Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

09/05/2020 14:43

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
What's in the database
11712 People
6507 Demography entries
2403 Events
1293 Marriages
414 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

Petty Sessions 1866

Thomas Bourne was charged with assaulting Mr. Thomas Holland, at Elham, on the 29th June last. Both parties live at Elham, the latter being a schoolmaster. The complainant said that on Friday evening, the 29th of June, he was standing looking over his garden wall, and the defendant and some other person, were talking together. Defendant spoke loud enough for him to hear, disparingly of the way complainant treated his boarders. Defendant usd very abusive language to complainant and threatened to strike his head off. He left his garden and went to a policeman. On his way he met defendant, who lifted his hand to strike him, but he did not do so. Defendant was the worse for liquor, but not drunk. The Bench fined defendant 2s. 6d. And 4s. 6d. costs, in default seven days' imprisonment. Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 31 July 1866

Farmer's Market 2009

The market moved to the Rose and Crown Courtyard by kind permission of Shepherd Neame and landlords Jay and Hayley. Although the Triangle offered more visibility, the site is very exposed in poor weather and the grass can get badly damaged when damp after heavy rain.


A landslip, resulting in the loss of several lives, occurred about one o'clock yesterday morning, at the foot of the range of hills that run from Folkestone through a little village known as Harpinger. Immediately beneath the scene of the landslip won a cottage occupied lies labourer named Hayward, his wife, and four children. The slope at the rear and above the cottage is about 150ft. high, and is exceedingly steep. The land at the summit of the hill was, until Tuesday, covered thickly with snow. The rapid thaw which set in on Tuesday, and the heavy downpour of rain which fell for several hours in the evening, caused the fields to become swamped, and, as the snow melted, the water made its way to the ridge of the hill above the cottage, towards which the high ground inclines. At the top of the hill, just above the cottage, there is a deep indentation in the land, so that a large body of water accumulated there. This eventually forced out a great slice of the land front the side of the hill. The earth was carried out in a clean scoop, which extended down the entire depth of the slope to the place where the cottage stood. The cottage, which was a one-storey dwelling, was isolated from any other house, the nearest being about a quarter of a mile distant. It abutted on to the side of a main road, beyond which is another slope about thirty feet deep, and a ploughed field. From the appearances it would seem that the avalanche struck the cottage, completely wrecking it and tearing it from its foundations. The debris of the cottage was hurled over the road and further down the slope into the ploughed field, where the remains of the cottage were scattered about. The brick portion of the building was completely shattered. The thatched roof was carried a distance of about 60 yards into the field. The whole occurrence, it is stated, was momentary. The thatched roof was, no doubt, partially carried by the heavy wind which prevailed at the time. The north side of the house was evidently struck first. It was in this part that three of the children, William, aged ten years, Jane, aged eight, and Walter, aged one year and eight months, were sleeping. The thatched work, it is supposed, fell upon these children, and was carried in a body into the field below. The rest of the building fell in upon the husband and wife, Alfred Hayward and Jane Hayward, crushing them and a child aged four months. The little lad William extricated himself, and with great presence of mind shouted for his sister. Hearing a cry, he states that he at once began to search among the ruins, and managed to rescue her. He then heard the cry of the other child, Walter, whom he also succeeded in finding and rescuing, but with much difficulty. It was a terrible night the wind blew a hurricane, and it rained in torrents; but the little fellow, nearly naked as he was, succeeded in carrying Walter to a cottage occupied by a Mr. Mount, who took them in, and immediately went for assistance. Mount states that this was about one o’clock in the morning, and as soon as he obtained assistance they commenced to search amongst the ruins, but they were unable to find any traces of the missing persons until several persons with spades bad removed tons of earth and material. The husband, wife, and baby were then found together, and so dreadfully crushed as to he almost beyond identification. The top of the woman's head was terribly smashed in, whilst an iron rod from the bedstead had been forced into the body of the man. Amongst the debris was found the carcase of a sheep upon which the cottage had fallen. As evidence of the volume of water which came down from the hills, a track has been made across the fields to Denton Farm, about half a mile distant, where a large portion of it still remains. Our Reporter called yesterday afternoon at the cottage of Mrs. Mount, where he found the children William, Jane, and Walter. The two former were in bed, and chatted freely. William states that he was awakened by the water trickling over his face. They are both badly bruised, but no bones are broken, and they appear to be in good health. The child Walter escaped in the most extraordinary manner with only a slight scratch on the forehead. A large number of residents in the neighbourhood visited the scene during the day. London Standard - Thursday 22 January 1891