Meopham Chronology

The following comprises 'The Meopham Chronology up to 1955' compiled by James Carley for Kent County Library in 1982, with a few additional entries up to 1955 and other entries from 1955 to 2008 compiled by Dawn Bramer. It is believed the entries are accurate although sometimes sources have conflicted over exact dates and a choice has been made. Information regarding potential additional entries or errors in existing ones would be appreciated.

Jim Carley's original introduction said that "The present civil parish of Meopham comprises the old ecclesiastical parish, as well as the formerly separate parish of Nurstead and a small part of Trottiscliffe. For civil purposes Nurstead, which had for a time been joined to Cobham, was transferred to Meopham with effect from 1st April 1963. Nurstead Parish, some 522 acres, seems always to have been identical in area with the old Manor, while Meopham, on the other hand, comprised at least three manors. The principal one was, of course, the Manor of Meopham. A manor was created at Dene, in the east of the parish, but by the time that surviving manorial records begin this had become a part of Meopham. The third one was Dodmore, a very small manor having its own manor house on the site of the present Whitehill Service Station. By reason of the administrative changes mentioned above, there are now two church parishes within the civil parish, served by the church of St. John the Baptist at Meopham and St. Mildred’s at Nurstead. Yet a third will operate in the future when the plans to transfer Vigo Village to the ecclesiastical parish of Stansted take effect. The creation of the united benefice of Meopham with Nurstead (which had always been a rectory) restored to the Meopham incumbent the title of Rector." Since that introduction was written Vigo Village has left the parish of Meopham by gaining its own parish status in 2000.

Stone Age    Broken axe discarded near Camer (found in 1975)

Iron Age       Settlement south west of the 'George'

AD 40-120  Occupation of Romano-British settlement at site of Avery Roff, south of the 'George'

788              Reference to 'Meapaham' as one of the boundaries of land comprised in a deed of gift of land at Trottiscliffe

939              King Athelstan conceded to Eadulph 12 mansas of land at Meopham (a 'manse' was a measure of land regarded as sufficient for the support of a family)

945              Aelfswith ,wife of Byrhtric, lord of Meopham, gave land at Longfield to Rochester Cathedral

950              Land at Denton given to Church at Rochester by Byrhtric and Aelfswith

961              Queen Ediva gave the Manor of Meopham to Christ Church, Canterbury

c962            Byrhtric and Aelfswith executed their joint will at Meopham
                    Wyne was parish priest

1064            Ulfstan held the Manor of Nurstead

1086            Domesday records that the Manor of Meopham was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that Wadard held the Manor of Nurstead, worth three pounds

1115            First mention of St. Mildred’s Church, Nurstead

1190            Manor of Dene granted by Richard I to Alan de Twythin

1200            Virgilius was Rector of Meopham

1212            The de Fiennes family became Lords of the Manor of Nurstead

1240            Godfrey Traunceys gave the rents of various lands in the Shipley Hills area to the Prior and Convent of the Holy Trinity at Canterbury
                    Earliest known reference to Melliker, Westdown, Pitfield, Norwood (Northwood) and Lomer
                    First reference to a village mill, at Westdown

1241 Agnes, the wife of Thomas the Carpenter, hanged herself at her house
Alice de Puteo (of the well = Attwell) was prosecuted for receiving stolen property
Adam de Northwood was outlawed for the murder of a woman at Meopham

1243 First reference to Camer

1246 Pardon granted to Nicholas de Frankenham over the death of William de Meopham as it appeared he had been killed by misadventure.

1255 Richard Kiterel and his wife Letitia were found killed in their house. The town of Meopham buried them without an inquest
Thomas de Meopham was engaged in the building of St. Andrew’s Church, Rochester

1259 Fulk de Sharsted and William of Dodmore brought an action against Roger of Sancta Elena, late Bailiff of Meopham, for usurping the wardship of lands of John de la Dene
First reference to Dodmore

1260 Ralph, son of Richard of Dodmore, gave all his land (46 acres) in the township of Meopham to Christ Church, Canterbury

1270 William de Holbourne held the Manor of Dodmore

1272 Simon de Meopham (later Archbishop of Canterbury) was born in Meopham

1279 Sir Stephen de Gravesend was Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
William of Holborn, Lord of the Manor of Dodmore, was summonsed for closing a right of way through the manor
At the wake of Matilda la Zache, Adam Priestwood broke his neck while playing Castle, a form of leapfrog. Various guests were acquitted but taken into custody until their pledges had paid a fine of 40/- (£2)
John Priestwood was sentenced to three years in prison for poaching at Swanscombe

1288 The Manor of Meopham was taxed £46 to help pay for a Crusade

1290 Sir Peter de Huntingfield was Lord of the Manor of Dodmore

1293 Alice, daughter of Hugh, set fire to her house and burnt herself to death

1296 Alexander de Martin Thorpe was Rector of Meopham

1298 Sir Stephen de Gravesend, Lord of the Manor of Nurstead, accompanied Edward I on his Scottish campaign

1299 Bishop Richard de Gravesend became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1303 Richard de Gravesend died and his funeral cost £40
Bishop Stephen of Gravesend became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1305 John de Banquett was Rector of Meopham

1306 Various Meopham tenants commuted their customary manorial services for £2.17s.3½d (£2.86½)

1308 John de Baknel was Rector of Meopham

1313 Sir Walter de Huntingfield was Lord of the Manor of Dodmore

1314 Thomas de Stowe was Rector of Meopham

1316 Famine struck Meopham, followed by an outbreak of typhoid

1318 John de Sandale was Rector of Meopham
Stephen de Gravesend (Lord of the Manor of Parrock and Nurstead) consecrated Bishop of London

1320 Nurstead Court was rebuilt by Stephen de Gravesend, Bishop of London
The reconstruction of St. John’s Church was begun by Simon de Meopham

1325 Ade de Baldock became Rector of Meopham
Gerald of St. Sabina was Rector of Meopham
St. John’s Church rededicated

1327 First reference to the hamlet of David Street
Grant by Edmund de Meopham of land at Meopham to a chaplain in the Chapel of St. James de la Dene in Meopham Church
Simon de Meopham appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
The Manor of Meopham fell short in its supplies to Christ Church by 9 oxen, 7 cows and some sheep
Reconstruction of St. John’s Church completed

1329 Archbishop Simon de Meopham issued his indulgence at Mortlake, giving 40 days indulgence to all who walked round Meopham Churchyard repeating the Lord’s Prayer and praying for the souls of his parents, who were buried there

1333 Archbishop Simon de Meopham died at Mayfield

1338 Sir Thomas de Gravesend became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
Sir Stephen de Gravesend died at Stortford

1340 Meopham paid £21.7s.6d (£21.37½p) in taxes to help pay for the wars of Edward III

1342 John de Hegham became Rector of Nurstead

1344 Gerald, Rector of Meopham, died

1345 Stephen de Itham (Ightham?) became Rector of Meopham

1347 Thomas de Gravesend, Lord of the Manor of Nurstead, paid 40/- (£2) in taxes

1348 John de Brigham became Rector of Meopham
Black Death – when more than half the population died

1349 Thomas de Colehurst became Rector of Nurstead

1354 John Asketyn became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1356 Henry de Ingleby became Rector of Meopham
John Blod succeeded him as Rector

1367 John de Kirkebi became Rector of Meopham

1368 Roger became Rector of Nurstead

1370 First reference to Waterditch

1373 Richard Idleigh was Lord of the Manor of Dodmore

1375 Sir John de Beaumont became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1381 First reference to Culversole (now called Culverstone)
John Wise of Meopham took part in the Peasants’ Revolt and was duly charged

