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The Civil Parish of Elmsted is centered on the village of the same name in East Kent, and occupies a position on top of the North Downs in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Although it is part of the Folkestone & Hythe District Council area, the nearest towns are Canterbury (10 miles to the north) and Ashford (9 miles to the south-west).  

It is a sparsely populated rural parish comprising Elmsted village, the hamlet of Bodsham (mentioned in the Domesday Book), and numerous smaller settlements including Hill Street, Evington, Maxted Street, North Leigh and Whatsole Street.  Its boundaries encompass approximately 10 square km of chalk downland made up of grazed pasture, arable fields and woodland.  Elmsted village has the 11th century church of St James the Great, while Bodsham is home to a 100-pupil Church of England Primary School and The Timber Batts pub & forge. Other commercial activity within the parish is mainly based on farming, equestrianism and tourism, with numerous B&B and holiday-let cottages available.  The medieval cathedral city of Canterbury is 20 minutes to the north, along the Roman road of Stone Street which has represented the Parish's eastern boundary since the 11th century. 20 minutes to the south west, Ashford provides international rail services to Paris, Brussels, and Lille, as well as the UK's only domestic High Speed train service (HS1) which runs to London St Pancras in under 40 minutes.

There are seven members of the Parish Council, who are elected every four years.  Council meetings take place four times a year (in March, May, September and December), further details of which can be found on this web-site.  Meetings usually take place at the Evington Hall, which is on the boundary between Elmsted and Hastingleigh, and public participation is welcomed.  However, during the current restrictions on movement and public gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, council meetings are being held via Skype.  The Clerk to the Council can provide the meeting log-in details via e-mail to any Parish resident who wishes to participate remotely.

The 11th century church of St James the Great in Elmsted village, with its unusual 13th Century wooden belfry atop a stone tower. The 11th century church of St James the Great in Elmsted village, with its unusual 13th Century wooden belfry atop a stone tower.
The view from Elmsted village towards Bodsham and Hastingleigh The view from Elmsted village towards Bodsham and Hastingleigh