Why We Chose Chilham…
When you are going to buy a new house they say that you make a decision within the first five minutes and it was just like that when we moved to Chilham. On the last leg of the North Down’s trail the village is a living piece of history – a castle and a church off the village square, a quaint village gift shop, tea rooms and of course The Woolpack Inn. There are no lines on the road and no street lights so you are transported back in time.
The village is approached via a narrow street lined with attractive timbered properties and opens out onto the square where you find Chilham Castle, a Jacobean house. The gardens are open for viewing in the summer months with gardens designed by Capability Brown. There are three terraces below the house and numerous examples of large topiary. The view from the terraces down to a lake is excellent, and trails lead through the grounds, around the lake, and through a quiet garden and walled garden areas
Much of the village is designated a heritage conservation area in recognition of its historical value and because of its charm it is often used as a setting for film and television. You may recognize the square as it was used as a location for the ITV series of Agatha Christie’s ‘Miss Marple’ and the film of Jane Austen’s “Emma’. Chilham church was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and is reputed to be the burial place of St Augustine.
We had always wanted a dog and once settled, we extended our family to six with our pet spaniel ‘Wilbur’. We didn’t realize at the time that he would open up vast swathes of beautiful country- side to us. We discovered the North Downs’ trail, which passes through the village from Kingswood and onto Canterbury. The woods, rivers for fishing, games estates and surrounding farmland confirm Kent as The Garden of England. From beautiful woods carpeted with bluebells in May to stunning views over the Downs what better way to unwind from the day’s stresses.
We were asked recently if we missed the city life and would we ever consider going back. Without hesitation we replied “NO” in unison. Chilham is our home, a beautiful village with a caring community who have welcomed us into their family.