1382 Most buildings were destroyed by an earthquake on 21 May

1386 Major repairs to St. John’s Church carried out by Archbishop Courtenay. He also built four almshouses near the church for poor clergy
By the removal of the great tithes by royal edict, the incumbent changed from Rector to Vicar

1394 William atte Heathe became Rector of Nurstead

1396 Thomas French became Rector of Nurstead

c1400 Coin hoard buried near Whitehill

1403 William became Vicar of Meopham

1408 John Stapelow became Vicar of Meopham

1410 William Stonyng became Vicar of Meopham

1414 John Folsham became Vicar of Meopham

1438 William Hall became Rector of Nurstead

1442 John Haydon became Rector of Nurstead

1447 Charter granted by the Lords of the Manor allowed the holding of a four day annual fair on Meopham Green

1450 Meopham did not support John Cade’s rebellion
Walter Chypp occupied the Manor House at £40 per annum

1452 William Baron became Vicar of Meopham

1455 John Folsham, a former Vicar, died. A brass was placed in the church

1456 Henry VI granted Meopham a charter to hold an annual fair and a weekly market

1458 Richard Maidegood became Vicar of Meopham

1460 Hugo Chiddingstone made his will and requested burial in Meopham Church. He left 12d (5p) to the High Altar and one candle to the value of 7/- (35p)
The Brent family became Lords of the Manor of Nurstead

1461 John Bromfield was appointed Vicar of Meopham, but was succeeded in the same year by John Veer
John Hett became Rector of Nurstead

1462 Andrew Brown became Rector of Nurstead

1465 John Wellys became Rector of Nurstead

1473 Thomas Strawton, a fruiterer of London, left 6s.8d (33½p) for the repair of the fabric of Meopham Church

1477 Richard Smith became Vicar of Meopham

1483 Martyn Bloundell, a fruiterer of London, left 3s.4d. (17p) to the churchworks in Meopham 'where my mother and I were born and christened'

1486 Robert Sedgeford became Vicar of Meopham

1493 Robert Gybson became Rector of Nurstead

1494 Richard Smith returned as Vicar of Meopham

1501 Hugh Saunders became Vicar of Meopham

1504 William Gydding became Vicar of Meopham

1506 Thomas Bere became Rector of Nurstead

1509 Robert Hunt became Rector of Nurstead

1515 John Richmond became Rector of Nurstead

1517 William Marten became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
Thomas Taylor of Ridley desired to be buried in Meopham Churchyard. He left 20d. for church repairs and another 20d. for repairs to the steeple and bells

1519 Thomas Kent became Rector of Nurstead

1520 Ralph Todd became Rector of Nurstead

1523 Meopham contributed £11.16s.2d. (£11.81p) in taxation
Population estimated to be 315
The 'Rose Inn' at David Street recorded in the Stewards Books as occupied by Agnes

1524 Meopham Court occupied by John Haslyn
William Marshall became Vicar of Meopham
Subsidy to Henry VIII from Meopham was £11.16s.2d. (£11.81p) and from Nurstead £1.4s.2d. (£1.21p)

1525 William Sprever of Dartford left 10s. (50p.) for Meopham Church and 12d. (5p) for the light of St. Kateryn in the same church, and 13s.4d. (66p) for solemn dirge and masses at his burial. He left a further 6s.8d. (33p) per annum profit from a tenement at the parish cross for church repairs

1532 Robert Bogg became Rector of Nurstead

1536 Hugh Allen became Rector of Nurstead

1542 Richard a Dene desired to be buried in the Lady Chapel at Meopham Church and left 6/8d. (33p) 'for breaking the ground', together with 3/4d. (17p) 'for tithes forgotten' and 6/8d. (33p) to the Vicar
On the dissolution of the monasteries, the Manor of Meopham was taken over by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

1547 William Sedley became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1550 Edward Burnell Cranmer became Vicar of Meopham

1553 John Byrde became Vicar of Meopham

1555 John Sedley became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
Martin Haggard became Vicar of Meopham

1559 John Fountain became Rector of Nurstead

1561 Register of Baptisms in Meopham begins

1563 Subsidy to Elizabeth I was £26.17s.4d. (£26.87p) from Meopham but nothing from Nurstead

1567 Hugh Gevas became Vicar of Meopham

1569 John Alchin became Rector of Nurstead
John Drewe became Vicar of Meopham
Parish registers stolen

1574 George Gainsford occupied Meopham Court

1575 Registers of marriages and burials in Meopham begin

1576 James Day became Vicar of Meopham

1581 Sir William Sedley became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1590 Nicholas Cragges became Rector of Nurstead

1593 James Day, Vicar, died of plague
Robert Hemmings became Vicar of Meopham

1594 Robert Shiers became Vicar of Meopham and was succeeded by Martin Fotherby

1595 Meopham Court occupied by H. Haslyn

1598 The 'George' public house, occupied by William Cripps, was sold to William Child
Churchwardens were Thomas Hubbard and Henry Wraight
Thomas Harrison, a Meopham labourer, stole from the house of James Boghurst four pillowberee, a woman's kerchief and a jerkin valued at 10 shillings. He was caught, convicted and sentenced to be hanged.

1603 Walter Kipping became Lord of the Manor Dodmore

1604 Robert Sprever left 13s.4d. (66p) per annum to the poor of Meopham each Michaelmas for 50 years

1605 Andrew Bridges became Rector of Nurstead

1607 John Tradescant married Elizabeth Day

1608 John Tradescant junior born

1609 Thomas Pigott became Vicar of Meopham

1610 Henry Edmeades of Nurstead died

1161 Subsidy to James I from Meopham £9.6s.0d (£9.30p)

1613 Meopham churchwardens were John Edmeades, William Child and Thomas Skirmer

1614 Meopham churchwardens were Henry Haslyn, Robert Butcher and Thomas Ketteridge

1616 Thomas Grinnell was one of the churchwardens of Meopham

1617 Henry Haslin left £5 to the poor of Meopham

1618 Meopham churchwardens were Robert Butcher and Thomas Taylor
Thomas Warren left £5 to the poor of Meopham
Edward Haslen left £5 to the poor of Meopham

1619 Sir John Sedley became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1620 Thomas Harman left £10.17s.0d. (£10.85p) to the poor of Meopham

1623 Henry Reeve was appointed Parish Clerk in place of his father John, who was pensioned off at 13s.4d. (66p) a year
Thomas Grinnell left 8/- (40p) a year to the poor of Meopham for 10 years

1624 Thomasin Sampson of Eltham left her property at Priestwood to the poor of that parish

1629 Henry Audwell left 6/8d. (33p) to the poor of Meopham

1630 Meopham churchwardens were Thomas Master and Charles Johnson
Meopham Court occupied by Francis Courthopp

1631 John Swinnock became Rector of Nurstead

1634 John Adye became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1637 Michael Rabbitt became Rector of Nurstead

1641 Edward Adye became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1642 Meopham Court occupied by Thomas Swift

1646 William Gibson became Vicar of Meopham

1648 General Fairfax camped at Meopham on 31 May on his way to Maidstone
Henry Master appointed the Meopham delegate to the Rochester Bridge Wardens

1650 Henry Haslin occupied Meopham Court at a rental of £120 a year
The first known map of any part of Meopham, the Twisden estate map, drawn up
The treble bell in the church cast by Anthony Bartlett and Michael Darbie
Meopham churchwardens were John Skirmer and Robert Whiffen

1651 The fourth church bell (G sharp) cast by Michael Darbie

1652 Meopham Court occupied by William Swift

1660 Thomas Jones became Rector of Nurstead

1662 The Meopham churchwardens paid 2s. (10p) for 'whiting' (i.e. whitewashing) the church
The Royal Arms were painted on an escutcheon at a cost of £3.16s.0d. (£3.80) to mark the restoration of the monarchy
John Taylor left 10s. (50p) to the poor of Meopham for ever, charged on a tenement at Wouldham

