The name Higham originates from the Anglian word ‘hēh’ meaning ‘high’ with the Old English word ‘ham’ as a ‘village’; therefore meaning ‘high village’. The area is full of historical gems with links to famous author Charles Dickens. Dickens lived in Gad’s Hill Place from 1856 until his death in 1870. Many of his novels, including Great Expectations, one of his last novels, are set in the district.
Gravesend Rd, Higham was the scene of many highway robberies in the 16th to the 18th centuries it was one of the most dreaded stretches of road in the country. Legend says Swift Nick Nevison robbed a man on Gad’s Hill in the early hours in 1676, then crossed The Thames by ferry to Essex and rode hell for leather to reach the city of York in time to show himself on the bowling green at 8pm the same day and thus establish the alibi that secured his acquittal.