"GODMERSHAM, a parish and post town in the hundred of Felborough, lathe of Shepway, county Kent, 6 miles N.E. of Ashford, and 8 S.W. of Canterbury. It is situated on the banks of the river Stour, and the Chilham station on the South-Eastern line of railway is about 2 miles N.E. of the town. The parish includes the hamlets of Bilting, Eggerton, and Pope Street, and is bounded on the E. by Penny-Pot Wood. In the early part of the 9th century this parish became the property of Christ Church, Canterbury, the priors of which built a residence here in the reign of Richard II., part of which still remains, and exercised the liberty of free warren. It was formerly a market town, but is now only an inconsiderable village. The land is nearly evenly divided between arable, pasture, and woodland, with about 230 acres of downs. The soil is chiefly chalk, alternated with loam and gravel. The surface is hilly, and richly clothed with wood. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £330, and the vicarial for £195. The living is a vicarage with the chaplainry of Challock annexed, in the diocese of Canterbury, value £234, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church is a plain, ancient edifice, dedicated to St. Lawrence. It contained, till recently (1864), eight stalls formerly belonging to the monks of Canterbury. The register commences in 1564. The parochial endowments produce about £40 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes. Godmersham Park, the handsome seat of Earl St. Vincent, is the principal residence. There is also Chilham Park, and some good wood scenery in the neighbourhood."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]