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Author Topic: Chilham Parish  (Read 3748 times)

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Chilham Parish
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 16:18:22 »
CHILHAM Parish is a considerable village, formerly a market town, pleasantly situated in a fine healthy part of the county, 6 ½ miles W.S.W. from Canterbury.  The parish comprises 4,333 acres of land, a bold, undulating district, the soil upon the hills being mostly chalk and in the vales clay: the scenery is picturesque and beautiful; the heights are clothed with foliage and the vales are covered with luxuriant fertility.  719 acres are in woods and 169 acres are in hop grounds.  In 1841, here were 227 houses and 1,165 inhabitants: population, in 1801, 807; in 1831, 1,140.  Rateable value, £7,122.10s.  The principal landowners are Sir John Fagg, Bart., James B. Wildman, Esq., Edward Knight, Esq., Mr. Charles Oldroyd, Mr. Stephen Pym, and Mr. Edward Denne.  Several others have also estates here.  James B. Wildman, Esq. is lord of the manor.  The manor of Selgrave in Faversham having fallen to Sir Dudley Diggs, by escheat, he by a codicil to his will, in 1688, devised £20 per annum out of it, to be divided between a young  man and a young maiden, of good conversation between the ages of sixteen and 24, who on the 19th of May, yearly, should run a tie at Chilham, and prevail.  This running is still kept up; several young men and maids run at Old Wives Lees in this parish, yearly, on the first of May, and several others at Sheldwich Lees, on the Monday following, by way of trial; and the two which prevail at each of those places run for the above-mentioned sum at Old Wives Lees, on the 19th May.  A fair is held on the 8th and 9th May.  A branch of the South-Eastern Railway intersects the parish, and there is a Station ½ mile E. from the village.

CHILHAM, was of eminent account in very early times, and, from its situation, was, most probably, in the time of the Britons, fortified and held as a place of strength against the Romans, who had several encounters in and near it with them; and afterwards, when that nation had gained a more permanent footing in the island, was more strongly fortified by them, and made use of as one of their castra stativa, or more lasting encampments.  Many Roman remains have been from time to time, been discovered, and when Sir Dudley Diggs pulled down the old mansion of Chilham, and dug the foundations deeper for the present structure, the basis of a much more ancient building was discovered and culinary vessels of the Romans were found at a considerable depth.

Camden says, it was the current opinion among the inhabitants that Julius Caesar encamped here in his second expedition against the Britons, Caesar in his Commentaries says, that having marched about 12 miles he discovered the Britons, who were advanced to the banks of a river, and began from a rising ground to oppose the Romans and give them battle, but being repulsed, they retired to a place fortified both by art and by nature in an extraordinary manner.  It is probable this place was at Shillingheld Wood, where there are large and extensive remains of strong fortifications and entrenchments, and where the Romans afterwards, from the eligibility of their situation, placed one of their castra stativa, to which, probably, the site of the ancient castle of Chilham might be an exploratory fort.  

The Church, is a spacious cruciform edifice, dedicated to St. Mary, with a tower at the west end, in which are six bells.  It contains many handsome memorials; a sumptuous mausoleum was built by the Colebrooks, in 1755; there is also a splendid monument to Sir Dudley Diggs.  The living is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Molash annexed, valued in the King’s books at £13.6s.8d.  Patron, James B. Wildman, Esq.,incumbent, Rev. Richard O. Tylden.  The vicarial tithes were commuted in 1843 for £600, and the rectorial for £1,000 of which £550 is paid to Sir John Fagg, Bart., and £450 to James B. Wildman Esq.; the vicar has 28 acres of glebe.  There was a Chantry on the north side of the church, endowed with 22 acres of land.  In the year 1349 there was a Chapel adjoining the castle of Chilham, and erected the present magnificent structure adjoining, which seems to have been finished about the year 1615.  It commands a pleasing and extensive prospect, over a finely wooded country, with the park stretching towards the south, containing 282 acres of land, and stocked with upwards of 300 head of deer.  It is now the seat and property of James B. Wildman Esq.  The remains of the ancient castle are mantled with ivy, and the walls are from 10 to 12 feet thick; they are composed of flint, chalk, and Caen stone, and appear to be of Norman origin.  The area within the ditches is about eight acres, and of an oval shape.  Besides the manor of Chilham in this parish, there are the ancient manors of Youngs, Herst, Esture, Old Wives Lees, Dingley, Ensinge, Shillingheld, and Dane. The following are hamlets, with their bearings and distances from the church etc. DANE STREET, 1 mile W. LEES, or OLD WIVES LEES, ¼ mile N., here the Wesleyans have a chapel.  MOUNTAIN STREET, ½ mile S.W., and SHOTTENDEN, 2 miles N.W.  Herst is an ancient farm-house, 1 ½ miles S., in the occupancy of J. Austen.  Easing, is a good farm, ½ mile S.W. occupied by Mr. Peter Martin.

