Place:Chalk, Kent, England

Watchers
NameChalk
Alt namesCelcasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.433°N 0.417°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoShamwell Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Strood Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1934
Gravesend, Kent, Englandmunicipal borough into which it was absorbed in 1934
Gravesham District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality which has covered the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Chalk is chiefly a suburb but also a civil parish which adjoins the east of Gravesend, Kent, England. As is intuitive, its name comes from the Saxon word cealc meaning a "chalkstone".

One layer of the chalk carries flints, stones embedded in the chalk, and these were used in building and in providing the means of fire for muskets. The stone is often cut to provide a flat edge as a craft known as flint-knapping. The trade was worked in Chalk from the 17th century onwards. Gun-flints were produced here in large quantities until the early 19th century.

Chalk was a civil parish in Strood Rural District from 1894 until 1934 when it was absorbed into the Municipal Borough of Gravesend. Since 1974 has been part of the Gravesham District. It was originally an ancient parish in the Shamwell Hundred of Kent.

History

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Chalk's major claim to fame is its connection with Charles Dickens. Here he spent his honeymoon with his new bride, Catherine Hogarth; and it was here that he wrote the early installments of Pickwick Papers. He also used the old forge in the village as a model for Joe Gargery's cottage in Great Expectations. The building still stands as a historically listed building.

In 1935 Chalk parish became part of the Municipal Borough of Gravesend: until then it had been a somewhat remote village. In the main street was one of the tollgates for toll road opened between Northfleet and Strood; it remained until 1871. In 1921 the new Gravesend-Rochester road was built which left the former main village street to the north.

The parish church of St. Mary the Virgin lies at some distance to the east of the village centre. A church building existed in this location for the Synod of Chalkhythe in 785 and was noted in the Domesday Book of 1086; the current structure dates from the 12th century. The font is Norman and the oldest bell was first hung in 1348. The tower, a prominent landmark for navigation in the Thames, dates from the 15th century.

Also within the parish was the one-time Gravesend Airport, opened as the Gravesend School of Flying in 1932, from which Amy Johnson began her record flight, and which during World War II became a Royal Air Force fighter base.

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Chalk, Kent. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.