Bridge & District History Society



All meetings start at 7.30 pm in Bridge Village Hall. There is an entrance charge of £4 per person for each talk.

September 16th 2021
A short AGM followed by:
Frontline Folkestone - Hilary Tolputt

The name given to Folkestone in WW1. The talk will illustrate the reasons why Folkestone got this name, including the welcoming of Belgian refugees, the importance of the harbour, the requisitioning of houses for Rest Camps, the Canadians at Shorncliffe and the Gotha Raid of 1917.

October 21st 2021
The Pubs of Bridge - Alan Walton

Alan, former landlord of the White Horse Inn, will take us on a Pub Crawl through the histories of the 3 pubs in Bridge. We will learn of the characters that have frequented them and the events that have been celebrated within their bars!

November 18th 2021
Rupert Bear and Friends - Martin Crowther

Discover the story of Rupert Bear and his creator Mary Tourtel: The talk will also explore the work of Smallfilms animators Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin including Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and the Clangers.

December 16th 2021
Christmas Social at the Red Lion

Details will be sent to Subscriberss in November.

January 20th 2022
The Working Lives of Women in Canterbury and Kent 1500 to 1700 - Jackie Eales

Educational opportunities for Tudor and Stuart women were very limited. They could not pursue a professional career and their labour was seen as unskilled. Nevertheless the fascinating evidence shows the range of jobs open to women and the perils they encounterted in entering the early modern labour market.

February 17th 2022
Master Masons: The Men who built the Cathedrals - Imogen Corrigan

How, why and for whom did ordinary human beings build these delicate, decorated, dazzingly high buildings? We meet the men who designed them, ran the sites, sourced the materials and workers, whilst creating heaven on earth all those centuries ago.

March 17th 2022
Paintings and Prints of Kent - Ian Guy

The talk will be based on the book by Samuel Ireland A Picturesque Tour of the River Medway published in 1793. The accompanying letterpress gives much interesting information about Kent, shortly after the French Revolution.

April 21st 2022
The In-Laws - James Dickinson

The story of Joan the Fair Maid of Kent, who became the first Princess of Wales and John of Gaunt, who was called the most hated man in England. Joan of Kent was born in 1328. This talk will cover her life story and that of John of Gaunt, her brother-in-law.

May 19th 2022
Kent Spring and Summer Seasonal Customs - Geoff Doel

Explore Kent's Spring and Summer seasonal folk customs, including May Garlands, Jacks in the Green, Morris dancing and many more. The talk will be illustrated with images and folk songs.

June 16th 2022
Evening walking tour of the historic town of Sandwich

(The walk planned in Folkestone is unfortunately now not possible).

The walk, guided by members of the local History Society will begin at 6pm, meeting at the Sandwich Guildhall, CT13 9AH.
There is plenty of car parking nearby.

The walk will take approximately 11/2 hours £2.00 per head, payable on the evening.

If you are without transport, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

If you would like to attend please email your name(s) to [email protected] as soon as possible.

Bridge & District History Archive and Oral Histories now on-line

During the lockdown, members have been busy scanning documents from the History Archive so that they will be available to view online. Good progress has been made and you can see the results these in the Archive section.

Also fascinating are the Oral History interviews which have been compiled in the last few years.

Bridge & District History Society was formed to promote interest in aspects of local history in and around the villages of Barham, Bekesbourne, Bishopsbourne, Bridge, Kingston, Littlebourne and Patrixbourne in Kent.

Each year we arrange a programme with a mixture of talks on topics of historical interest and visits to historical places, some of which are only possible to visit in pre-arranged groups.

Talks in the past have included Jane Austen in Kent, Nelson in Kent, Old Ramsgate, John Tom of Bossington Wood, The Star Hill dig at Bridge, The City Gates of Canterbury. Richborough Castle, The Domesday Book, The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, The Green Man, Stained glass windows in Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury’s medieval hospitals, Bekesbourne Aerodrome, Soldiers of the First World War, Victorian Herne Bay, Bourne Park House, Higham House and Medieval Manuscripts.

This is a small selection of the many talks we have enjoyed over the years. As well as talks our visits have included Bourne Park House, Denton Court, Provender, Cobham Hall, Dode Church, Ypres, Lambeth Palace, Tenterden Railway again a very small selection of the many visits. We also arrange film evenings where we have shown films of Bridge in the 1930s, films of Canterbury in the 1940s, and a selection of old films of Kent.

Our current programme, which runs from September to July, is on the programme page.

A Membership application form is on the membership page.

Our evening meetings are informal and sociable and transport can be arranged if required. For those without cars we offer seats in member’s cars for the visits.

Information on the Society can be obtained by from the Secretary - email: [email protected]


St Peter's Bridge

High Street, Bridge

Bourne Park


PLEASE DO NOT contact the Society for genealogical information:

Bridge History Society does not hold any records regarding the family histories of Bridge residents nor any record of burials in the churchyard.

ALL historical parish council records have been transferred to the Kent County Archive in Maidstone and all church records to the Cathedral archives.

NB: From 1830, there was a workhouse in Union Road (now The Close). The local registrar lived at 10 Union Road and, in order to spare the embarrassment of relatives, workhouse residents were often recorded as living at that address.