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Chilham Parish

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Chilham is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of Bridge.  The church is named for St. Mary with registers commencing 1558.

Chilham, a village and parish in East Ashford district, Kent.  The village stands near the river Stour and the Ramsgate and Hastings railway, 6-1/2 miles southwest-by-south of Canterbury;  is the Cilleham of the Saxons;  was once a market town;  and has a station on the railway, a post office under Canterbury, and a fair on 8 November.  The parish comprises 4,332 acres.  Real property in 1860, £7,502.  Population in 1861, 1,319.  Houses, 256.  The property is divided among a few.

The manor belonged to the Saxon kings of Kent;  was given by the Conqueror to Fulbert, who assumed the name of De Dover;  passed to the Badlesmeres and others;  went, in the time of Edward VI, to Sir Thomas Cheney;  went again, at the beginning of the 17th century, to Sir Dudley Digges;  passed to the Colebrooks, the Herons, and the Wildmans;  and was bought, in 1862, by C. Hardy, Esq..

A Roman castrum was here, and is said to have been the residence of Lucius, the Brito-Roman king;  a castle of the Saxon kings succeeded the castrum, was renovated after the Conquest, and underwent demolition by Sir Thomas Cheney;  and a mansion, in lieu of this, was built by Sir W. Digges, is still standing, and forms a fine specimen of Jacobean architecture.  The castle was surrounded by a deep fosse, enclosing about 8 acres;  and the remains of it include a late Norman octagonal, three-storey keep.  Many Roman relics, of various kinds, have been found here;  and a great barrow or artificial mound, popularly called Julaber's Grave, the subject of much dispute among antiquaries, is immediately above the railway station.

The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Molash, in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £698 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, Charles Hardy, Esq..  The church is is a handsome structure of decorated English, with a later clerestory and consisting of a nave, two aisles, a chancel, and two chapels;  was rebuilt, in the east part, in 1863;  belonged anciently to Throwleigh priory, afterwards to Sion monastery;  and contains monuments of the Diggeses, the Colebrooks, and the Wildmans.

The Vicarage was at one time the residence of the Rev. Richard Osborne Tylden, M.A., eldest son of the late Richard Tylden, Esq. of Milsted, is a substantial house, very pleasantly situated, close to the north side of the church.

There are a national school, and charities £37. 1

1  John Marius Wilson, comp.  The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).

Chilham Bibliography

-- various. 'Archaeologia Cantiana'. Publisher: Kent, England: Kent Archaeological Society, various dates.  [Note:  The following volumes can be found on  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (1876), 11, 12, 13 (1880), 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 34, 35, vol. 1907 supplement.]

  • General references to Chilham: vol. , pp.
  • Currently in revision

Location of Records

The following list of records is not intended to be exhaustive.  There are many records that are awaiting discovery in archive offices throughout Kent and England.  This list is intended only to set out those records that are available via at least two relatively easy-to-access avenues.  If you have used or discover a record that would be of benefit to other researchers, that is not on this list, please send me an email with the details of the archive - name, address and archival call number.

Census | Church of England | Non-Conformist | Parish chest | Workhouse and Poor Law | Land | Assizes and Sessions | School



Date The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue,
Kew, Richmond,
LDS Family History Centre
(Find a centre near you)
and indexed online at:
6 June 1841 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 census name index & images Currently under revision  
7 Apr 1861 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1871 Currently under revision  
3 Apr 1881 Currently under revision  
5 Apr 1891 Currently under revision  
31 Mar 1901 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 RG 78/139 - Census Enumerator's Summary Books online only and other subscription sites none

Church Records, Church of England

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Register   Currently under revision  
Bishop's transcripts   Currently under revision  
CMB transcripts   Currently under revision  
Parish Registers, transcribed by Thomas Colyer-Fergusson   Currently under revision  

Church Records, Non-Conformist

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Particular Baptist Chapel, Nonconformist Return   Currently under revision  
Methodist Church Registers   Currently under revision  

Parish chest records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Council Minutes   Currently under revision  
Removal orders out of Chilham   Currently under revision  
Settlement Examinations, Minute book   Currently under revision  
Overseers' Accounts   Currently under revision  
Return of Churchwardens, constables and defaulters     
Tithe Apportionment Files      
Poor Rate books   Currently under revision  

Workhouse and Poor Law Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Admission & Discharge books   This section currently under revision  
Guardians' Minutes      
Births   Currently under revision  
Deaths   Currently under revision  
Religious creed registers   Currently under revision  
Apprentice Register      
Registers of lunatics      
Letters books      
Vaccination registers, Bromley area 1899-1930 Currently under revision  

Land Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Land tax assessments 1780-1831 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1875-1876 Currently under revision  
Land tax assessments 1889-1890 Currently under revision  
Rates and Duties - Houses, Windows, Lights   Currently under revision  
Manorial Court rolls   Currently under revision  
War Damage Files 1939-1962 Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent, no.: Finding Aid at CKS-DRb/RW 123 None

Assizes and Sessions Records
(poor laws, jail terms, oaths, and other municipal and public records)

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Hearth tax   Currently under revision  
Victuallers Recognizances   Currently under revision  
Churchwarden's Presentments   Currently under revision  
Parish rate books   Currently under revision  

School Records

Record Type Dates Archive 1
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
    Currently under revision  


Coming Soon

Church Registers


Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Workhouse Records
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories


Total Population

1801   -   807
1811   -   946
1821   -   1,025
1831   -   1,140
1841   -   1,165
1851   -   1,247
1861   -   1,319
1871   -   1,476
1881   -   1,419
1891   -   1,377
1901   -   1,321
1911   -   1,167
1921   -   1,232

Chilham Distance to

London 48.9 mi.
Canterbury 5.6 mi.
Ashford 7.8 mi.
Bromley 42.2 mi.
Chatham 20.1 mi.
Cranbrook 20.9 mi.
Dartford 35.8 mi.
Deptford 46.0 mi.
Dover 17.2 mi.
Faversham 5.9 mi.
Folkestone 14.1 mi.
Gravesend 28.6 mi.
Greenwich 44.2 mi.
Hythe 13.3 mi.
Maidstone 18.7 mi.
Margate 20.9 mi.
Milton Regis 12.1 mi.
Queenborough 15.0 mi.
Ramsgate 21.0 mi.
Rochester 23.1 mi.
Sandwich 17.1 mi.
Sheerness 16.5 mi.
Tenterden 16.7 mi.
Tunbridge 31.0 mi.
Woolwich 42.3 mi.


Municipal & Public Records

  • Mayors
  • Town Clerks
  • Recorders
  • Chamberlains
  • M.P.s
  • Jurats, Aldermen and Common Councilmen
  • Electoral Register
  • Freeholders
  • Freemen Index
  • Freeman's Roll
  • Masters Index
  • Pubs, Taverns, Inns, Alehouses
  • Victuallers

Wills & Estate Records

  • AD index 1448-1857
  • CC index 1448-1857
  • PCC 1338-1858
  • PPR 1858-1925
  • Depositions

Court Records

  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Protestation Rolls c1641-1643
  • Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy 1662
  • Oaths of Allegiance c1720s

Military Records

Land Records
& Maps

  • Parish Map
  • Victoria County History
  • Deeds, Mortgages, etc.
  • Rated Property Returns
  • Returns of owners of land, 1873
  • Manors
  • Manor Court Baron
  • Manor Tenancy Rolls
  • Manors, Castles & Holdings of Significance

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax
  • Hearth Tax
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

Village Resources