Pictures of Chilham
Here you will find an attractive collection of Tudor black and white half-timbered houses assembled around a central village square. The impressive gates to Chilham Castle stand in the square, and peeping between the houses at the northern end of the square, is the clock-face tower of the Church of St. Mary. It is the most atmospheric square, and it is therefore unsurprising to learn it was featured in the film 'The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders' in around 1965.
Another historic aspect of the village is that it is said to be the last resting place of one of Julius Caesar's men. Julliberrie, was a captain in Caesar's army, he is said to be buried in a long barrow to the south of the village in the Valley of the Stour. The barrow is 150 foot long, is also supposed to be the spot where the Ancient Britons drove back the Roman army.
The romantic Jacobean mansion known as Chilham Castle was built for Sir Dudley Diggs, Master of the Rolls for James I, in 1616. It was designed by Inigo Jones, and the gardens were laid out by Capability Brown in 1777. In the grounds of the mansion you can see the original Norman Keep and Curtain walls of the earlier 12th-century castle.
Leaving behind the historic nature of Chilham, in recent times, certainly until well into the mid-nineties, it was the home of the British Jousting Association of Great Britain. It was a superb venue for lively events featuring knights in armour, in pitched battle for my ladies favour. Now all this is gone, the castle has been sold into private ownership to become an equestrian centre with a cross country course.
The parish Church of St.Mary dates from the 15th-century and is built of flint. It has an outstanding nave and chancel, decorative windows and a magnificent font supported by five columns. There is a white marble monument by the sculptor Sir Francis Chantry (1781-1841), who left his fortune to found a famous art collection. In the quiet churchyard you can see a lofty War Memorial and tombs and graves from past centuries.
Chilham is a place of extraordinary serenity, it is both picturesque and pleasant, a lovely place to spend a perfectly peaceful day or a quiet, romantic weekend.
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