Charles Dickens and Kent.

 

The Victorian author Charles Dickens lived in Kent as a child from the ages of 5 to 10, and also at the end of his life when he brought a house there he dreamed of as a child. Here are the locations in the county of Kent we have found connected to Dickens.

 

Click on the ‘More information’ link on each location to view more detail or use the tabs in the top header bar.

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Broadstairs. Seaside resort first visited by Dickens in 1837 and a number of times after. The town houses a Charles Dickens House Museum and an annual Dickens festival.
Chalk.

Charles and Catherine honeymooned in this Kent village, now largely a suburb of the town of Gravesend.

Chatham.

Charles Dickens moved to this dockyard town at the age of 5 and began his formal education here.

Chatham: Dockyard.

When Charles was young his family lived in Chatham whilst his father worked as a Paymaster in The Dockyard.

Chatham: Ordnance Terrace.

The Dickens family lived at 11 Ordnance Terrace, Chatham between 1817 and 1821.

Chatham: St. Marys Place.

The Dickens family had to move from Ordnance Terrace and lived here from 1821-1822.

Chatham: William Giles School.

Charles Dickens had his first formal education at a School run by William Giles.

Cobham: The Leather Bottle.

Pub frequented by Charles Dickens and featured in The Pickwick Papers.

Cooling: Kent Marshes.

The bleak marshes of the North Kent Coast near Cooling provided Charles Dickens with inspiration for the opening chapters of Great Expectations.

Cooling: St. James' Church.

The churchyard of St James' Church inspired Charles Dickens to set the opening chapter of Great Expectations, where the hero Pip meets Magwitch.

Cooling: The Forge.

Dickens is aid to have used the old forge in the village as a model for Joe Gargery's cottage in Great Expectations. The forge, at the junction of Lower Higham Road and Forge Lane, has now been converted into a house.

Dover.

The southern Kent town of Dover has a strong association with Charles Dickens, who is known have had a number of stays there and featured the town in a number of his works.

Dover: Apollonian Hall.

Charles Dickens gave a reading on 5 November 1861 at the Apollonian Hall, Snargate Street, Dover.

Dover: Beach.

In the Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Mr Lorry goes for a stroll on the beach at Dover, which was a desert of heaps of sea and stones tumbling wildly about.

Dover: Market Square.

In the north-eastern corner of Market Square in Dover is the site of the bakers, Igglesden and Graves, whose shop is mentioned in the novel David Copperfield.

Folkestone.

Charles Dickens would walk to this port town alongside the English Channel when he stayed in nearby Dover.

Gads Hill.

Dickens lived at Gads Hill in the last decade of his life.

Rochester.

The city of Rochester features as a location a number of times in Dickens works.

Rochester: Bull Hotel.

Dickens stayed here many times and the inn was used in both The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations.

Rochester: Eastgate House.

Featured in the Dickens novels The Pickwick Papers and Edwin Drood.

Rochester: Minor Canon Row.

In the novel Edmund Drood, Reverend Septimus Crisparkle lives in this picturesque row.

Rochester: Restoration House.

Dickens partly used Restoration House as a model for Miss Havisham's Satis House in Great Expectations.

Rochester: Satis House.

Dickens used Satis House in Great Expectations as Miss Havisham's ruined estate.

Rochester: Six Poor Travellers House.

This Rochester house and charity are immortalised in the Dickens Christmas short story The Seven Poor Travellers.

Staplehurst: Staplehurst Rail Crash.

Charles Dickens and his mistress Ellen Ternan were involved in a train crash here in 1865.

 

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