Early HistoryThe settlement is at least Saxon in origin as it is mentioned in the Domesday Book, the survey ordered by William the Conqueror and carried out in 1086. The survey lists the then owners of the properties and the pre-conquest Saxon owners (in the time of King Edward - i.e. King Edward the Confessor, reigned 1042-1066). The entry for Charlton (Cerlentone) reads: "Ralph de Sansone holds one manor in prebend, it is called Cerlentone, and answers for one sulung. He has three villagers and four smallholders with one plough. In total, value 70 shillings; in the time of King Edward, 100 shillings. Leofwin held it in prebend. In the same village William son of Odger holds one sulung. He has one villager and seven smallholders with half a plough. And one mill at 40 shillings. A Frenchman has one plough. William also holds one monastery in Dover from the Bishop; it pays him eleven shillings; the Canons claim it. Value of all this £6: in the time of King Edward, £12. Sired Held it." (Note: prebend - a stipend granted to a priest of a cathedral or collegiate church, usually consisting of the revenues of one of the manors in the estates belonging to that cathedral or church; sulung a word only used in entries for Kent and believed to mean the area of land which could be worked by one plough team in a year.) So in 1086 there were at least 15 people living in Charlton, probably a scattering of dwellings around the mill and the ford across the river Dour. As the Domesday Book only listed the working men it must be assumed that at least some of them had families. The church is first mentioned in a manuscript reference to its dedication dating from between 1147 and 1182. Presumably by this time the village had grown sufficiently to justify the building of a place of worship.Charlton Green The village developed around the church, the mill and the ford, centred on the area now called Charlton Green. Until the late 18th century, when Buckland Bridge was built, the main road from Dover to Canterbury ran through Charlton Green, along what are now Frith Road, Barton Road and Buckland Avenue. When Dover first became fashionable as a seaside resort in the first quarter of the 19th century, the Green was regarded as one of the prettiest spots in the area. The houses stood far back from the road, and the intervening gardens were carefully kept up, with rows of beehives to take advantage of all the flowers. By about the year 1840 Charlton had started to lose its rustic charm. In 1829 a bridge was built to replace the old ford and connected Charlton Green with Bridge Street.Nineteenth Century Expansion In 1801 Charlton was separated from Dover by open country, yet within 20 years they were connected by a continuous string of properties along the main road to London, stretching from the Maison Dieu to Buckland Bridge. In 1836 Charlton was incorporated into the Borough of Dover. The growth can be seen from the population figures in the Census. As the population grew the village started to expand out from its old centre. The Tower Hamlets area started to be developed from 1846, adding greatly to the housing stock of the parish. Frith Road was widened and houses built in the 1880s and at the same time the Dover Castle Estate, including Castle Avenue, Salisbury Road and Park Avenue was under construction.Charlton Fair For centuries Charlton Green was the site of the Charlton Fair, held annually on 6 July. For a long time the fair thrived, the population being small and the Green large, there was plenty of room for business and entertainment. As the population grew and the Green reduced in size the space for the fair became limited, and in the mid 19th century the fair as a parochial institution ceased, although it struggled on until the end of the 19th century when the surrounding meadows where it was held were built upon. The Red Lion The earliest reference to this public house in Charlton Green dates from 1843 when Mary Whiting was the licensee. It is likely that a inn of some description had existed here for many years in the heart of the old village. In May 1859 the Red Lion was auctioned and the property on offer was described as "the old established, freehold pub, recently rebuilt and together with tea gardens, outbuildings and a large stable". Barton Farm The farm used to stand on the southern side of Buckland Back Road and to the west of Charlton Church, between the road and the River Dour. About 1900 Buckland Back Road was renamed Barton Road, as part of the development of new housing in the area. At the same time Barton Farm was demolished and Beaconsfield Avenue, Charlton Avenue, Limes Road and Barton Grove were built on the site. In fact, Charlton Avenue passes over the site of the farmhouse.Charlton School The Parochial School was built in the churchyard in 1841. It took 80 children, all boys. This building was used until the new building in Granville Street was built in 1875. The girls' department appears to have started on 1 January 1877. It is likely that the girls were housed in the old building at first. On 2 June 1882 they moved to the new building for girls and infants. This building, which was enlarged in 1898, is still used by Charlton School today. During World War Two the Granville Street building was destroyed by shelling in September 1944. Chitty's Flour Mill There had been mill at Charlton since Saxon times. In 1865 Mr Chitty bought the mill after the previous owner had gone bankrupt. Chitty introduced modern machinery and supplemented the water wheel with steam power. The water power was also used to generate electricity to light the mill and offices. The tower contained a water reservoir to feed the boilers and the fire sprinkler system that was installed throughout the factory. The mill was badly damaged by shelling during World War Two and demolished after the war. The Footbridge over the Dour Close to old Charlton Church there used to be a footbridge across the River Dour This bridge was built in 1881 at a cost of £82.10s (£82.50). In 1902 a road bridge was built to connect Beaconsfield Road and Beaconsfield Avenue and the footbridge was removed. Charlton Today Charlton is a major residential area in the heart of Dover with modern retail development. In 2006-7 a new river-side residential development was built on the site of an old furniture factory. The 46 houses are built in a tradition brick and clapboard style and are a big improvement on the old light industrial use of the site.
Charlton Census Figures1801 - 2791861 - 4,0931811 - 6001871 - 5,3401821 - 7911881 - 6,6831831 - 1,7201891 - 7,8391841 - 2,5131901 - 8,9411851 - 3,1261911 - 9,213By 1911 the population growth that had started in the 19th Century was largely complete.