CHARTHAM The River Stour, which divides before it enters the village, was for centuries the source of power for the former mills, one of which was converted to paper-making in the 1700s and is still in production. Chartham is not as smart as Chilham. It has a mix of old houses – some of the nicest are by the little green and the 13th-century church –and modern estates built on the sites of old orchards and St Augustine’s hospital. A three-bedroom terraced cottage in Chartham would cost around £160,000; a four-bedroom detached house up to £285,000. It is served by its own primary school, a handful of small shops, a general store, and a farmers’ market every Thursday afternoon.
Petham, three miles to the south-east, also has a mix of old thatched cottages, Victorian and new houses in a lovely setting. It has a church, a primary school and a garden centre. The new village hall has been built of local materials to resemble Kentish farm buildings. A Grade Two listed, four-bedroom former bakery in the centre of the village costs £475,000; a four-bedroom converted oast house in the countryside nearby costs £365,000.