History of Godmersham

Godmersham has a population of 320 within the two communities of Godmersham and Bilting. About 150 live in the adjacent parish of Crundale.   The parishes of Godmersham and Crundale work together for many activities and the Village Hall provides for them both.   Each parish has its own church (respectively St Lawrence the Martyr and St Mary the Blessed Virgin), but since 1946 it has been the practice for both parishes to share one priest.
 
The first known record of Godmersham was AD824 when Beornulph, King of Mercia, gave Godmersham to Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury.   The village also is recorded in the Domesday Book.   Bilting is thought to be even older.   The church is Norman.   Godmersham Park House was built in 1732, eventually to become the property of Edward Knight, brother of Jane Austen, the famous English novelist.   Her novel “Pride and Prejudice” depicts characters and scenes from the village.
 
The Village Hall is the centre of activity and next to it is the Recreation Field.   Until the mid-eighties the village had a cricket team, but now the field is let for grazing and used only infrequently for village events and boot fairs.