Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

06/05/2024 04:37


c 1400 Grade II Listed
Church Cottage
Vicarage Road
YearNameAddressFlatRelationCM/FAgeOccupationPlace of birth 
0Richard Nethersole    M   
0John Atwell    M   
0Mary Atwell    F   
0David Boughton    M   
0Thomas Spry    M   
1720Margaret Spry    F50  
1720Thomas Spry    M   
1729Thomas Spry    M   
1780Thomas Dray    M36  
1780Jane Dray    F24  
1804Thomas Dray    M60  
1804Jane Dray    F48  
1841James PettsVicarage Corner1  M25 Kent
YearText Photos 
This house stands against the old churchyard wall, and on a pathway which once led to the priest's door. It is listed as a Grade Ill, 17th century building, but an examination shows that it incorporates parts of the timber framing of a much older house, believed to have been a medieval priest's house. Before the Dissolution, Elham Church employed a much larger staff than at present, there being, besides the vicar, up to three Chaplains, a Parish Clerk, and an Assistant Clerk. Old records show that there were in the Church no fewer than seven altars, and upwards of fourteen lights, and that there were more services than now.

The remains of the Priest House may be seen encased in brick, inside the taller part of Church Cottage. This older house had two rooms only, one above the other, with a stone cellar beneath. The cellar is still there, and stone steps in the present kitchen lead up to a sitting room, or 'parlour' above. On the top floor is a bedroom, or 'solar', where most of the timber-framing may be seen, and if one notices the ancient floor-boards here, they are seen to change direction at each end of the room, indicating that underneath there are still two 'dragon beams', which once allowed for an overhang on three sides. Above the solar, the timbering of the medieval roof still survives, and may be seen from inside the later roof, at the rear.

The old timbered house is not later than the 15th century, and may be earlier. It must have presented an exceedingly attractive appearance, with its black and white timbering, and with its overhangs. The house was enlarged, and altered very much to its present state in the 18th century. The former gateway in the old churchyard wall, which once led to the priest's door in the chancel, is now blocked. After the Reformation, when the Church in England altered its rules, and priests were allowed to marry, such limited accommodation was no longer acceptable to them, and the small Priest Houses were no longer used by the clergy.

Elham Study
Church Cottage Bryan Badham 10252
1720 Lease & Release, 20 & 21 February 1720 Between Richard Sutton of Nonnington, yeoman, and Thomas Sprye of Elham, tailor. Messuage or tenement, stable, garden, yard, backside, etc in Elham adjoining to the churchyard North and to a common way West. in occupation said Thomas Sprye late David Boughton, gent formerly John Atwell sometime Richard Nethersole which he the said Richard Sutton purchased (among other things) from the said David Boughton. Purchase price £30. Signed Richard Sutton (his mark). Witnesses: Ann Boughton, James Spillett. Deeds  
1729 Lease & Release, 23 & 24 March 1729. Between Thomas Sprye of Elham, tailor, and Mark Turner the younger of Elham, carpenter. M or T, stable, garden, yard, backside, and the moiety of a well, in Elham, churchyard North, common way West, in occupation said Thomas Sprye, which he purchased of Richard Sutton. Purchase price £36. Signed Thomas Spry. Witnesses: Thomas Sutton, James Spillett. Deeds  
1804 Feoffment, 12 June 1804. Between Mark Turner of Hythe, carpenter, & Israel Turner of Lydd, carpenter, two sons and co-heirs in gavelkind of Mark Turner of Newington-next-Hythe, carpenter, deceased, only son and heir of Mark Turner of Newington-next-Hythe, formerly of Elham, carpenter, deceased, and Thomas Dray of Elham, husbandman. M or T, stable, yard, garden, backside, and the moiety of a well, in Elham, churchyard North, common way West, heretofore in occupation of Thomas Sprye, now of said Thomas Dray. Purchase price £80. Deeds  
Bond of Indemnity, 12 June 1804. Mark Turner of Hythe, carpenter, Israel Turner of Lydd, carpenter and Samuel Wormald of Hythe, sawyer bound to Thomas Dray of Elham, husbandman in the sum of £80 against any Dower Claim by Mary the now wife of the said Mark Turner. Deeds  
1843 Conveyance, 18 June 1843. Between Edward Dray of Hythe, brewer's servant, Pierson Dray of Margate, brewer's servant, & John Dray of Ramsgate, carpenter, of the first part, Robert Rigden the younger of Elham, farmer, of the second part, and Robert Sankey of Canterbury, gent, of thr third part. Thomas Dray had died intestate and Edward, Pierson, and John, his three sons and co-heirs in gavelkind had contracted to sell to Robert Rigden for Fifty Pounds M or T etc churchyard North common way West [no mention of moiety of well] late in occupation Thomas Dray, now Jane Dray, his widow. (Conveyance under Act of 4 Victoria [1840-41] entitled “an Act for rendering a Release as effectual for the Conveyance of Freehold Estates as a Lease and Release by the same parties”. Signed by Edward Dray (his mark) in the presence of Richard Keeler of Elham, harness maker, and by Pearson Dray and John Dray in the presence of James Ayers of Elham, farmer. Deeds  
 YearAddressHouse Name£ PricePurposeNotesOwner 
c1700     Richard Nethersole
c1700     John Atwell
c1700     David Boughton
c1700     Richard Sutton
 1720  30  Thomas Spry
 1729  36  Mark Turner
c1729     Mark Turner
 1804  80  Mark Turner
 1804     Israel Turner
 1804     Thomas Dray
c1842     Edward Pearson
c1842     John Dray
 1843  50  Robert Rigden
 1858  125  Thomas Rigden