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"ELHAM, a parish in the hundred of Loningborough, lathe of Shepway, county Kent, 6 miles to the N.E. of Hythe, 12 S. of Canterbury, its post town, and 5 N. of the Westenhanger station, on the South-Eastern railway. At the time of the Norman Conquest it was possessed by Earl Hugh, who procured for it many privileges; it afterwards passed to the Leybourne and Oxenden families, and enjoyed the privilege of a weekly market, granted by Henry III., but which has long been discontinued. It is now a considerable village, pleasantly situated on the small river Stour, containing many neatly-built brick houses. The parish is well wooded, and the surface undulating. It is the seat of a deanery in the archdeaconry and diocese of Canterbury, of a Poor-Law Union of 20 parishes, and of a superintendent registry. Petty sessions for the division are held monthly. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £390, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church is a commodious structure, with a fine timber roof and handsome massive tower. It is dedicated to St. Mary, and contains some monumental tablets. The parochial endowments produce nearly £70 per annum, of which £65 is for the free school founded by Sir John Williams in 1720. The Wesleyans and Armenians have each a chapel, and there are National and British schools. Fairs are held on Palm, Easter, and Whit Mondays, and on the 20th October for horses, cattle, and pedlery."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]


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Historical Geography

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