Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

22/05/2019 16:10

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
What's in the database
11698 People
6492 Demography entries
2402 Events
1287 Marriages
413 Properties
415 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
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
Welcome to the Elham Historical Society database website. Feel free to browse and uncover the history of Elham. Our dedicated team of historians have 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 of 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 (left) 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
Play for Elham

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

Hodges Swain 1874

Letter from NZ. 17 May 1874, Hodges Swain, 37, farm labourer, with a wife and five children, wrote home from Invercargill to his parents and friends to give his impressions of the new country. The evening before he had brought home three pounds to give to his wife. He had never lived so well in England, and he too was rejoicing in the eight hour day. As he contrasted the new life with the old, he seems to have felt some bitterness about the past: "I very often think of the slaves in England and the empty bellies A man is drove to be dishonest in England, but here there is no call for him to be if he will work…. Tell several of the farmers round about Elham that I thank them for turning their backs upon me or else I should not have come" New Zealnd Electronic Text Centre

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."


Stephen Pilcher File was indicted for, that he being a servant to Joshua Cox and William Ellyett, making false entries in certain books of accounts, the property of his employers, with intent to defraud on the 9th July, 26th July, 24th August, 19th September, and 28th December, 1889, and on February 7th, 1890, at Elham. Mr. Gore and Mr. Arthur Gill (instructed by Mr. R. M. Mercer, Canterbury) prosecuted, and Mr. Lewis Glyn and Mr. G. Thorn Drury defended. The clerk of the Peace mentioned that there were several gentlemen from Elham on the petty jury, and counsel for the prosecution thought it would be fairer if perfect strangers were engaged in trying the case. Mr. Glyn said he did not object, but the application was a most unusual one. Fresh jurymen having been substituted, the case was proceeded with. Mr. Gore, in opening the case, said the prisoner was charged with fourteen offences under the Falsification of Accounts Act, by means of which he succeeded in defrauding his employer of a sum of about £150. The facts were that up to 1888 the prisoner had carried on business as a grocer and draper, and also as a farmer at Elham, and was at that time unable to meet his engagements. At a meeting of his creditors an arrangement was come to, whereby File made over his property, consisting of his shop and stock, to certain trustees, so that it might be carried on for the benefit of the creditors, he remaining as manager. One creditor was the firm Of Messrs. Cox and Ellyett, wholesale grocers of Canterbury. They were old acquaintances of File, and when the arrangement had been come to, prisoner asked them, and they finally consented to buy the business from the trustees, and allow him to carry on the shop, so that he might, if possible, pay of the debts he owed them, in which case there was a kind of understanding that he should have the business as his own. Mr. Cox bought the business for £1,372, and an agreement was entered into, by which File was engaged as manager at a salary of £10 a month. From the commencement the largest discretion was given to prisoner, and this largest confidence placed in him. It must be admitted that there was neglect on the part of Mr. Cox in failing to have the accounts properly checked. Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 18 October 1890