GODMERSHAM LIES the next parish south-westward from Chartham, and is written in antient records, Godmersham, and in Domesday, Gomersham.

IT LIES in the beautiful Stour valley, a situation healthy and pleasant to the extreme, the river Stour glides through it from Ashford, in its course towards Canterbury; Godmersham house and park are the principal objects in it, both elegant and beautiful, the Ashford high road encircles the east side of the park, along which there is a sunk sence, which affords an uninterrupted view of the whole of it, and adds greatly to the beauty of this elegant scene, and leads through the village of Godmersham close to it, the whole village which contains about twenty houses, belongs to Mrs. Knight, excepting one house, as does the greatest part of the parish, excepting the lands belonging to the dean and chapter of Canterbury. There are about twenty more houses in the parish, and about two hundred and forty inhabitants in all. The church, and vicarage, a neat dwelling, pleasantly situated, stand at a small distance from the village, on the left side of the road, with the antient manor-house near the former, close to the bank of the river; the meadows in the vale are exceeding fertile, the uplands are chalk, with some gravel among them, the hills rise high on each side, those on the west being the sheep walks belonging to Godmersham-house, the summits of which are finely cloathed with wood, at proper intervals; the opposite ones are the high range of uninclosed pasture downs of Wye and Braborne. Among these hills, in the eastern part of the parish, is the seat of Eggerton, situated in a wild and bleak country of barren lands and flints.

Text and engraving: The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7 (1798) by Edward Hasted.

Map: Kent from A New and Correct English Atlas (1797) by John Cary

Links to AustenOnly posts about Godmersham

I Shall Eat Ice and Be Above Vulgar Economy: Georgian Ice Cream at Godmersham

Jane Austen References

Godmersham was inherited by Jane Austen’s brother,Edward. He was “adopted”  by cousins of the Reverend George Austen, Thomas Knight II and his wife, Catherine. They were childless. They educated Edward and made him their heir and from them he eventually inherited both Godmersham in Kent and the Chawton estate in Hampshire.

The Letters

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 1st September 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 5th september 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 17th November 1798

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 25th November 1798

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 1st December 1798

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 8th January 1799

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 25th October 1800

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 8th November 1800

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 12th May 1801

Letter to Francis Austen dated 21st January 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 8th April 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 24th August 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 27th August 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 30th August 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 20th February 1807

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 15th June 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 20th June 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 26th June 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 30th June 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 1st October 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 7th october 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 24th October 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 27th december 1808


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