Cobham is a picturesque village, four miles from Gravesend, close to the M25 and M2 motorways. Significantly, it is within walking distance of Higham, where Charles Dickens lived. He often walked to the village and gave readings from his works, at The Leather Bottle.
In most cases, the houses in Cobham date from the 18th century, but the half-timbered inn, The Leather Bottle, was built in 1629. It takes its name from a leather bottle containing gold sovereigns, which was discovered there in 1720. The Leather Bottle was often visited by Charles Dickens, who stayed there in room number 6. He featured the Inn in his novel, The Pickwick Papers. Here, Mr. Tracy Tupman, drowned his sorrows with Mr. Pickwick after being jilted by Rachel Wardle.
St. Mary Magdalene Church was built during the 13th and 14th centuries by the de Cobham family. The church is a brass-rubbers’ paradise. On the floor of the chancel, is the finest collection of medieval brass memorials in England, which date from 1320 until 1529. Brasses, whilst not portraits, are a guide to clothes and armour of the time, as well as demonstrating the skill of the medieval engraver. Most of the brasses commemorate the members of the de Cobham and Brooke families, who were lords of the manor.
Adjacent to the Church, is The Stone House, a Grade II Listed flint building. In the 19th century, the upstairs was used as the village school. It is now two houses. At the end of the village is Cobham Hall, set in fifty acres of Cobham Park. It is one of the finest houses in Kent and is now a girls’ public school.
Cobham is often selected by producers of feature films and television programmes. Wild Child, in 2008, showed Cobham Hall, as did the 2015 BBC TV children’s series, Hetty Feather. It was appropriate that Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, starring Charles Dance and Gillian Anderson, was partly filmed at Cobham Hall in 2005.