A – Z of Locations: C is for Chilham

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

C is for Chilham

Renowned for its beauty and charm, the Kentish village of Chilham lies high above the valley of the River Stour in the picturesque Kent Downs. The market square is full of historic medieval buildings, timber framed houses of Tudor origin, the 16th century church and the imposing Chilham Castle.

Chilham Castle – sadly the gardens are only open on Tuesdays during the summer months.

Chilham lies on the routes for the North Downs Way and the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury.

Half timbered cottage gable end which you pass on the way to the Free Parking just outside the village.
Featured in the book ‘A Thousand Best Churches’ by Simon Jenkins, the XIII century church is noted for its stained glass windows and fine monuments. My visit coincided with the Harvest Festival and the church was exquisitely decorated.
Beautiful container garden
Much of the village is designated a heritage conservation area, in recognition of the historic value of the many of the buildings. Because of the beautiful old buildings, Chilham is often used as a setting for film and television productions.

My visit was in September 2010. I often accompanied my OH in those days when he attended conferences in nearby Canterbury (yet another C well worth exploring) and whilst he was busy in meetings I was busy exploring the Kent countryside, towns and villages and gardens.

October Squares | Day Seven

This month Becky (the Queen of Squares) has challenged us to find lines. In Squares naturally. That is the only proper ‘rule’. I have been dipping into the archives for this one, as well as finding local lines.

Disconnected end of Herne Bay Pier
Once it was connected to the existing pier but has remained separated since 1978 when a storm destroyed much of the structure.

October Squares | Day Seven

Reculver Towers and Roman Fort

It was a cold, grey day in June when I ventured out to the North Kent coast to visit a building that had intrigued me when I first glimpsed it in the distance from Herne Bay a few years ago. Twin towers that looked as though they rose from the sea itself.


An imposing landmark, the twin 12th-century towers of the ruined church stand amid the remains of an important Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ fort and a Saxon monastery.


It wasn’t always on the beach – coastal erosion has caused much of this site to be lost to the sea, so if you want to visit I suggest you don’t leave it too long.

From the car park it is a very short walk to the site ruins, but you can continue to walk along the coast through the Reculver Country Park to Herne Bay (west) along the Wantsum Way, or towards Margate (east). Given the blustery, wet weather I’m afraid I didn’t venture too far along this coastal path, but in sunnier weather I imagine it is a very nice place to walk or cycle in.

Looking West



DSCF0533You can see the path leading away on the left-hand side, but this promenade obviously wasn’t the best route forward. I was constantly wiping the camera lens already!

DSCF0552If you enjoy a walk, short or long, then you may enjoy visiting Jo’s Monday Walk where you are in for a treat.


Cathedral of the Weald


If you read about my recent visit to the delightful Weald town of Cranbrook you will have seen my reference to St Dunstan’s church which is known as the ‘Cathedral of the Weald’. Wealth from the cloth industry enabled successive enlargements of the medieval church in the 15th and 16th century.

This delightful church is well worth a more detailed look around, so let’s go inside.


Around the church are information panels providing details about particular interesting objects within.

The Font


This font is Victorian from 1852, and example of early Victorian Gothic and made of Caen stone. The white marble carved figure behind commemorates Thomas Webster, an artist, and the Alexander Window above was installed by Col Alexander in memory of his wife and three children.

 The Green Man


Although of pagan origin it is not unusual to find carvings of the Green Man inside a Christian church, even Canterbury Cathedral has 80 of them. When this church was built Cranbrook was surrounded by dense forest – the Weald. Four circular oak shields depicting these fierce-looking woodland spirits can be found here.

The church contains some splendid stained-glass windows


The St Thomas Chapel


This beautiful serene corner of the church is named after St Thoma a Beckett, who by the 15th century had replaced St Dunstan as England’s most popular saint. I loved the light flooding through the clear leaded windows.

The South Porch

This porch was built around 1390. The wooden door added in 1569 at a cost of 17 shillings and 7 pence (£2k today). On the ceiling is a stone-carved Green Man.

And a final look at the church surrounded by the old graveyard with interesting headstones.

If your interest is windows then Dawn from ‘The Day After’  invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story.