Having led such a colourful life it came as no surprise that on his death in 1639 Sir Dudley Digges bequeathed a sum of money in his Will to celebrate his birthday every year. Parishes around Chilham in Kent were invited to send a team of “a young man and a young maiden to take part in a foot race on Sir Dudley’s birthday on 19th May. Competitors were required to be “of good conversation.”
Sir Dudley’s Will laid down that “the young man and also the young maid that shall prevail shall each of them have £10”- a small fortune at the time. The race became an annual event but sadly fell from favour because of Victorian disapproval of “girls and boys” competing in “very scanty attire.”
On Saturday 21st May 2016 teams of two will be invited to race over a 2.5 mile course in the grounds of Chilham Castle including climbing over some of the fixed equestrian jumps and other ‘silliness’ on route.The competitors will be running in some form of period costume of their own design.
There will be food and drink including a hog roast on offer in the Castle grounds for spectators and team supporters.
Follow the link for more information on the The Chilham Chase 400 Weekend of Celebration