Chilham Square
 Chilham shown within Kent
Area  13.85 km2 (5.35 sq mi)
Population 1,124 (Civil Parish 2011)[1]
    density  81/km2 (210/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTR065536
Civil parishChilham
Shire countyKent
RegionSouth East
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode district CT4
Dialling code 01227
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK ParliamentAshford
List of places

Coordinates: 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 north-east, and a smaller linear settlement, Shottenden. Well preserved roads and mostly residential listed buildings in its centre has led to its use in recorded drama.


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 is believed that Thomas Becket was buried in the churchyard. 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. In 2013 it was owned by Stuart Wheeler, founder of the spread-betting firm IG Index.[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; in Old Wives Lees there is a further public house The Star. 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

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.


  1. Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 10 May 2014
  2. "Chilham village in Kent". Kent Ideas. Kent Ideas Ltd. 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  3. Norman, Matthew (16 August 2013). "Don't be fooled by Stuart Wheeler's poker face". Daily Telegraph.
  4. "Emma in Chilham". BBC Kent. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
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