Chilham is a parish
Civil parish
In England, a civil parish is a territorial designation and, where they are found, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties...

 in the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 county of Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. 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
Powell and Pressburger
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers, made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1981 they were recognized for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious...

, A Canterbury Tale (1944)
A Canterbury Tale
A Canterbury Tale is a 1944 British film by the film-making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price and Sgt. John Sweet; Esmond Knight provided narration and played several small roles. For the postwar American release, Raymond Massey narrated...


The village

Chilham is located in the valley of the Great Stour river
River Stour, Kent
The River Stour is the river in Kent, England that flows into the English Channel at Pegwell Bay. Above Plucks Gutter, where the Little Stour joins it, the river is normally known as the Great Stour. The upper section of the river, above its confluence with the East Stour at Ashford is sometimes...

, and beside the A28 road
A28 road
The A28 is a trunk road in southern England. It runs south-west from the seaside resort of Margate in Kent via Westgate and Birchington, reaching open countryside at Sarre. The road continues via Upstreet and Hersden to Sturry, and on to the cathedral city of Canterbury...

 6 miles (10 km) south of Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

. It is centered around an erstwhile market square, where until recently, a traditional annual May Day was celebrated; the Square and the village are transformed by market stalls and festivities. At each end of the square are its major buildings: Chilham Castle
Chilham Castle
Chilham Castle is a manor house and keep in the village of Chilham, between Ashford and Canterbury in the county of Kent, England. 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...

 and the 15th century parish church, dedicated to St Mary. The White Horse Public House
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

 dates from the 16th century.

The village railway station
Chilham railway station
Chilham railway station serves the area around the village of Chilham in Kent, including Chilham itself, Shottenden, Old Wives Lees, Selling and Bagham. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Southeastern....

 is located on the line from Ashford
Ashford, Kent
Ashford is a town in the borough of Ashford in Kent, England. In 2005 it was voted the fourth best place to live in the United Kingdom. It lies on the Great Stour river, the M20 motorway, and the South Eastern Main Line and High Speed 1 railways. Its agricultural market is one of the most...

 to Canterbury. The part of the village where the station is located is Bagham.


There are three settlements in the parish: Chilham, Shottenden and Old Wives Lees. The Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 longbarrow of Julliberrie's Grave
Julliberrie's Grave
Julliberrie's Grave is an unchambered earthen Neolithic long barrow in the English county of Kent. It is situated near Chilham overlooking the River Stour on the Julliberrie Downs at Ordnance Survey, . The Stour Valley Walk passes close to the site....

 is in the parish.


There are two pubs, the Woolpack and the White Horse. Chilham Castle
Chilham Castle
Chilham Castle is a manor house and keep in the village of Chilham, between Ashford and Canterbury in the county of Kent, England. 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...

 was owned by the Viscounts Massereene and Ferrard until it was sold in 1997. The present owner is Mr Stuart Wheeler
Stuart Wheeler
Stuart Wheeler is a British businessman and politician. He made his fortune as the founder of the spread betting firm IG Index in 1974, but is best known for his political activism, being formerly a major donor to the Conservative Party and since 2011, has been treasurer of the United Kingdom...


The Church is a Norman structure and it is believed that Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion...

 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.

Other amenities include a restaurant and tea shop, post office and gift shop.

Culture and media

Chilham was also the location for the BBC's 2009 adaptation
Emma (2009 TV serial)
Emma is a four-part BBC television drama serial adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma, first published in 1815. The episodes were written by Sandy Welch, acclaimed writer of previous BBC costume-dramas Jane Eyre and North and South, and directed by Jim O'Hanlon...

 of Jane Austen's
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.Austen lived...

 novel Emma In 1965 it was used for part of the filming of The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders is a 1965 British historical comedy film directed by Terence Young and starring Kim Novak, Richard Johnson and Claire Ufland...

 starring Kim Novak
Kim Novak
Kim Novak is an American film and television actress. She began her career with her roles in Pushover and Phffft! but achieved greater prominence in the 1955 film Picnic...

, Leo McKern
Leo McKern
Reginald "Leo" McKern, AO was an Australian-born British actor who appeared in numerous British and Australian television programmes and movies, and more than 200 stage roles.-Early life:...

 and Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
Angela Brigid Lansbury CBE is an English actress and singer in theatre, television and motion pictures, whose career has spanned eight decades and earned her more performance Tony Awards than any other individual , with five wins...


External links

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