Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

21/11/2017 09:25

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
What's in the database
11693 People
6487 Demography entries
2396 Events
1285 Marriages
413 Properties
412 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

Elham Valley Railway closed 1947

April; The SR announces its intention to close the line completely as from June 16. Despite the controversy that rages in the valley, the SR claims that only a dozen or so people use the trains regularly but this is challenged by the villagers who retort that train timings are totally incompatible with local needs. Consequently, on June 13 class "Ol" 0-6-0 engine No. 1381 will leave Canterbury West at 1.18 p.m. with the last official goods train and the following day "H" class 0-4-4 tank No.1531 will puff out of Lyminge Station at 9 p.m. with the final passenger train. October 1, 1947, the Southern Railway officially abandoned the branch Elham Valley Railway

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."


Considerable surprise, and not less regret, was caused among every class of the inhabbitants on Monday, by the news that Mr. Beattie a medical gentlemen, long resident in the place, had poisoned himself by taking a large quantity of Prussic acid. The deceased was under 40 years of age, and no cause for the act can be given by his relatives and friends, except a depression of spirits which they had witnessed in him during the last six months. An inquest was held the next day, and the following witnesses called - Sarah Carswell, of Elham, said that she was in the ser-vice of deceased as allworks, and had been so for seven years. He dined at about one o'clock yesterday morning. Miss Godden and the wife of the deceased dined with him, and witness waited upon them. She did not observe anything particularly strange in his conduct. He seemed perfectly well at dinner, and had not been ill to her knowledge. At about half-past one she removed the dining-things, and she believed that deceased then left the house. About three o'clock she went into the dining-room, and saw the deceased lying on the sofa in the state in which the jury had just viewed his body. He was then breathing very short, and he died at twenty minutes before four, but she did not know from what cause. He had seemed to her very low for the last few days. Mary Godden, of Bristol, in Somerset, said she had been staying at the house of the deceased for the last two or three months, and during the whole of that time he had seemed to her very dejected and melancholy, he took but little dinner yesterday, and complained of a swimming in his head. He had told witness and his wife that he feared he should have a fit. Mr. D. S. Cresswell, of Elham, assistant to the late deceased, said that he had been in his service for the last ten years. Yesterday afternoon he went into his house at about three in the afternoon, and found deceased lying on the sofa in the drawing-room, breathless and pulseless. He found the bottle now produced under the head of the said sofa. Last Saturday it contained an ounce and a half of diluted Prussic acid. From the appearance of the deceased, and other circumstances, he was led to believe that lie died by taking that poison. For the last six months deceased bad been at times very low and melancholy. The jury retained a verdict of "Temporary Insanity." Kentish Gazette 1st February 1859