Descending from Barham Downs at the lower end of the Elham Valley, the first glimpses of Kingston are of the 14th century church tower of St Giles, partially hidden by mature trees. A large part of the village (population approximately 470 and 200 houses) lies within a Conservation Area on the north-east facing slope of the valley overlooking the Nailboume stream. From the valley bottom, The Street leads up the ever-steepening valley side to reveal fine views south-westwards across Barham Downs. The Parish is long and narrow (about 5 miles long and only a few hundred yards wide in many places) and approx. 2 square miles in area. There are some 8 miles of footpaths, some of theses walks can be found under ‘Local Info’ on this website.
The village includes a mixture of building styles 15 of which are listed buildings which include the Black Robin Pub (named after a historical local highwayman), Rectory Cottage, St Giles Church and Railway Cottage. There are old farmhouses and cottages interspersed with 20th century dwellings. Reminders of Kingston’s predominantly agricultural past are frequent; partway up The Street is the Barn, now the Village Hall but once a cow-byre. By contrast, Covet Lane, which runs almost parallel to The Street and accessed by Church Lane, is the best lane in the district for landscape beauty, historic interest and variety of flora. The parish is well served by footpaths and bridleways for those wishing to explore, including sections of the North Downs Way and the Elham Valley Walk. The village sign depicts the Kingston Brooch, the valuable Anglo-Saxon artefact was discovered in a Saxon burial mound above Kingston in the 1770’s and is made of ornate gold inlaid with garnets, blue glass and white shell, and now kept at Liverpool museum.
The Elham Valley Railway Closed in 1947. This line ran between Canterbury and Folkestone through the parish. The arched railway bridge remains in Covet Lane as well as traces of the railway embankment. During the second world war, a 250 ton 18″ military gun, called the ‘Boche Buster’ was hidden in neighbouring Bourne Park tunnel and was to be used in the event of an invasion.
Meetings of the Parish Council are held on a regular basis, in the Barn, Kingston, Canterbury, Kent at 7.30pm on the first Monday of each month (with the exception of August) and are open to the public.