1663 The 'Smith’s Arms' (landlord Richard Hasling) renamed the 'King’s Arms'
The 'George' was owned by John Child and occupied by Richard Durling

1665 Judith Markland left an annuity of £3 for ever, £1 to be paid to the minister for preaching a sermon every New Year’s Day, and £2 to be divided among 20 poor inhabitants

1667 Robert Cooke hanged himself in his house at Pitfield Green, and was buried outside the wall of the churchyard

1668 Thomas Boghurst became licensee of the 'George'
The parish was fined 10s (50p) for failing to send a representative to a meeting of the wardens of Rochester Bridge

1670 Christopher Copland became Vicar of Meopham

1672 William Gent became Rector of Nurstead

1673 The Hearth Tax returns showed 82 hearths in the East Borough and 149 in the West

1677 The second church bell (B) and the third (A sharp) were cast by John and Christopher Hodson
The Meopham churchwardens were William Swift and Francis Bright

1679 The tenor bell at Meopham (F sharp) cast by Christopher Hodson
The Meopham Churchwardens were William Swift and Francis Bright

1681 The mill at Dene Manor demolished before this date

1685 Meopham Court occupied by Captain Swift

1691 Meopham Court occupied by Thomas Cox

1692 Meopham paid the borsholder (constable) 1s.7d (8p) for expenses when he made several searches by night for idle people
The church bells were rung in connection with the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot at a cost of 6s. (30p)

1694 Meopham paid 10s (50p) for advice concerning the elms on the bowling green (probably near the present Pitfield Drive)

1697 Anne Withen committed suicide by drowning herself in the well at Green Farm, Pitfield Green, and was therefore buried outside the churchyard

1700 The church rate was fixed at 2d. (1p) in the pound

1704 John Gordon became Rector of Nurstead
Nurstead and Ifield became a united benefice

1707 George Landes became Rector of Nurstead
Richard Collins became Vicar of Meopham

1711 William Gates became Vicar of Meopham

1712 Earliest reference to the 'Swan' public house (now Basque Cottage)

1713 Laurence Broderick became Vicar of Meopham

1714 Meopham Court occupied by James Calverley

1715 The 'Horseshoes' public house occupied by Thomas Tibby (location not traced)
Earliest reference to the 'Coffin' public house at South Street, licensee William Woollard

1716 Camer House extended

1717 Meopham Court occupied by John Markett
Churchwardens of Meopham paid £5.15s.0d (£5.75p) for tiles for the church floor

1720 Humphrey Taylor became Rector of Nurstead

1724 Meopham workhouse established at the Street, rent being £6 a year

1732 Robert Edmeades leased Nurstead Court for 31 years at £90 a year
William Cresswell became Rector of Nurstead

1734 Francis Gibson became Rector of Nurstead

1739 Meopham church rate fixed at 6d. (2½p) in the pound

1742 Thomas Wright became Vicar of Meopham
James Lawrence became Rector of Nurstead

1744 John Landon became Rector of Nurstead

c1750 The 'Swan' public house was renamed the 'Cricketers'

1752 Meopham schoolmaster received 3s.9d (18½p) per week

1755 John Elliott’s daughter hanged herself. Cost to the parish was 6s. (30p) for the jury, 9s. (45p) for a coffin, 5s. (25p) for beer at the funeral, 2s. (10p) for digging the grave and 2s. (10p) for laying her forth

1756 Smith-Masters family bought the 'Coffin' public house for £150. Rent was £6.6s.0d. (£6.30p) a year

1757 Smith-Masters family bought the 'George' for £300, tenant Thomas Buggs

1760 The Camer hunt established
Meopham churchwardens paid John Raysell 13s. (65p) for whitewashing the beams in St John’s church

1761 Churchwardens paid £1.1s.0d. (£1.05p) towards the cost of ceiling St. John’s

1763 Samuel Sandys became Vicar of Meopham
The earthen floor of the church was levelled

1765 Last reference to the 'Nine Horseshoes' public house, tenant John Higgins

1767 Henry Edmeades bought the Manor of Nurstead from John Hugesson

1769 Horns Oak Mill recorded on a map of the parish

1770 John Tatham became Vicar of Meopham

1773 Meopham churchwardens were John Salmon and John Jewiss

1776 Heavy snowfall cost the parish £8.13s.9d. (£8.67p) for clearing the roads
Meopham Cricket Club formed
West Kent Hunt founded meeting twice a year on Meopham Green

1777 William Crakelt became Rector of Nurstead

1780 Land tax for Meopham produced £345.12s.0d. (£345.60)

1786 Edward Phillips became Vicar of Meopham and was succeeded by Edward Smedley

1787 Fowlerstone House rented as an additional workhouse

1789 Cottages for the poor built on Pitfield Green and at Greenell Sole Pond (opposite Foxendown Farm)

1791 Meopham parish agreed to give John Russell £10 on condition that he married Elizabeth Dunk and then took her and her illegitimate son out of the parish

1793 William Mungeam became Superintendent of Meopham workhouse at a salary of £5.5s.0d. (£5.25p) a year

1794 Meopham churchwardens were George Smith and Thomas Crowhurst
The 'Cricketers' public house moved from Basque Cottage to its present location

1798 Meopham churchwardens paid 14s. (70p.) for a Common Prayer book for the clerk’s desk

1799 The Reverend Sharpe, curate of Meopham, with two other gentlemen, caused a brawl. Reverend Sharpe challenged Mr. Henry Cleverly (grandson of William Cleverly, shipbuilder) to a duel but the Mayor prevented this taking place and imposed a fine upon the Reverend Sharpe.
The Amicable Society established to assist members in times of need, meeting at the 'Cricketers'

1801 Meopham Mill built by the Killick brothers
Horns Oak and Nurstead mills demolished prior to this date
Population of Meopham was 748
Pulpit in St. John’s Church bought from St. Margaret’s, Westminster

1802 Meopham Court occupied by Francis Markett

1806 Mr Lawrie undertook to supply what small beer may be required for the workhouse at 4d. a gallon. The Master’s family was allowed 1½ pints of strong beer a day

1809 Sundial put up on South face of the church tower of St. John’s at a cost of £8.13s.6d. (£8.66p)

1811 Population of Meopham 800

1812 Luke Phillips became Rector of Nurstead

1814 West Kent Union of Baptist Independents began preaching at Harvel
Iron chest bought to store the parish records at a cost of £7.16s.0d. (£7.80p) including 6s. (30p) carriage from London

1816 John Thompson became Vicar of Meopham

1818 Meopham poor rate set at 8s. (40p) in the pound
William Mungeam, Meopham parish clerk, appointed sexton at £9 a year

1819 Meopham church rate set at 9d. (3½p) in the pound

1820 Captain William Edmeades became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead

1821 Meopham population was 863
Meopham Court occupied by Mrs. Markett

1824 Various local landowners attended a meeting at the 'Bull', Wrotham, to consider a proposal to turnpike the road through Meopham

1825 Act for the turnpike road granted
Eastern half of Nurstead Court demolished and replaced by a new building
Reverend Daniel Francis Warner, curate, presented a paten to St. John’s Church

1826 Baptists arrested during service on Harvel Green, taken to Rochester, but immediately released by the magistrate

1827 Order granted for the stopping up of the pre-turnpike road between Nurstead Wood and Nash Bank
Mr. Wells appointed parish clerk and sexton
Baptist Sunday School started in a cottage at Pitfield Green