CHARITIES – Simon  Ruck, in 1786, devised £200 Four per Cent. Consols in trust for the education of poor boys.  Henry Loud, in 1820, gave certain stock, in the whole amounting to £422.192.7d., and directed £6 per annum to be paid for teaching 18 poor children, one other part of the dividends to be expended in keeping the graves of his relation in repair, and the residue to be given away in beef and flour at Christmas.  Henry Kemble,in 1599, gave £10 and William Fogge, in 1616 gave £10 which was laid out in land, now let for £2.10s. a year.  Mr Dudley Diggs, in 1638, gave a rent charge of £30.20s. thereof for a dinner to the ringers for ringing a peal in remembrance of him, and the surplus for the benefit of the poor.  Thomas Petyt, in 1623, bequeathed £50, to be lent in sums of £5 each to young married people; this charity has long been lost.  The charities of Gold and Dennis, mentioned in the Parliamentary returns of 1786, are also lost.  There are schools in this parish for boys, girls, and infants, towards the support of which James B. Wildman is a munificent contributor; 25 children are now instructed from Ruck’s and Loud’s bequests.

POST OFFICE – at Stephen Finn’s, Letters arrive at and are despatched at 5.30pm.

Marked 1, reside at Boweland, 2, Dane Street, 3, The Lees, 4, at Shottenden.

Wildman, Jas B. Esq. The Castle
4. Bensted, George, Blacksmith
Buesden, George, Butcher
Bruce, Robt. Station Master
Burton, Sarah, Blacksmith
Coleman, James, Schoolmaster
Coleman Mrs. Schoolmistress
Coleman, John, Shoemaker
Coleman, Thomas, Shoemaker
Cozens, Robert, Grocer & Baker
Dewhirst, Wm. George, Schoolmaster
4. Dray, John, Grocer
Dunk, G. Victualler, Wool Pack Inn
Epps, Wm. Bricklayer, Plumber etc.
Faulkner, Sarah, Harness Maker
Gillett, J. & T. Corn Millers
Goldup, Henry, Tailor
Goldup, Phoebe, Schoolmistress
3. Hillyard, William, Surgeon
4. Horton, Thomas, Wheelwright
Howard, William, Grocer & Draper
Knowler, John, Farrier
Knowler, John, Jnr. Grocer
Miller Jas. Steward to J.B. Wildman
3. Pamphlet, J. Victualler, Butcher & Grocer
Patterson, Thomas, Shoemaker
Pullen, Thomas, Beerhouse
3. Pullen, William, Beerhouse
4, Smeed, William, Beerhouse
3. Storey, Henry, Tailor
4. Sutton, John, Corn Miller
Taylor, Richard, Farrier
Tylden, Rev. Rd, Osborne, Vicar
3. Ward, Edward, Wheelwright
White, T. Carpenter & Wheelwright
Wildash, Henry, Surgeon
4. Wiles, Wm. S. Grocer & Carpenter.
2. Wills, Hy. F. Cooper & Shovel Maker
2. Wills, James, Shovel Maker
Wood, George, Baker
Woodland, William, Blacksmith
2. Young Charles, Esq.

Marked * are Hop Growers.
Amos Wm. Mountan St.
*Austen, J. Herst Farm
4. Chainey, William
*Dence, W. Soles Hill
*Fox, J. 11 Northern Court
* Gibbens, T. Howletts
4.*Keeler, John
4.*Keeler, Robert
4.* Kingsmill, Thomas
*Martin, Peter, Ensing
*Mears, Henry, Cock Farm
Minter, Thomas
*Oldroyd, C. Denne Farm
3.*Pullen, Daniel
3.*Pullen, John
1 Richardson, William
*Smeed, J. Hogben Farm
2. Stone, Edward
4. Walker, Thomas

Omnibus to Boughton & Faversham twice a day from the Wool Pack Inn.

Taken from Bagshaw’s History, Gazetteer & County Directory of Kent.


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