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Coordinates: 51°14′38″N 0°57′40″E / 51.244°N 0.961°E / 51.244; 0.961
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chilham Square
Chilham is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Area13.85 km2 (5.35 sq mi)
Population1,124 (Civil Parish 2011)[1]
• Density81/km2 (210/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTR065536
Civil parish
  • Chilham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCT4
Dialling code01227
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°14′38″N 0°57′40″E / 51.244°N 0.961°E / 51.244; 0.961

Chilham is a mostly agricultural village and parish in the English county of Kent with a clustered settlement, Chilham village centre, in the northeast, and a smaller linear settlement, Shottenden. Well-preserved roads and mostly residential listed buildings in its centre have led to its use as a location in television and film.


The village of Chilham is in the valley of the Great Stour River and beside the A28 road 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Canterbury. It is centred on a market square, where a traditional annual May Day is celebrated.[2] At each end of the square are its major buildings: Chilham Castle and the 15th-century parish church, dedicated to St Mary. It has been claimed that St Thomas Becket was buried in the churchyard, despite his ornate tomb in Canterbury Cathedral, destroyed at the Reformation.

The Pilgrims Way passes through Chilham on the way to Canterbury.

The village has a number of period houses such as the former vicarage, which dates from 1742. The castle was owned by the Viscounts Massereene and Ferrard until its sale in 1997. From 2013 it was owned by Stuart Wheeler, founder of the spread-betting firm IG Index, until his death in July 2020.[3]

The railway station is in a part of the village sometimes called Bagham on the line from Ashford to Canterbury.

There are two other named localities or neighbourhoods in the civil parish: Shottenden and a much smaller neighbourhood, Old Wives Lees.


There are two large public houses in Chilham, the Woolpack and the White Horse, which dates from the 16th century. Other amenities include a restaurant and tea shop, post office, gift shop, bus stop, tennis club, sports centre, children's playground and 15th-century village hall which originally was the tithe barn for the castle. Most shops are also along the main through road towards Canterbury just before the entry to the network of streets having the oldest buildings in the village.

Culture and media[edit]

The Neolithic longbarrow of Julliberrie's Grave is on the Julliberrie Downs east of the river.

Chilham and the surrounding area was one of the locations for much of Powell and Pressburger's 1944 film A Canterbury Tale. In 1965 it was used for part of the filming of The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders starring Kim Novak, Leo McKern and Angela Lansbury, and it was also used as a location for the BBC's 2009 adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma.[4] The village and the castle featured heavily in a fake snow-bound episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot called Hercule Poirot's Christmas starring David Suchet. The village was made over to sunnier times for The Moving Finger, a mystery featuring Agatha Christie's other famous sleuth Miss Jane Marple, portrayed by Geraldine McEwan, and appeared as Riseholme in the 1985 LWT/Channel 4 adaptation of E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia, which also starred Geraldine McEwan.[5]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 10 May 2014
  2. ^ "Chilham village in Kent". Kent Ideas. Kent Ideas Ltd. 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  3. ^ Norman, Matthew (16 August 2013). "Don't be fooled by Stuart Wheeler's poker face". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Emma in Chilham". BBC Kent. Archived from the original on 22 July 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Kent Film Office: Chilham". www.kentfilmoffice.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2024.

External links[edit]