest on the bodies. It was held at the King’s Arms Inn before Mr. T.T.Delassaux, one of the county coroners. William Jaggers, a schoolmaster, residing in the village, said that he had lodged at the house of the deceased about ten months. The family consisted of Sharrock Rudd Bragg, his wife Mary, and two children; the eldest name Ellen, aged about five years, and an infant aged about four months. The conduct of the deceased man towards his wife and children was most kind. He had not heard an angry word uttered by him towards either of them. About four weeks ago the deceased went into his room, and remarked that he expected he should be transported, on which the witness said, “I suppose you have committed some great crime that deserves transportation”. He replied that he did not know that he had. He t he observed that he had been a bad man to his wife, and witness asking him what he had done, he replied that he had not acted rightly to her, but did not say in what manner. The deceased appeared not in his proper senses. He frequently seamed low and melancholy. On Tuesday night, about half-past ten o’clock, witness went to bed. Deceased, his wife, and children had retired before that time. About half-past five on the following, he heard something heavy fall on the floor in the room of the deceased; shortly before which he believed he heard the wife of the deceased groaning. The groans continued, and at times grew loader. About six witness got up and dressed himself, and on looking out of the window saw a little girl knocking at the front door. He immediately went downstairs and opened the door, but the child was gone. He then discovered some blood lying on the floor of the front room, which is under the apartment occupied by the deceased, and on looking up he perceived more dripping through the ceiling. He instantly called up a female named Quested, and desired her to go and open the bedroom door of the deceased. Ann Quested, the wife of a blacksmith, was next examined. She deposed that at about half-past six o’clock on Wednesday morning, she was called by the last witness to go into the deceased’s room. She did so, and was horrified on seeing the deceased man lying on the floor covered with blood. She also noticed the bedclothes saturated with blood. Being much alarmed, she hastened down stairs for assistance. James Bragg, brother to the deceased, said, that on Tuesday evening, about seven o’clock, he met his brother and some conversation with him. He accompanied him to North Elham, for some cabbage plants which he had purchased. For the last month, deceased has laboured under a depression of spirits. Witness was at work with him about three weeks ago, he was then strange in his conversation, and different from what he had been in the habit of being. He asked him several questions with a view to ascertaining the cause, but his answers were far from being collected. By the Coroner: From what he had seem and heard, he believed that the deceased was jealous of his wife. He had heard the deceased say, “If I was to die, there is another man ready to marry my wife.” Sarah Bragg, the wife of the last witness, was then called. She was one of the first to enter the deceased’s bedroom on the alarm being given. She saw the deceased man lying on the floor. He was quite dead and the upper part of his body was covered with blood, On a chair near his corpse she found a razor covered with blood. The one produced is the same. She went to the bed and lifted the infant from it. The mother was perfectly insensible and was groaning heavily. The little girl was in a side bed. She was covered with blood. They were both breathing. George Gale corroborated her testimony. The hammer produced he found near the body of the deceased on the floor. Several witnesses were then examined, who spoke to the melancholy and desponding state of the deceased’s mind. Upon one occasion he said he was done for, and hoped it would be a warning to others. Mr. James Beatie, surgeon, of Elham, described the injuries in graphic detail. The Jury found that “the deceased, Sharrock Rudd Bragg, killed and slayed Mary his wife and Ellen his daughter, while in an unsound state of mind, and whilst in that insane state did destroy himself by cutting his throat with a certain razor. The shocking catastrophe has created much sensation in the neighbourhood of Elham. The wretched man was in his twenty-ninth year, and bore a very good character. The Northern Star - 10th October 1846

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.

1903 Dr Bishop