1828 Order granted to stop up Short Hill, near Vigo, to prevent users avoiding the tollgate
William Edmeades became Rector of Nurstead
Mount Zion Baptist Chapel built just south of Meopham Green

1829 First auction of tollgate collection rights held at the 'Falcon', Gravesend
Reverend William Mansfield occupied Meopham Court

1831 Auction of toll collection rights produced £325
Population of Meopham 920

1832 Two more cottages built for the poor on Hook Green

1836 Earliest reference to the 'Plough' public house, Culverstone. Tenant was George Durling
Earliest reference to the 'Fox and Hounds' (now Bartellas) public house, Hook Green
Church rate fixed at 1s. (5p) in the pound

1837 William Edmeades installed a clock in the tower of St. Mildred’s, Nurstead
Roads from Camer to Brimstone, Parsonage Field, Little Buckland and part of Norwood Lane closed at the request of William Smith-Masters
Twenty feet added to the top of the tower of St. John’s church at a cost of £215, to provide a bell chamber

1838 Camer House by-passed by new road (now B2009)
Earliest reference to Green’s Omnibus, operating between Plaxtol and Gravesend via Meopham

1839 James Loft bought the farm at Sole Street and turned it into the 'Two Brewers' public house

1840 Earliest reference to Beer House at Harvel (now Forge Cottage). Licensee John Roots, blacksmith
Bell re-hung in new bell chamber at a cost of £12

1841 National School built at Meopham at a cost of £389.2s.7d. (£389.13p)
Population of Meopham 940

c1842 Old Forge at Waterditch demolished
First National School built in Meopham

1843 Frances Smith of Camer left £100 to be invested, the income to be distributed to the poor of Meopham at Christmas

1847 The 'Coffin' public house closed and the licence was transferred to a new house, the 'Prince of Wales', built in front of it. Licensee Thomas Goodwin
William Ridley of Wrotham operated a van service to Gravesend on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays

1851 Population of Meopham was 1080

1852 Reverend William Henry Edmeades became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
Dodmore House demolished by William Smith-Masters

1853 New Turnpike Act to re-structure the Trust and tolls cut by one half

1854 John Hooper became Vicar of Meopham
The former parsonage demolished and replaced by the 'old' vicarage

1855 Mechanical organ presented to St. John’s church by William Smith-Masters M.P. of Camer

1859 St. John's church re-roofed at a cost of £315, and the ceiling removed

1861 Railway opened on 6 May
'Railway Tavern' opened
Population of Meopham 1180
Last Court Baron of Dodmore held on 17 April

1862 Parish cottages on Pitfield Green sold to Dr. Baber and demolished. Clay Cottages Trust formed with the proceeds of £216.13s.4d. (£216.66p)
Mrs. Robert Barnett of Meopham Court gave a feast to the village to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales
Old Meopham Court demolished
First policeman, P.C. Greenfield, appointed

1865 Organ from St. John’s church sold to Trottiscliffe. A new two-manual organ provided partly by Mrs. Smith-Masters and partly by subscription

1866 Earliest reference to the 'Neville Arms' public house at Hook Green. Licensee John French.
Last reference to the 'Two Brewers'

1867 Last reference to the 'Neville Arms'

1870 Russell’s Brewery Dray, after delivering beer in Meopham, was accosted by footpads at the turnpike gate but escaped by driving through it
New manse (Woodland Villa) built for the Baptist Chapel
West door of St. John’s unblocked and new doors fitted at a cost of £76

1871 Meopham parish relieved of the responsibility for maintaining various minor roads, including Heron Hill Lane, Chandlers Road, Commorrity Road and Ridge Lane
Population of Meopham 1190

1872 Culverstone School built at a cost of £800
Harvel Cricket Club founded

1873 Licence to the Vicar to hold services in Culverstone School
Church rate for Meopham discontinued

1874 East window of St. John’s church replaced

1875 Parish lock-up on Pitfield Green demolished
Final auction of tollgate collection rights
Northfleet Local Board contributed £18.15s.5d. (£18.77p) to the turnpike trustees towards the cost of repairs to Wrotham Road
Lewis Woodward Lewis became Vicar of Meopham

1876 Last Annual General Meeting of the Turnpike Trustees held on 22 March and the trust wound up in October.
Wrotham Road became a free road

1879 Mrs. Robert Barnett presented a public clock to St. John’s church
Verdict of accidental death recorded at inquest on David Simpson who had come to Meopham for the harvest from Newcastle on Tyne and wandered into a pond while drunk and drowned (The Times, 22nd September)

1880 Resident horse bus operator, Alfred Clarke, ran two routes to Gravesend via Wrotham Road and via Sole Street. Reward offered for the return of opera glasses thought to have been left in first class rail carriage between Meopham and Victoria Station(The Times October 2nd)

1881 Population of Meopham was 1280

1884 Brass alms dish presented to St. John’s church by the Rector of Fawkham

1886 Major-General Henry Edmeades became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
School inspections showed Meopham as excellent but Culverstone did badly
Newcombe Willis became Rector of Nurstead

1887 School inspection gave Meopham a good report and a good grant, but Culverstone got a bad report and a bad grant
Meopham Church gave a donation of £6-7shillings to the famine relief fund in India (The Times February 26th)

1888 School inspection again shows Meopham doing extremely well, but Culverstone was worse than ever. Mrs. Rayner, the school mistress, was discharged

1889 The hagioscope in St. John’s church was unbricked and plate glass inserted
Once again Meopham did well at the school inspection and Culverstone extremely badly. Notice was given to Mrs. Sharp, the new mistress
Culverstone race course closed
James Killick, retired miller, died aged 97

1890 Mrs. Jane Frances Barnett, of Meopham Court, left £500 in 3% consols, the interest to be given to the poor of Meopham each New Year’s Day, at the discretion of the Vicar and Churchwardens
A much improved school report for Culverstone
Fire destroys grocery store at the junction of Station Rd and Wrotham Rd

1891 Population of Meopham 1220

1892 A Greens Protection Committee formed
Doe’s Cottage, South Street, demolished and a hoard of brandy found

1894 Public meeting to choose the first Meopham Parish Council. A poll was demanded and the first meeting of the council was held on 31st December at the National School. James Bromwich elected Chairman
School attendance rolls were Meopham 121 and Culverstone 46
Parish Council precepted for £40, a penny rate
Alfred Dryland appointed the first civil parish clerk
Meopham Parish Magazine first published

1895 The 'Plough' public house burned down and never re-opened
First Annual Parish Meeting held on 20th March
Public meeting convened to consider the defective water supply in Meopham
The Parish Council resolved that a proposed high-level bridge over the Medway did not interest Meopham
School attendance rolls were Meopham 134 and Culverstone 45
Traces of Iron Age settlement found in the vicarage meadow by the vicar
Parish magazine accounts showed a loss of £5.7s.4d. (£5.37p)
The church choir went to Margate on 16 July for their annual outing, leaving Meopham by the 06.50 train
Sir Sydney Waterlow of Green Farm asked to remove an obstruction to a footpath between Cadley Hill and Priestwood, and a fence enclosing part of Pitfield (Meopham) Green.
First by-law relating to village greens preventing assembling on the greens on a Sunday and acting in a noisy or indecorous manner.
The Independent Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society held a Church Parade in Meopham.
About 200 copies of the Parish Magazine published.
Mr Robert Body fined for occupying Hook Green and Meopham Green with roundabouts, traction engines and the like without permission. Sir Sydney and Lady Waterlow invited all the children and staff of Culverstone School to a treat "tea" at Trosley Towers

