Lenham is a market village in 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...

 situated on the southern edge of the North Downs
North Downs
The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. The North Downs lie within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty , the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs...

, halfway between Maidstone
Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town linking Maidstone to Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade. Maidstone was the centre of the agricultural...

 and 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...

. The picturesque square in the village has two 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...

s (one of which is a hotel), a couple of restaurants, and a tea-room.

Lenham railway station
Lenham railway station
Lenham railway station serves Lenham in Kent. The station, and all trains serving it, is operated by Southeastern.The ticket office is manned only during part of the day; at other times a PERTIS 'permit to travel' machine, located outside the station building on the 'down' side, suffices.A new...

 is on the Maidstone East Line.

The village is at the main source of the Great Stour
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 the Stour Valley Walk
Stour Valley Walk
The Stour Valley Walk is a recreational walking route that follows the River Stour, through the Low Weald and Kent Downs, from its source at Lenham to its estuary at Pegwell Bay....

 starts here, heading to Ashford and on to 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....

 and the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 near Sandwich
Sandwich, Kent
Sandwich is a historic town and civil parish on the River Stour in the Non-metropolitan district of Dover, within the ceremonial county of Kent, south-east England. It has a population of 6,800....

. It is also the source of the River Len, which flows in a westerly direction to join the River Medway
River Medway
The River Medway, which is almost entirely in Kent, England, flows for from just inside the West Sussex border to the point where it enters the Thames Estuary....

 at Maidstone.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, Lenham market dates back to 1088, when the village was an important crossroad settlement. Technically the fact that Lenham is allowed a market, makes it a town but the community have always desired to maintain its village status.

The Pilgrims' Way
Pilgrims' Way
The Pilgrims' Way is the historic route supposed to have been taken by pilgrims from Winchester in Hampshire, England, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent...

/North Downs Way
North Downs Way
The North Downs Way is a long-distance path in southern England, opened in 1978. It runs from Farnham to Dover, past Godalming, Guildford, Dorking, Merstham, Otford and Rochester, along the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Kent Downs AONB.East of Boughton Lees, the path splits...

 passes just to the north of Lenham, higher up on the 'downs
A downland is an area of open chalk hills. This term is especially used to describe the chalk countryside in southern England. Areas of downland are often referred to as Downs....

' and it features a war memorial
War memorial
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in war.-Historic usage:...

 of a 200-foot chalk cross
Hill figure
A hill figure is a large visual representation created by cutting into a steep hillside and revealing the underlying geology. It is a type of geoglyph usually designed to be seen from afar rather than above. In some cases trenches are dug and rubble made from material brighter than the natural...

 carved into the scarp slope of the downs. First constructed in 1922, to remember those who fell in the Great War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and fully restored in 1994, the cross now commemorates the dead of both world wars. To avoid its use as a navigation aid by the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, the cross was filled in between 1939 and May 1945.

On 27 August 1950, Lenham, along with the village of Harvel
Harvel is a village in the civil parish of Meopham in the west of the English county of Kent. It is sited on the southern edge of the North Downs, and forms part of the AONB for that area....

, was one of the signal receiving points (between Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 and London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

) of the first-ever live television pictures from the continent.

The parish church of St. Mary was rebuilt in the 14th century after fire had destroyed its predecessor. It and the nearby Tithe Barn
Tithe Barn, Lenham
The Tithe Barn in Lenham, Kent, is a large medieval barn to the south of St Mary's Church. It was probably built in the late 14th century and is a Grade I listed building. The timber framed structure has internal aisles on both sides and both ends and sits on a timber sill supported on a stone...

 are Grade I listed buildings. From 1876 to his death in 1903, the vicar of the church was Charles Nepean
Charles Nepean
The Rev. Charles Edward Burroughs Nepean was an English amateur cricketer and footballer who later became a vicar in the Church of England...

, who played for Oxford University A.F.C.
Oxford University A.F.C.
Oxford University Association Football Club is an English football club representing the University of Oxford.-History:Formed in 1872, the club was a giant of the 1870s, winning the FA Cup 2-0 against Royal Engineers in 1874 and finishing the competition as runners up in 1873, 1877 and 1880, the...

 in the 1874 FA Cup Final. Nepean also played cricket for Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...


There is a primary school, Lenham Primary and secondary school. Swadelands at Lenham. A pair of cottages in Lenham had to be demolished to make way for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. They were dismantled and re-erected at the Museum of Kent Life
Museum of Kent Life
Kent Life is an open air museum located at Sandling, next to Allington Locks on the east bank of the River Medway.- History :...

, Sandling
Sandling, Maidstone
Sandling is a suburb to the north of the town of Maidstone, Kent, England. Within the area is the headquarters of the Kent Wildlife Trust at Tyland Barn. Beside the River Medway is an eating place called The Malta Inn. Sandling is also home to the Museum of Kent Life...


A local kit car firm GKD
The GKD EVOLUTION is a light-weight high performance convertible sports car manufactured byBritish company GKD Sports Cars, based in Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone with workshops at Lenham...

 Sports Cars has its workshop based in Lenham and its main base in Boughton Monchelsea
Boughton Monchelsea
For other Boughtons in Kent see Boughton Aluph; Boughton under Blean and Boughton MalherbeThe village and civil parish of Boughton Monchelsea is in the Maidstone District of Kent, England. The civil parish lies on a ragstone ridge situated between the North Downs and the Weald of Kent and has...

. Also in Lenham is an old pharmacy which is famous for its discovery of a Saxon soldier body and weapons.

External links

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