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Pictures of Higham

in the county of Kent

About Higham

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An interesting village situated between Gravesend and Rochester in Kent, with links to the author Charles Dickens, the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, and auctioneer and electoral reformer Charles Larkin.

The village is divided into two parts, often refered to locally as the 'top' and 'bottom' of the village. It has an interesting Church, St Mary's, which contains the oldest church Pulpit in Kent, and at the highest point in the village can be found The Larkin memorial on Telegraph Hill, built in 1835 to the memory of Charles Larkin (1775-1833).

Gads Hill Place in the locality of Gadshill, Higham, now a school, was once home to the famous author Charles Dickens who saw the house when he was 9 yrs old, telling his father he wished to live there someday. His father told him if he worked hard enough his dream may come true. The rest is history. Dickens purchased the house 36 yrs later and lived there until his death in 1870.

Other links with the village are Dick Turpin, who is said to have robbed a sailor at 4am one morning at gadshill, and then embarked on an extraordinary journey, bareback on his horse, all the way to York some 200 miles away, simply to establish an alibi for the robbery, which he did do by engaging the Lord Mayor in York, who later became a witness for his defence. However, the truth seems to be that it was not Turpin at all, but another famous highwayman named John 'Swift Nick' Nevison, a man whose exploits earned him praise from even King Charles II and a mention in Lord Macaulay's History of England.

William Shakespeare also refers to Gadshill and its relationship with highway robbery in his Henry IV Part I.

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