1896 The Great Fire of Meopham – 12 April. Two double shops destroyed
Sunday School outing to Sheerness – by train to Strood, thence by ferry
Meopham Cycle Works closed
Meopham Clothing Club paid a bonus of 1¾d. in the shilling (c14%)
Soup kitchen established 9 January, to operate every Thursday until further notice
School attendance rolls were Meopham 142 and Culverstone 51
Mr William Smith-Masters elected Chairman of the Parish Council
The George Slate and Benefit Club formed, giving benefits to members when sick and an annual shar-out
Melliker included in the list of Meopham Greens

1897 1897 The four postmasters in Meopham asked permission to close at 3p.m. every Wednesday
Joint meeting with Wrotham and Ightham to consider a new water scheme
Fox and Hounds well repaired by the Parish Council for 30s. (£1.50p)
The Royal West Kent Regiment camped at Meopham 19-21 June en route to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
Dr. Matthews, the first resident doctor, moved into Laurel Villas
A branch of the Women’s Total Abstinence Union was formed in Meopham
Plans for a ladies chess club considered
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrated by a fete in Camer Park, fireworks on the Green, the illumination of the Church tower with lamps and planting of lime and plane trees
on Pitfield and Hook Green

1897 Pitfield House built. Lower part of chancel walls and over chancel door decorated with coloured glass tiles at the expense of Mrs Tweddell of Meopham Court in memory of her husband, the late R.H. Tweddell
Sunday school outing to Regents Park Zoo

1898 New flag acquired to fly over the Church tower to mark days of national importance. New pulpit stairs constructed in the Church. Mr Smith-Masters elected to Strood R.D.C. Meopham Football Club formed. Parish Council took action against two families with horses, carts and tents occupying Harvel Green.
Mr. Whait appointed parish clerk
By-laws covering the village greens were approved by the Home Office, three years after submission by the Parish Council

1899 Charles Gibson became Rector of Nurstead
Meopham Football Club played their matches on Pitfield Green

1900 Much of the parish supplied with piped water
Street lighting first proposed
Arthur Frank Cowley Owen became Vicar of Meopham

1901 Population of Meopham 1280 and Nurstead 43

1902 Percy Windo, village schoolmaster, appointed Parish Clerk at £6 a year

1903 Councillor P.S. Ladds removed from the Parish Council for absence from meetings
Drinking fountain built on Pitfield Green to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII

1904 The Meopham Agency of the Tunbridge Wells and South Eastern Counties Equitable Friendly Society established
Three year old Cecil Zimmer was run over in Meopham and killed by a motorcar while playing in the road with friends near a corner after leaving Church (The Times, August 23rd)

1906 'White Horse' public house was built to replace the old 'White Horse' at Poundgate, destroyed by fire, Licensee Richard Inkpen
Strood Rural District Council asked to empty the village cesspools

1907 Meopham Cricket Club advised to ask the local farmers 'to kindly refrain from allowing their animals to wander across the playing pitch'
The Parish Council considered the formation of a parish fire brigade
Ancient Yew tree on Melliker Green protected by a fence
Thomas Ledward of Meopham, described as a gentleman of independent means, was charged at Chatham Police Court with using threats, firing a gun over the head of and striking with a swordstick his gardener William Blackman. The accused was said to be addicted to morphia (The Times September 14th)

1909 Meopham Post Office moved to a location north of Church Cottages
Meopham Nursing Association formed

1910 Major Arnold appointed Chairman of the Parish Council
Sixth bell cast and hung in memory of Edward VII, and the old bells retuned, at a cost of £123.12s.1d. (£123.60½p)

1911 Population of Meopham 1342 and Nurstead 48
George V Coronation celebrations including sports, teas and coronation mugs

1912 Meopham Village Hall built at the expense of Edward Moon
Harvel Village Hall opened
First motor bus service to Meopham
Kenneth Finch became Rector of Nurstead

1913 Traction engine backed into Harvel Pond damaging both the pond and the green. Annual Southern Counties Cross Country Championship race held over a course of 10 miles at Camer Park (The Times March 3rd).

1914 Last year that flour was milled at Meopham Windmill
Major Henry Edmeades became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
'Amazon and Tiger' public house built on the present site
The Parish Council again considered the formation of a parish fire brigade in view of the air raids, but lack of standpipes caused the idea to be rejected
Dr. Samuel A. Griffiths was elected chairman of the Parish Council

1916 Window depicting St. Mildred and other figures was installed in Nurstead Church

1917 New burial ground purchased at Meopham
Fox and Hounds well filled in and bricked over
Infant Welfare Centre opened
Clerk to the Parish Council given authority to deal with local arrangements for National Service
For the funeral at Ridley of William Mckenzie Bradley of Calcutta (tea industry) and Meopham (farmer) carriages met the 12.35 train at Meopham Station (The Times August 7th pgs 1 and 8)

1919 George Alfred Tait became Vicar of Meopham
Major Arnold re-elected Chairman of the Parish Council
Permission granted for a cricket pavilion on Meopham Green. Official Peace celebrations including children's events, sports, bonfires, fireworks and a dinner for "the men"

1920 Meopham War Memorial dedicated on the 23rd October

1921 Population of Meopham 1464 and Nurstead 50
1st Meopham Guide Company registered
General Motor Coaches ran a tour, The Dickens Coach, leaving London at 9.30 a.m. on Wednesdays passing Eltham, Wrotham, West Malling, Maidstone and Rochester returning via Gads Hill, Cobham, Meopham, Ightham, Sevenoaks and Knockhall (The Times July 7th pg 9)

1922 Cooks Farm with 55 acres sold by auction for £1,000 (The Times November 16th, pg 22 )
Harvel supplied with piped water
1st Meopham Brownie Pack registered

1923 Meopham and Cobham branch of the British Legion formed
Meopham and Nurstead Women’s Institute founded
Meopham windmill generated its own electricity when a gas engine was installed
New churchyard, opposite St. John's donated to the Parish for the use of all residents irrespective of religious denomination

1924 Telephone first reached Harvel
'Fox and Hounds' public house (now Bartellas) rebuilt
Footbridge built at Meopham station
Gravesend Borough proposed to supply electricity to Meopham (but had no legal power to do so)
Refuse collection considered by the Parish Council
1st Meopham Rangers registered

1926 Meopham Scout Group formed, as 32nd Medway

1927 Meopham Assembly Hall Baptist Church Founded
Harvel cut off four nine days by snow

1928 Wrotham to Meopham Rd. closed due to Great Snowstorm (The Times, Jan 2nd, pg 16)
After being dismissed, Frederick Gower, motor driver of Gravesend, sentenced to 3 years penal servitude for maliciously shooting at Mrs Catherine Seymour, wife of Captain Seymour, a King's Messenger, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Horns Oak (The Times June 23rd pg16)
Meopham Church contributed £4-1s-10d to the St. Pauls Cathedral restoration fund (The Times February 4th pg19)
Longfield Road straightened between Longfield Hill and Melliker, leaving the old road as Half Moon Lane

1929 Last Court Baron of Meopham held

1930 Plane crash at Meopham killed six people (21st July) Article

1931 First consideration of a bypass scheme for Meopham at the Annual Parish Meeting
London Telephone area extended to 1,000 square miles including Meopham and a single telephone directory was issued in 1932 (The Times November 13th pg 16 and February 16th 1932 pg18)
Population of Meopham was 1491 and Nurstead 39
Mrs. E. Cologne was the first female candidate for the Parish Council

