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Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Chilham Shopping
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Chilham Directory
Only the keep of that castle still stands today. It was Sir Dudley Digges, James I's Master of the Rolls, who built the present Jacobean house, reputedly designed by Inigo Jones, in 1616.The castle grounds are terraced and feature a mile-long avenue of Spanish chestnut trees and a lovely lakeside walk. The inner park, around the mansion, was refashioned by Capability Brown in 1777.
Chilham Castle
Chilham Castle is a manor house and keep in the village of Chilham, between Ashford and Canterbury. The polygonal Norman keep of the Castle, the oldest building in the village, dates from 1174. Still inhabited, it was said to have been built for King Henry II. However archaeological excavations carried out in the 1920s suggest that it stands on the foundations of a much older Anglo-Saxon fortification, possibly dating from the fifth century, and there is evidence of earlier Roman habitation in the vicinity.
Dining in Charing
Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
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Chilham Church
The Church is a Norman structure and it is believed that Thomas Becket was buried in the churchyard. A walk around the church reveals the beautiful former Vicarage dating from 1742, just one example of the fine period houses in the village.
Off the A28 near Canterbury, narrow lanes climb up through Kentish hills to open out unexpectedly into Chilham's village square, one of Kent's showpieces and often used as a film set. Chilham is used to visitors; for 350 years, after Thomas a Becket's murder, travellers used to pass through on the Pilgrims' Way from Winchester and London to his shrine in Canterbury Cathedral.
Today the North Downs Way passes through the town.
Best appreciated out of season, its square is a delightfully haphazard mix of gabled, half-timbered houses, shops and inns dating from the late Middle Ages. Some were refaced in brick in the 18th century. Streets lead down from the corners, each lined with more old houses, some of them overhanging. At either end of the square are the church and the castle. St. Mary's stands behind the 15th century White Horse Inn, built in flint and stone and dominated by its perpendicular west tower.
King John gave Chilham to his bastard son Richard, who married a Dover girl, and it was at the castle that John stayed when he came to meet Stephen Langton, the Papal choice for Archbishop of Canterbury against John's own favourite, John de Gray, Bishop of Norwich.
Only the keep of that castle still stands today. It was Sir Dudley Digges, James I's Master of the Rolls, who built the present Jacobean house, reputedly designed by Inigo Jones, in 1616.The castle grounds are terraced and feature a mile-long avenue of Spanish chestnut trees and a lovely lakeside walk. The inner park, around the mansion, was refashioned by Capability Brown in 1777.
The grounds and the old keep are open to the public at specified times and are the scene, on occasion, equestrian events. The famous heronry in the deer park dates from the 13th century and it is said that if the herons do not return to nest there by St Valentine's Day each year, unspecified but dire misfortunes will befall the castle's owner.

Chilham Castle is reputed to be haunted by several ghosts, and the present owner has exploited them by offering 'ghost tours' of the old keep. He keeps to himself, however, the Grey Lady that is said to wander up and down the Jacobean house stairs, claiming cannily that he himself has never seen her.

Visited by tourists worldwide, it is known for its beauty. Chilham has been a location for a number of films and television dramas. In particular it hosted the 1944 film by Michael Powell and Emeric Presburger, A Canterbury Tale (1944)

For those who can bear to tear themselves away from such a perfect time-warp village there is, on the east bank of the river Stour below the castle, the so-called Julliberrie's Grave - a long burrow, 150ft by 7ft high, which some say marks the burial place of one of Julius Caesar's captains, others that it is very much older than that.

The first bombs of WW2 fell in Chilham, though not on the village itself and not on the house either.

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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
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Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895


Chilham, a village and a parish in Kent. The village stands near the river Stour, 6 1/4 miles SW by S of Canterbury; is the Cilleham of the Saxons; was once a market-town; has a station on the S.E.R., 64 miles from London; and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Canterbury. The parish comprises 4398 acres; population, 1377. 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 the Hardy family. 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 lien 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 in the diocese of Canterbury; value, £800 with residence. The church is Decorated English with a Later clerestory; was rebuilt, in the E part, in 1863; belonged anciently to Throwleigh priory, afterwards to Sion monastery; and contains monuments of the Diggeses, the Colebrooks, and the Wildmans. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.
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