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Ightham is located in Kent
Ightham shown within Kent
Population 2,084 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference TQ595565
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN15
Dialling code 01732 88
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°17′06″N 0°17′17″E / 51.285°N 0.288°E / 51.285; 0.288Coordinates: 51°17′06″N 0°17′17″E / 51.285°N 0.288°E / 51.285; 0.288

Ightham /ˈtəm/ is a village in Kent, England, located approximately four miles east of Sevenoaks and six miles north of Tonbridge. The parish includes the hamlet of Ivy Hatch.

Ightham is famous for the nearby medieval manor of Ightham Mote (National Trust), although the village itself is of greater antiquity. Ightham is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but place-name evidence implies the name is derived from the Saxon 'Ehtaham'. 'Ehta' is a Jutish personal name, while 'ham' means settlement. The source of the River Bourne is within the parish.

The parish church dates from the 12th century, and in 1336 Edward II granted a request for permission to hold an annual fair in the village.

Ightham was famous for growing Kentish cob nuts. These seem to have been cultivated first by James Usherwood, who lived at Cob Tree Cottage. There was a public house nearby called the Cob Tree Inn, which has now reverted to a private house. There are still a number of cob trees in and around the village, but the work of pruning them and picking the nuts is labour-intensive, and the industry has fallen into decline.

Ightham also has its own football team, Ightham FC. Home games are played at the recreation ground adjoining the A25 motorway.

Notable people[edit]

  • William Sutton (1830 – 1888), recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Benjamin Harrison (1837–1921), a grocer who won international recognition as a pioneer in the realm of archaeology. He contended that flints he found in the pre-glacial drift on the North Downs near Ash were artefacts, thus vastly antedating the antiquity of man.
  • William Lambarde, author of the first English county history, A Perambulation of Kent, married his first wife, Jane, in 1570 at Ightham Church on her 17th birthday.[2] They then lived at the family home of the Manor of St Clere. Jane died on 21 September 1573, but William continued to live at the house for another 10 years.[3]
  • Lord Eversley (when Mr. George John Shaw-Lefevre), and his wife, Constance, lived at Oldbury Place in Ightham during the time he was Postmaster General. He was responsible for carrying the Act of Parliament that established sixpenny telegrams. Although in 1877 it had only been possible to send a telegram via Wrotham Telegraph Station, in 1884 the first sixpenny telegram was sent from the House of Commons, received by the Postmaster of Ightham, Joshua Durling, and dispatched to Oldbury Place.[4]
  • Anna Lee, MBE (2 January 1913 – 14 May 2004), was a British-born American actress.
  • Thomas Riversdale Colyer-Fergusson, VC (18 February 1896 – 31 July 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Born in London in February 1896 to Thomas Colyer Colyer Fergusson and the late Beatrice Stanley.[1] Colyer-Fergusson was 21 years old, and acting captain in the 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment, British Army, when he performed the deed on 31 July 1917 at Bellewaarde, Belgium, which earned him the Victoria Cross. He was shot dead by a sniper that

For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and determination in attack. The tactical situation having developed contrary to expectation, it was not possible for his company to adhere to the original plan of deployments, and owing to the difficulties of the ground and to enemy wire, Captain Colyer Fergusson found himself with a sergeant and five men only. He carried out the attack nevertheless, and succeeded in capturing the enemy trench and disposing of the garrison. His party was then threatened by a heavy counter-attack from the left front, but this attack he successfully resisted. During this operation, assisted by his orderly only, he attacked and captured an enemy machine gun and turned it on the assailants, many of whom were killed and a large number driven into the hands of an adjoining British unit. Later, assisted only by his sergeant, he again attacked and captured a second enemy machine gun, by which time he had been joined by other portions of his company, and was enabled to consolidate his position. The conduct of this officer throughout forms an amazing record of dash, gallantry and skill, for which no reward can be too great, having regard to the importance of the position won. This gallant officer was shortly afterwards killed by a sniper.

— The London Gazette, No. 30272, dated 4 September 1917[2]
His Victoria Cross is displayed in the chapel at Ightham Mote.


Ightham compared
2001 UK Census Ightham ward Tonbridge and Malling borough England
Population 1,942 107,561 49,138,831
Foreign born 8.1% 4.6% 9.2%
White 99.1% 98.3% 90.9%
Asian 0.6% 0.7% 4.6%
Black 0.3% 0.1% 2.3%
Christian 82.4% 76.1% 71.7%
Muslim 0.2% 0.3% 3.1%
Hindu 0% 0.2% 1.1%
No religion 11.6% 15% 14.6%
Unemployed 1.9% 1.9% 3.3%
Retired 13.9% 14.2% 13.5%

At the 2001 UK census, the Ightham electoral ward had a population of 1,940. The ethnicity was 99.1% White, 0% Mixed Race, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% Black and 0% Other. The place of birth of residents was 91.9% United Kingdom, 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 2% other Western European countries, and 5.6% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 82.4% Christian, 0.2% Buddhist, 0% Hindu, 0% Sikh, 0.5% Jewish, and 0.2% Muslim. 11.6% were recorded as having no religion, 0.4% had an alternative religion and 4.7% did not state their religion.[5]

The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 38.2% in full-time employment, 11.6% in part-time employment, 14.7% self-employed, 1.9% unemployed, 1.9% students with jobs, 3.5% students without jobs, 13.9% retired, 11.2% looking after home or family, 1.1% permanently sick or disabled and 1.9% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 12.3% retail, 9.4% manufacturing, 7.2% construction, 18.3% real estate, 8.2% health and social work, 8.3% education, 4.3% transport and communications, 3.2% public administration, 4.3% hotels and restaurants, 17.9% finance, 1.3% agriculture and 5.3% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in finance and real estate. There were a relatively low proportion in manufacturing, public administration, transport and communications. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 35.7% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide.[5]

Nearest settlements[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  2. ^ http://www.historic-kent.co.uk/vill_i.html
  3. ^ Cameron, Roderick (1981). Great Comp and its garden. London: Bachman and Turner Publications. pp. 131–144. ISBN 0859741001. 
  4. ^ Picton W. and Stirk J., Life in Ightham in the 1800s (Directwish Limited, 1989)
  5. ^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics". Statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 

External links[edit]