1932 Cricket pavilion built on Pitfield Green

1933 Ernest Cannon became vicar of Meopham
Meopham Mill generated its own electricity
A Mr. Walker agreed to collect domestic refuse for 3d. per household and to store it in a dump but gave up after a few weeks due to lack of customers
St. Christopher's (Catholic) Ramblers Club - later the St Francis of Assissi Club- bought seven and a half acres of land on a hillside at Foxendown, Dean Lane, Harvel for organised camps and holidays
Culverstone Silver Band Hut became home of the former Harvel Band
Gravesend Doctor was to have appeared in court on a charge of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle after crashing his car at Hook Green Meopham but died of narcotic poisoning before the set date (The Times August 11th)

1934 Radiators were installed in St. John's with a boiler in the cellar below the vestry by G. Haden at a cost of £225

Trosley Towers Estate sold by direction of Sir Edgar L. Waterlow Bart.(The Times, January 17th pg7)

Mr Frank Strand, the schoolmaster, appointed Parish Clerk at £15 a year
Strood Rural District Council started a monthly refuse collection

1935 Nurstead ceased to be a separate parish and was joined to Cobham

King's Silver Jubilee celebrated by tea and a visit to the cinema in Gravesend for the children

Local telephone directory for Gravesend and villages published to be distributed alongside the London Directory (The Times, July 6th, pg18)

Flying Officer Lawrence Pilkington Hirsh from Cheshire, the manager of Gravesend Airport, received fatal injuries when his motor car overturned at Meopham (The Times September 4th pg 9

1936 Holly Hill Lodge, a six bedroomed bungalow with a cottage, outbuildings and 11 acres 0n the market for £3,200 with offers considered (The Times September 2nd pg 220

Flagstaff erected at Culverstone School to mark the coronation of George VI
Meopham Scout Group became 24th Gravesend

1937 Meopham Air Raid Precautions Committee set up
30 m.p.h. speed limit imposed in parts of Wrotham Road
Three lady members were elected to the Parish Council. Mrs Barber having the most votes was deemed to be the first lady councillor to be elected and she was also the first councillor to be elected from outside the Parish

The County Council took over the primary schools of Culverstone and Meopham from the Church of England

1938 The silver chalice was stolen from the vestry cupboard at St. John's

Waller Engineering Works established in Harvel

Application to Malling R.D.C. to quarry chalk, erect a washmill with a pipeline to convey the slurried chalk to a cement factory in Ightham on the Trosley Towers Estate

Supply of gas masks arrived in Meopham on 27th August
Robert J. Scott became Chairman of the Parish Council
A proposal for a mental hospital along Shipley Hills Road was strongly opposed and the scheme was rejected in 1939

1939 First public telephone erected in the parish at Meopham Green
Charles Coe became Rector of Nurstead
SS Meopham, along with other ships, was sold to a German buyer, the sale was subject to questions in the House of Commons (The Times April 20th pg8)

1940 Evacuees in Meopham en-route to Wales

Culverstone Silver Band contributed £5 - 2shillings to the Lord Mayor's Red Cross and St. John Fund for the sick and wounded in the war ( The Times, January 26th pg 11)

Air Ministry confirmed that one of its own planes was shot down over open farm land in Happy Valley Meopham as a result of mistaken identity (The Times, March 4th, pg6)

Messerschmitt 109 shot down during a fight over North West Kent and crashed in flames at Meopham. The 24 year old pilot bailed out and was only slightly injured (The Times November !st pg 2)

Major Robert Arnold elected Chairman of the Parish Council

1941 Many explosive bombs were dropped on the Parish, there were some fatal and some less serious injuries, and St. John's church and the vicarage were severely damaged

Evacuees in Culverstone

1942 Establishment of Wrotham pre-officer cadet training unit, Wrotham(Vigo)

1943 First building "Central Hall" (later known as Erskine Hall named after Brigadier Erskine, the commanding officer of the 148 training brigade and remembered in the name Erskine Road, Vigo) completed at pre-officer cadet training unit and first concert held, followed by a Church parade. Visit to the camp by H.M. the King.

1944 Sole Street/ Meopham considered for housing expansion by Strood Rural District Council

After 600 years, water was laid on at St. Johns at a cost of £11 17s 6d

Serious fire at Green Farm when a flying bomb destroyed the large barn

Barrage balloons were moored on Meopham Green

1945 Frank Ford became Rector of Nurstead
Proposed New Town scheme for Meopham investigated and opposed

Meopham Players first performed

Victory celebrations included a fete on the green with sports, sideshows, fireworks, entertainments and teas for all

Soldiers from neighbouring camp and land girls helped with cherry picking at Meopham (The Times June 30th pg 8 photo)

1946 Strood Rural District Council considered a scheme for 24 additional houses at Meopham

Intakes to the pre-officer cadet training unit ceased

A squatters camp at Harvel was a constant topic of discussion at Meopham Parish Council and Strood Rural District Council meetings over health and rehousing problems

Major Arnold retired after 39 years as a Parish Councillor and 36 years after he was first elected as Chairman. Mr Strand gave up the clerkship after 20 years

Meopham opposed plan to become part of Gravesend
Mr. Alfred T. Wallis elected Chairman of the Parish Council
Former Army camp at Vigo occupied by squatters, leading to the setting up of a temporary village
Vernon Nicholls became Vicar of Meopham

1947 First bus service to Harvel
Strood proposed main drainage between the station and Leylands
Mr. F.C. Judson gave Gunn’s field to the Boy Scouts Association

The Wrotham Camp Site at Meopham was renamed "Vigo Village". The provision of a school for the children of the village was proposed, as the distance to travel to other schools in the area was too far. The Church Army community centre was opened by the Bishop of Rochester in November

Neighbours and German P.O.W.s helped to fight a fire in a 15th century cottage at Harvel. Antiques and furniture were rescued while the fire was restricted to the top storey

Snowdrifts on Gravesend to Meopham Rd (The Times Jan 28th pg 6 photo).

1948 Meopham Church bells were rung for an hour to celebrate the birth of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

A community centre was opened at Vigo

First issue of Meopham Review

Thieves stole a large amount of lead from the church roof

Parish divided into three wards - North, Central and South, the latter including the camps at Vigo

Dr. William D. Hasler elected Chairman of the Parish Council

1949 Mr. F.C. Judson presented three acres of land at Hook Green as a recreation ground
The Parish Council bought the manorial rights and freehold of the village greens for £25, so becoming Lord of the Manor of Meopham

P.B.H. May visited Meopham Cricket Club

Seven silver instruments were stolen from Culverstone silver band

1950 Playing field bequeathed to the children of Meopham by the late Mr. Judson of Norwood Lane

Hope Hill Scout camp ground purchased

The St Francis of Assissi campsite was sold, most of the proceedings going to the Southwark Travelling Mission for the Meopham Church building fund contributing to the building of St. Pauls, Meopham

1950/51/52 Learie Constantine brought West Indian Wanderers to play at Meopham

1951 Wing Commander Arthur Donaldson DSO, DFC, AFC, Commanding Officer of Biggen Hill, who deputised for Group Captain Douglas Barder who was called away overseas, unveiled the War Memorial to the men of Meopham, a special window in Meopham Parish Church

Festival of Britain celebrations included an exhibition of village arts and crafts, the performance of "Badgers Green" by R. C. Sheriff on Meopham Green and the provision of public seats and play equipment at Judson's

Outline planning permission granted for an industrial estate to the east of Meopham Station

Frank Smith became Rector of Nurstead

Population of Meopham 3005

1952 The 'White Horse' public house closed. Last licensee was George Inkpen
Queen Elizabeth detrained at Meopham on her tour of North Kent, after the North Sea floods
Major Richard Edmeades became Lord of the Manor of Nurstead
James Jackson elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Shorne, Higham, Cobham, Meopham and Luddesdowne all supported Strood Rural District Council in its objection to a proposal by Rochester City Corporation to annex large parts of the rural area

