Ickham & Well Parish Plan

Ickham History

Ickham - The Friendly Village

Leonard C. Coombs

 First published by Leonard C. Coombs 1978.
Published by Friends of Ickham 1994 & 2005.

 Now available for


from Alan Jones (722884) or Jill Bird (721521)


Through the centuries, the Parish of Ickham has not only been the “treasury” for Canterbury Cathedral, it has also been a typical East Kent village. In this book, Len Coombs displays respect and understanding for the whole of the village and brings everyone in it together.

There is mention of the village from as early as the 8th century and Len traces how those in the parish changed, lived and entertained themselves through the centuries.

As he explains, no community can survive as an isolated unit and this book includes glimpses of the other villages and people who have touched the lives of those in Ickham. 

"Ickham - The Friendly Village"  is essential reading for everyone in or near the parish and for anyone who wants an understanding of how village life has evolved.



The Domesday Book records the survey of all England carried out in 1086 at the end of the reign of William the Conqueror.

For more information on the Domesday Book go to www.domesdaybook.co.uk


Place Name meanings


Although the local villages appear to have names of Saxon origin, there may well have been earlier settlements on or near the sites of the present villages. For example, we know that there were Roman watermills in the Ickham area.

Saxon names 350 AD to 1,000 AD

Bourne, burne

- stream

Eg, ey, ea, eig

- island


- village


- people


- marsh


- place


- summer pasture


- house, farm

Wic, wike

- farm, group of huts


Downhamford Hundred


The local villages of Ickham, Littlebourne and Wickhambreaux are all listed as manors, together with Garrington, as part of the ‘Downhamford’ Hundred in the Domesday Book (the survey of all England carried out in 1086 at the end of the reign of William the Conqueror).

Ickham (Gecham)
The Archbishop of Canterbury held Gecham and it was assessed at 4 sulungs. There was land for 12 ploughs, while the lord’s demesne had land for 3 ploughs; 29 villans and 60 cottars had 16½ ploughs. There was a church and 4 mills rendering 100 shillings; 35 acres of meadow and woodland for 30 pigs.

The whole manor was worth £22 in the time of King Edward; by 1086 it was worth £32.

Of the land of Ickham manor, William, the archbishop’s man, held as much as was worth £7.

Garrington (then Warwintone)
The Abbot of St Augustine’s held Warwintone and the Bishop of Bayeux gave it to him in exchange for his park. It was assessed at half a sulung and 42 acres of land. There was land for 1 plough, while the demesne had land for 1 plough with 3 cottars and 16 acres of meadow.

In the time of King Edward it was worth £4; after the conquest it was worth 40 shillings; by 1086 it was worth £4.

Eadric held the manor of Esbiorn Bigga and then Ralph held it of the abbot.


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