Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of Alkham
Alkham comes from the Old English ‘ealh’ meaning ‘sheltered place, sanctuary’ with ‘ham’ as a ‘homestead, village’; therefore, a homestead/village in a sheltered place’.
Alkham parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Anthony the
Martyr. Monks from the neighbouring abbey of St Radigund's built it in the 13th century
with alterations and additions in the following two hundred years. There is a record
of three bells in 1552. John Hodson cast and hung a ring of four bells in 1683. In
1799, Edward Hasted described the Alkham church as ‘a handsome building, consisting
of three isles and two chancels, having a tower steeple, with a low pointed turret
on it, in which hang three bells. The north isle is shut out by boarding from the
rest of the church, and made no use of at present, to which the school now kept in
the chancel might be removed, and have no kind of communication with that part of
the church appropriated for divine service, which would prevent that unseemly and
indecent resort which it is at present subject to’. The Victorians carried out restoration
work in 1872.
Henry VIII closed St Radigund’s Abbey, and used the stone to build his coastal defence
castle at Sandgate. A stone lid of a coffin originally holding the remains of Herbert
de Averenches, a monk at the Abbey, can now be found in the church. The lid, which
is inscribed, ‘Here lieth Herbert, offspring of Simon. A man open-
Locals formed the Alkham Cricket Club in 1839, and it is one of the longest surviving in the county.