Harvel W.I. founded

Parish Council required to record all rights of way in the Parish resulting in the first Definitive Rights of Way Map

Meopham's Summer Fete was opened by Andrew Stuart Hibberd, the BBC radio announcer who is particularly remembered for his broadcasts announcing the imminent death of King George V in 1936 and the fall of Berlin and the death of Hitler in 1945

Outline planning permission granted for residential development of the Trosley Towers Estate

1953 Coronation celebrations included a procession of floats and midnight fireworks at Meopham

3 cases of poliomyelitis confirmed in Kent including a 20 year old girl from Meopham (The Times June 30th pg3)

1954 Judson's recreation ground opened

Outbreak of myxomatosis in Meopham (The Times April 28th pg8)

The Parish Council defeated a motion that the office of Parish Clerk be open to women as well as men. Mr. S.A. Battell was appointed Parish Clerk

1954-1963 The Cricketers was one of the pubs where the Taverners, a band of modern strolling players performed around four times a year

1955 Cricketers Inn sign changed from whiskered cricketers to depictions of Sir Jack Hobbs, Herbert Strudwick, Leslie Ames and Frank Woolley

Culverstone Post Office opened

Anthony Wood became Rector of Nurstead

1956 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 stopped off at Meopham station en-route to engagements in the Medway towns

Two crew of an R.A.F. helicopter were killed when it crashed in White Horse Woods, near Harvel. ( The Times December 14th pg 6)

Reverend Frank Mitchell became vicar of Meopham

The wooden church of St. Francis, used by the troops at Vigo and situated at the corner of Whitepost Lane, moved to the South end of St. Francis Rd, Harvel where it was dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester

First bus shelter built at Ridley Turning at a cost of £60

Public convenience opened at Meopham Green

1958 Mrs Adela Newton became Chairman of the Parish Council with Mr E. Northay as Parish Clerk

Waller Engineering Company taken over by Calor Gas Holding Company Ltd (The Times Oct 8 pg18)

Gravesend to Meopham Rd blocked when storms washed a haystack into the road (The Times September 6th pg 3)

1959 Culverstone School in Wrotham Road built

Mr Frank Strand elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Van driver remanded in custody charged with attempting to commit suicide with a motor vehicle at Longfield Hill (The Times January 23rd pg 7)

1960 Culverstone W.I. founded

Bus shelters at Culverstone and near the station erected and a grant of £10 given to Ash-cum-Ridley towards cost of shelter at Woodlands

Meopham man killed when he fell 40ft from the top of a telephone exchange in Gravesend during a gale (The Times February 7th pg 10)

1961 Derek W. Baker elected Chairman of the Parish Council

1962 Meopham Evening W.I. founded

Mains drainage came to Meopham

Restoration of Meopham Windmill by Messrs E. Hole and Son of Burgess Hill, Sussex at a cost of £4,375

Formation of Culverstone, Harvel and Meopham(North) footpath groups which later amalgamated to form a single group

Permanent site found for gypsies near the old sewage works at Meopham (The Times July 31st pg4)

An 80year old woman was killed when the car in which she was a passenger was in collision with a goods vehicle on Longfield Hill (The Times December 5th pg 12)

1963 The Nurstead part of Cobham parish was transferred to the parish of Meopham

1964 Foundation stone laid of Roman Catholic Church (St. Paul's) laid in August

Establishment of first Parish Council Committees

Peter Park elected Chairman of the Parish Council

1965 The first resident moved into Timberbank at the new Vigo village

First mass celebrated at St Paul's by Archbishop Cowderoy.  

1966 Reverend Brian Birchmore became rector of Meopham

Part of the parish of Trottiscliffe was handed over to Meopham when Vigo was brought under Strood R.D.C.

The football pavilion at Judson's recreation ground was badly damaged by fire

Meopham Windmill Trust bought for £3,500 the lease of Meopham Windmill(owned by K.C.C.) and the freehold of the surrounding land

1967 Appointment of first lady Parish Clerk, Mrs Melda White, with Mr P. Shirley Coston as Chairman

Plans for large scale development at Lomer Farm rejected by Strood R.D.C. and Meopham Parish Council

Gales caused fallen trees at Meopham

1969 Population of Meopham 6,789 in 2,411 dwellings in an area of 5,200 acres

Erksine Hall demolished to make way for Vigo village school playing field

Three residents of Culverstone went missing on a fishing trip off the Kent coast. Air-sea rescue helicopters failed to find them(The Times April 1st pg2)

c1969 Mobile Home site created at Southfield Shaw to house the remaining inhabitants of the Highview Caravan Camp to enable the completion of Vigo

1970 Meopham Society prepared the Broadwalk Report on the A227 through Meopham as preparation for changes to the road

Young Yew tree planted on Melliker Green as an ultimate replacement of the ancient one

1971 Opening of Camer Park

First opening of Meopham Windmill to the public

1972 Stained glass window panes of St. Mildred's Church, Nurstead were destroyed by vandals at an estimated cost of £1,000

Scouts Hall on Gunn's field opened

1973 Distribution of Meopham Review about 1200 copies

3 Edward III gold coins found in garden in Cheyne Walk

Parish Council acquired Edmund Green

James Carley elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Base of the Windmill converted to a Council Chamber so the Parish Council had a permanent meeting place of its own with a Parish office adjoining

1974 New Borough of Gravesham formed, which combined the Municipal Borough of Gravesend, with the Urban District of Northfleet and the five Parishes of Cobham, Higham, Luddesdowne, Meopham and Shorne. The new Coat of Arms incorporated parts of the previous two Coats of Arms granted to the Borough, as well as the new symbols of the East Indiaman in full sail, the sails of a windmill, crossed quill pens and the white horse of Kent. These Armorial Bearings were fully granted to the Borough on 15th July 1975

Fears that Channel tunnel rail link proposals would destroy Cobham, Sole Street, Nash Street and Nurstead

Chinnery Court warden supervised flats on Wrotham Rd, next to the Catholic Church, opened

1975 Meopham Secondary school opened incorporating a Branch Library, which serves both the needs of the community and the school

Reverend David Giles became rector of Meopham

Road widening on part of the A227 south of Longfield

Three men from Meopham and Harvel were cleared at Greenwich magistrates court over charges related to a £1m.betting fraud (The Times, November 15th pg3)

1976 Trosley Country Park opened

Small hoard of 11 gold coins found between Meopham and Harvel estimated to have been buried between 1395 and 1411

Vigo Primary School officially opened in June

Purchase or Harvel Rd. allotment site

Parish Council adopted its current " logo" or crest, designed by Mrs Burgh of Harvel who won the design competition for local residents. The logo is registered at Stationers Hall, heads correspondence and features on the badges of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council

1977 Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations included the erection of a flagpole in the Windmill grounds and floodlights for the mill

1978 Meopham gained a licence to run their Community Bus, becoming the first Community Bus in Kent to hold one

A rural bus service between Meopham and Luddesdowne villages began operating once a week

1979 Following replacement of stocks, sails and other necessary parts, the sails on Meopham windmill turned under their own power for the first time in 50 years

1980 Culverstone Community Hall opened. This was one result of a tripartite agreement made between Strood R.D.C., Culverstone Community Association and Messrs R&C Waters, the landowners, whereby they got permission to build houses on largely Green Belt land (Mountfield Close) shops and a pub (which didn't happen) and the community got an open space(Culverstone Recreation Ground) and the Hall. Culverstone Silver Band Hut was also relocated and rebuilt to make way for the development.

