Godmersham

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Coordinates: 51°13′05″N 0°57′26″E / 51.218035°N 0.957170°E / 51.218035; 0.957170

Godmersham
Godmersham is located in Kent
Godmersham
Godmersham
 Godmersham shown within Kent
Population 366 
OS grid reference TR066506
Civil parish Godmersham
District Ashford
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CANTERBURY
Postcode district CT4
Dialling code 01227
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Ashford
List of places
UK
England
Kent

Godmersham is a village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England. The village is located on the Great Stour river where it cuts through the North Downs. It is six miles north-east of Ashford on the A28 road midway between Ashford and Canterbury in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the North Downs Way and Pilgrims' Way traversing the parish.

The village is divided in two by the floodplain of the Stour. The parish includes both Godmersham village itself, and Bilting. It shares many of its activities with the neighbouring parish of Crundale, a smaller parish to the east.

History[edit]

The first known record of Godmersham was AD824 when Beornwulf, King of Mercia, gave Godmersham to Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury. The village also is recorded in the Domesday Book. Bilting is thought to be even older.[1]

Although a significant number of residents work on the land, in more recent times the area has become largely a dormitory for people who work in Ashford, Canterbury and further afield. Many commute to London by train from nearby Wye station. The village school in The Street closed in 1946 and the shop/post office in 1982. It is many years since there was a public house in the village, consequently, Godmersham is one of a few "dry" parishes in the country.[1]

Saint Lawrence Church[edit]

The ancient parish church is dedicated to St Lawrence the Martyr, it is part Saxon, part 12th-century (Norman), and was restored in 1864, it contains a carving considered to be one of the earliest representations of Thomas Becket.[2]

Notable residents[edit]

Godmersham Park House was built in 1732, and eventually became the property of Edward Austen Knight, brother of Jane Austen who is known to have visited often. Her novel Mansfield Park is said to depict characters and scenes from the village.[3][4] The house is currently the home of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians College.[5]

Samuel Pegge, Antiquarian, was a vicar here for twenty years from 1730.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Parish Council website
  2. ^ Kent Churches
  3. ^ Kent Downs
  4. ^ Pastscape - Godmersham Park House
  5. ^ ABDO
  6. ^ Samuel Pegge the Elder in Dictionary of National Biography accessed online 25 September 2007

External links[edit]