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St James the Great, Elmsted - geograph.org.uk - 190938.jpg
St James has an unusual belfry on the tower
Elmsted is located in Kent
Elmsted shown within Kent
Population 292 (parish, 2001 Census)
OS grid reference TR115449
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Dialling code 01233
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
KentCoordinates: 51°09′51″N 1°01′35″E / 51.1643°N 1.0265°E / 51.1643; 1.0265

Elmsted is a village and civil parish[1] in the Shepway District of Kent, England. It is located west of Stone Street (the B2068), the Roman road which today takes traffic between Canterbury and Lympne. Within the parish are the settlements of Bodsham, North Leigh and Evington. There are six elected members of the Parish Council.

The parishes name, Elmsted, is formed of two words. Elm refers to the large number of Elm trees that grew there in Saxon times. The second part sted comes from the Saxon word stede meaning 'place'.


Elmsted is a small parish encompassing an area of approximately 10 km square with its population scattered in small hamlets like Bodsham, North Leigh and Elmsted Court. Settlements are largely at the top of the chalky down land with surrounding, lowland areas being used for grazing Cattle and Sheep.[2] In these lower areas the ground contains far more in the way of clay and flint deposits than chalk. The parish boundaries are between a kilometer and two kilometers from the Parish church St James. On its eastern boundary largely follows parallel to the Roman Road Stone Street though it dips into the hamlets of Stelling Minnis and into Sixmile cottages.[1]

The parish is 11 kilometers east of Ashford which is the nearest town.

Boundary map for the parish of Elmsted


Elmsted itself was not named in the Domesday book but one of the hamlets in the parish was, Bodsham where the local school is situated today

One of the more prominent families in the parishes history were the Honywoods who lived at Evington from the 1400s until the 1900s. Signs of this can be seen in St James the Great Church where the south chappel is known as the Honywood Chapel.

In the 1870s Snodsbury the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Elmsted as

"ELMSTEAD, a parish in Elham district, Kent; 4½ miles ESE of Wye r. station, and 6½ ENE of Ashford. It has a post office under Ashford, and a fair on 25 July. Acres, 2, 692. Real property, £2, 692. Pop., 492. Houses, 93. The property is divided among a few. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £80. Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is old but good."[3]


St James the Great[edit]

The Anglican church is dedicated to St James the Great and dates back to the 11th century. It was restored in 1877 by Ewan Christian . It is Grade I listed with an unusual wooden medieval belfry on the tower[4] which was constructed across the 13th an 14th centuries.[5] Much like other Churches in the area its walls have been constucted with local flints. It is made up of a tower in the west, a nave with north and south aisles and a chancel with north and south chapels, all of which are open making the Church open and airy.[6] There are a number of large tablets[7] inside the church which are all dedicated to prominant families in the parish like the Honywoods. The chuch is mentioned in the canterbury monks Domesday. The church hosts a 19th century organ as well as kitchen facilities, a toilet and a vestry which is now used for Sunday school. Every second sunday of the month a family service is held in the church.

The two chappels were both added to the Church around 1300. the south Chappel is known as both a Chappel of John the Baptist and as the Honywood Chapel, the latter because of the monuments to Sir Thomas Honywood and Sir William Honywood as well as a number of dedications to the family on monuments on the walls and ledgers on the floor. In the 1877 restoration the family also paid for a new roof for the chappel.[5]

The Honywood Chapel

Bodsham C of E Primary School[edit]

The local school is Bodsham Church of England Primary School.[8] The School has only around 90 students[9]

The school provides for over students

The interior of St James


Graph for Elmsted population.jpg

In 2011 according to the census data there were 156 females and 163 males living in the parish.[10]


  1. ^ Elmsted ParishCouncil
  2. ^ "Elmsted". British History Online. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Bartholomew, John (1887). Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Elmsted. Gazetteer of the British Isles. 
  4. ^ British Listed Buildings retrieved 20 July 2013
  5. ^ a b Guffogg, Julian. "Interior, St James the Great church, Elmstead". Geograph. 
  6. ^ Hasted, Edward (1799). "Elmsted". British History Online. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  7. ^ Hinson, Colin. "Elmsted". GENUKI. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Bodsham School
  9. ^ "Bodsham Church of England Primary School". Department for Education. 
  10. ^ "Elmsted : Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Elmsted at Wikimedia Commons

The Parish of Elmsted in 1816