1981 Camer House went up for sale at £165,000

Vigo branch library opened in the newly built village hall

Press on the Green established at Norwood House

Population of Meopham over 8,500

1983 A 9 foot 6 inch python escaped from a house in Culverstone, but was found later the same day

James Paffard elected Chairman of the Parish Council

1984 Meopham Good Neighbour Scheme started

1985 South Street Baptist Chapel new building opened

John Palfreyman elected Chairman of Parish Council

Meopham Secondary School affected by first 3 day selective action by NUT (The Times February 20th pg 5)

1986 Meopham awarded European Flag of Honour for its "friendship links" with the Netherlands

Reverend David Williams became rector of Meopham

Meopham Parish Fete opened by the well known comedian, the late Billy Dainty

Meopham student jailed for 3 and a half years for supplying hard drugs to fellow students at the Royal College of Agriculture (The Times May 13th )

Fr Patrick Zammit became the first parish priest at St Paul's Church, Meopham

1987 Brand new Community Bus purchased

Some 3,000 Kentish peg tiles stolen from the vestry roof of St. Mildred's Church

Hurricane flattened many trees in Trosley Country Park and resulted in much property damage

1988 Gas came to Meopham

John Walliker elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Old Vicarage extended and converted into luxury flats

1989 Acid House Party in Happy Valley (The Times September 11th)

1990 Vigo village celebrated its silver jubilee. Spanish dignitaries from the village's namesake attended the celebrations

1991 The Medical Centre was opened in the grounds of Meopham School

Population of Meopham 8,864

Helen Allison School for children and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder moved to Meopham infant school site from Gravesend

Meopham Valley Vineyard began operations

Counterfeit cheque for £265,000 used to buy a rare 1934 Rolls- Royce open tourer from a vendor in Meopham (The Guardian June 15th)

John Michael Smithyman given a life sentence for the murder in a wood near Meopham of 22 year old April Sheridan from Catford (the mother of his child) who he believed had informed on him to police about criminal activities

1993 Post bus routes in Gravesham were launched including a service to Fairseat

The new church rooms, known as the St John's Centre dedicated by the Rt. Revd. Michael Turnball, Bishop of Rochester

William T. Richardson elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Police "Operation Sweet" resulted in the arrest of 11 people associated with one of the biggest illegal drug factories ever discovered in Britain following a raid on a house on the Wrotham Rd near Meopham (Sunday Times July 25th)

1994 Meopham Sports and Leisure Centre opened at the rear of Meopham School

Centenary of Meopham Parish Council marked by wide variety of entertainments, exhibitions, social events and celebrations. A centenary wood was planted at Meopham school in 1993

1995 The Local Government Commission recommended against the merger of Dartford and Gravesham boroughs following the local government review. Local opposition to the proposed merger was very strong

1996 Barbara Lee elected Chairman of the Parish Council

Reverend Struan Dunn became rector of Meopham

1997 The Royal Coat of Arms which hung over the door of St Mildred's Church at Nurstead for 282 years was stolen over the Easter week-end

Teenager dies after climbing into a clothes recycling bin at Meopham (The Guardian, Oct 29 pg6)

1998 Meopham village sign made and erected on Hook Green to commemorate 25th Anniversary of Meopham Historical Society

The Harvel Hash Harriers were formed and today tehy have 70 plus members and boasts the claim of organising the nationwide acclaimed famous Harvel 5 mile run from Harvel through to Trosley County Park and back since 1999.

1999 The total eclipse on 11th August was observed in Gravesham

Meopham man dies after being struck by lightening on Chigwell Golf Course, Essex (The Times, August 20th)

Teenager dies after stepping on a live rail at Meopham Railway Station (The Sun, September 13th)

Dennis Freere elected Chairman of the Parish Council

2000 Millenium celebrations included the erection of Parish boundary stones

2001 Meopham resident won a contest for the world's fastest face painter, decorating 50 faces in an hour (The Sun February 2nd)

Cynthia Barnes elected Chairman of the Parish Council

2003 Meopham greyhounds donated to a blood bank for dogs (The Times November 3rd pg5)

2004 Teen shelter erected at Judson's

A peace light service held at Meopham Village Hall when members of the Guide movement lit candles or lamps from the flame of a lamp holding the light of peace brought from Bethlehem (Sevenoaks Chronicle 2nd December pg 13)

Grieving widow found dead, curled up on the grave of her husband in Meopham cemetery (The Sun, July 30th)

2005 Monthly Farmers market started at rear of Meopham Secondary School

New Parish Website launched

Residents claim phone mast is affecting remote control key fobs preventing them accessing their cars (News of the World May 1st)

2006 First affordable housing properties completed in Evenden Road

Peter Hasler elected Chaiman of Parish Council

Camer Parade improvements scheme completed

Self-management of allotments at Southdown Shaw began

Costcutter Supermarket and Post Office opened in Wrotham Rd. Culverstone

Meopham Secondary School teacher suspended from teaching for 6 months for selling imported cigarettes to pupils under 16 at a school sports day

2007 Service of Commemoration at Nurstead Fete, including flypast of a Hurricane and a Spitfire, in memory of New Zealand Pilot Officer David Malloch who crashed his Spitfire MK2B (Who's Afeared) at Camer Farm in 1942 during a cross country navigation exercise (Meopham Review, August 2007)

A life ASBO was given to a Meopham builder preventing him from working in the building trade after admitting a series of cons against elderly people (Evening Standard, April12th)

Sam Burgoine-Smith appointed Parish Clerk

Village Design Statement completed

2008  Parish Plan presented to the Parish Council by the Parish Plan Steering Group

Bryan Rayner appointed Parish Clerk

Harvel House Farm Shop opened

Gravesham's first outdoor youth festival set up by Rotary Club held at Meopham School

Cray Valley Radio society used Meopham windmill for radio broadcasting for first time

Steele's Lane claimed as footpath NS360 after public inquiry

2009   Cynthia Barnes elected Chairman of Parish Council

2010   New playground and Multi-games Arena installed at Judson's Recreation Ground

Meopham Primary School becomes an Academy

2011   Douglas Powell elected Chairman of Parish Council

Large hole in A227 Wrotham Road causes traffic chaos, evacuation of homes and loss of water supply to 250 homes

Meopham residents marched through village in protest over Gravesham Borough Council's proposed major housing development on Green Belt land

2012  Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrated with numerous social events and tree planting

London Olympics marked by Screen on the Green fun day and art competition but plans for campsite for visitors at Culverstone Recreation Ground abandoned

Local historian Jim Carley dies

Meopham Village Hall 100th Anniversary

Harvel Village Hall 100th Anniversary

Meopham and District Footpaths Group celebrate 50th Anniversary with exhibition and walks

Meopham Scottish Country Dancing Club celebrate 50th Anniversary 

2013 Sarah Steven appointed Parish Clerk

Meopham School becomes an academy

HRH The Countess of Wessex visits Helen Allison School

Tesco Express opens in Meopham after extensive protests by residents

Camer Park was location for Gravesham's Have a Field Day

2014 Skate ramp erected at Culverstone recreation Ground

Meopham WI marked 50th Anniversary by planting a rowan tree on Hook Green

Meopham Valley Vineyard owners retire

Meopham Cricket Club members bare all to produce a calendar to raise funds for pavilion and

cancer charity

2015 Sheila Buchanan elected Chairman of Parish Council

Sarah Egglesden appointed Parish Clerk

Two teenagers killed in car crash on Harvel Road

University of Third Age launched in Meopham

Culverstone Primary School becomes an Academy

Meopham Players celebrated 70th anniversary with a meal at Bartellas

Hemsley Zoo opened

2016 Queen's 90th birthday celebrated with birthday tea for 90 year olds and family picnic on the village green

Table Tennis club received lottery funding to rebuild its premises