Dickens 150

This year, Gravesham Borough will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of famous author Charles Dickens who has many connections with the borough and spent the later part of his life at Gad’s Hill Place in Higham. Gravesham is developing a programme of events, walks and exhibitions.


  • An interactive walk with characters through Cobham Village 

Charles Dickens created some of the greatest characters in literature, and they are so plentiful they cover almost all walks of life. Some have even become part of the English language. Dickens’ much-loved characters, often drawn from and based on real life people, although sharply defined, often grotesque or comical, greatly contribute to keep his work still alive today. They leap off the pages of his books which make them so easily adaptable to performances.

Dickens himself toured the world, performing scenes from his own work on stage but he was also a great walker and onne of his routes was through the picturesque village of Cobham.

And there we have the recipe for our production: A walk through Cobham village, during which the audience will encounter some of Dickens’s most memorable characters. Experience a chilling interaction with the jilted Miss Havisham, endure a lesson with sadistic schoolmaster Wackford Squeers and dodge being pickpocketed by the workhouse boys, to name a few.

The performance will start at Owletts and finish- like all good walks- in the village pub, The Leather Bottle.

Date: tbc
Time: performances will happen between 11am and 6pm (lunch break at 1pm)
Price: £10 per person
Booking: Booking is essential by calling Visit Gravesend Information Centre on 01474 33 76 00 or emailing info@visitgravesend.co.uk

National Trust Property Owletts, Cobham

  • Dickens’ Dreams – A brand new play by the Dickens’ Theatre company with performances held at Gad’s Hill Place.

A brand new play by the Dickens’ Theatre company with performances held at Gad’s Hill Place, where Dickens spent the latter part of his life and died. The play takes you through Charles Dickens’ final hours with his sister-in-law, Georgina.

Dates: tbc

Price: £25 per person, including small refreshments on arrival and a look through the rooms with Gads’ Hill Trust volunteers prior to the performance.

Booking:  Places are limited and booking is essential through the Visit Gravesend Information Centre by calling on 01474 33 76 00 or emailing info@visitgravesend.co.uk

  • Tours of Gad’s Hill Place

Visit the former home of Charles Dickens, Gad’s Hill Place – his ‘Little Kentish Freehold’.
When he was a boy Charles Dickens and his father took a walk through Kent. On Gravesend Road they passed a house called Gad’s Hill Place. Young Charles was impressed and bought the house in 1856. In this house he wrote his last four Novels, including Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. He lived there until his death in 1870.
Gad’s Hill is set in pleasant grounds. You can visit the ground floor of the house, stroll in the gardens and appreciate Dickens’ love for his country home in the Garden of England. Enjoy a tour with a Dickens Fellowship guide followed by a cream tea.

Saturday 11 July
Sunday 12 July
Saturday 8 August
Sunday 9 August
Saturday 12 September
Sunday 13 September
Saturday 10 October
Sunday 11 October

Tours are at 1pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm.

Price: £9.50, Children 7-13 years £5.00, under 6s free (including cream tea)

Booking: places are limited and booking is essential through the Visit Gravesend Information Centre by calling on 01474 33 76 00 or emailing info@visitgravesend.co.uk

A series of guided walks by Geoff Ettridge from the Ramblers

The walks are free, but  donations are welcome towards the essential repair and conservation of the famous Dickens Chalet in Rochester High Street.

  • Saturday 27 June 10:30am – ‘Sole Street Railway Station to Rochester’.
    Guided ramble – 9 miles / 4.5 hours. Meet in the car park of Sole Street railway station. The route will take in sites (including Gads Hill Place) & paths well known to Charles Dickens.
  • Wednesday 29 July 6:30pm – Evening Ramble & Meal from Leather Bottle Pub’ – 4.5 miles / 2 hours – the route will take us around the edge of Cobham Park ending with a pre-booked meal at the Leather Bottle, Cobham. Booking essential via geoff.rambler@me.com.
  • Sunday 30 August 10:30am – Haunts of Dickens” – guided circular walk – 4.5 miles / 2 hours from Leather Bottle pub, Cobham, taking in public grounds of Cobham Hall and the Mausoleum.
  • Dickens 150 at St Mary’s Church, Higham – Saturday 27 June, 7pm

You are very welcome to a special evening to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens. Dickens spent his last years living in Higham, where his daughter Kate was married in St Mary’s Church in July 1860 to the brother of the famous author Wilkie Collins.

There will be performances from students from Gad’s Hill School and local poet and performer James McKay.

There will be a licensed bar for drinks and light snacks.

Tickets: £5 each

To reserve please email: friends@stmaryschurchhigham or phone: 07480 518493

  • A Dickens’ Quotes Project

Submit your favourite Dickens’ quotation, via social media and other channels. The  150 quotations will then be displayed in different and unexpected locations, in various sizes and art forms around the borough. Tweet @visit_gravesend or share your quotes on Facebook VisitGravesend

Discover all the locations connected to Charles Dickens in Gravesham by clicking here.

  • An exhibition at the Old Curiosity Shop in Gravesend Market

The Old Curiosity Shop is coming to Gravesend Borough Market. Discover the world of Dickens and its links with Gravesham.

  • Louise Weir – Expectations of the Past

Coming Soon!

Follow us and look out for regular updates via twitter @visit_gravesend and Facebook/VisitGravesend

Please, also check the programme of events our colleagues at Medway have put together to commemorate the anniversary. For more information visit:  https://www.visitmedway.org/whats-on/dickens-150/