Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

19/02/2021 03:37

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
Welcome to the Elham Historical Society database website. Feel free to browse and uncover the history of Elham. Our dedicated team of historians has 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 on 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 (neé Rushton) 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
George V Playing Field

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

Sir John Williams 1653 - 1723

2nd Baronet of Elham. He left his house in the Square and some land to establish a Charity School for six boys from the village. Sir John's father, Dr. Thomas Williams had purchased the Manor of Elham as a country venue. Thomas became a chymical physician to Charles II and later to James II. Charles's method of paying his doctor's bill was by heaping profitable sinecures on him — Assay-Master of the Mint , Examiner in Bankruptcy , Receiver-General of Land Revenues , etc.; all of which brought great wealth to Williams. Sir John's grandfather on his mother's side was John Hogbeane (now Hogben) c1600 Elham, a barrister at law. He and Mary had five girls and the baronetcy passed to his nephew Sir David Williams.

Rose and Crown 1834

Rental. William Noble, owner and occupier. One Messuage or Inn called the Rose and Crown. Mary Warley, widow Lee Warley, gent. devised to Thomas Rigden & his heirs ,, William Noble the Elder & his heirs ,, son William Noble & his heirs. CKS: U47/3, Elham Manorial Court

Church of St Mary the Virgin c 1180

This is an exceptionally fine village church, built of flint rubble and ragstone, and dating from about 1180. It has good lancet windows, and later Decorated work. There were many alterations and additions during the 15th century, and these include the clerestory, the aisle windows, and the north chancel chapet. The church is, however especially noteworthy for the superb quality of its furnishings, a number of which were the gift of a former vicar, the Rev. Alard Charles de Bourbel, B.O., (1900-1935), with other items contributed by the Rev. Robert Henry lsaac Williams, M.A., (1935-1957), and others of the parish. Amongst the many objects of interest in this church are:-

OLD NORTH DOORS, these are late 14th century.

ANCIENT SHRINE, on the easternmost pillar of the north arcade; this has a double canopy with pinnacles, and was once painted. It was originally used for displaying the lights of St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist - hence the double canopy. It is now a war memorial.

ANCIENT CHEST, of circa 1200. The ironwork is original but the locks are modern. The three locks had separate keys, and were kept individually by the vicar and two churchwardens. The chest had been hewn from the solid trunk of a yew tree - hence the name travelling trunk - and it is believed to have been placed here originally by Royal Command, to collect for the Crusades.

WINE-GLASS PULPIT. This is Tudor, and is in its original state, except for the top moulding.

OLD OAK SCREEN, near the pulpit, is part of some 16th century linenfold panelling which was discovered in 1936 in the old Smithy in the High Street, when that building was demolished to make way for the present garage. The panelling had been placed, reversed, against the wall of the smithy, for horses to kick against.

PLAQUES OF DERBYSHIRE ALABASTER, in the triptych over the altar in St. Catherine's Chapel, are perhaps the greatest treasure in the church. The two left hand panels are of 15th century work, and show (left) Henry 11,Becket and the four knights, and (centre), the martyrdom of St. Catherine. The right hand panel is modern, the work of an Italian named Tossi.

ANTIQUE BRASS CANDLE SCONCES. These are on the arcade pillars, and are particularly handsome. They were installed in 1937 as a gift by the Rev. Isaac Williams.

THE LEWIS ORGAN, also given by the Rev. lsaac Williams, came from Bexley.

THE EAGLE LECTERN, is 17th century, and came from Calais. The FONT is believed to be 12th century, and was formerly a 'cupboard font', that is, it had once domed and semi-circular doors to enclose the bowl.

Elham Elham Study

What's in the database
11714 People
6513 Demography entries
2409 Events
1293 Marriages
415 Properties
417 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
George W Palmer
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

Swing Riots
Les Ames in action
Audrey Hepburn

EHS Database

Swing Riots of 1830 recounted by Derek Boughton our local expert historian.

Les Ames for England v West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica 1930 or 1935. WK Ivan Barrow watches on.

Audrey Hepburn attended private schools in the village and dreamed of being a ballerina. I wonder what became of her?

What's in the database? Find the latest additions here.

1828 Richard Moore Boultbee