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Gillingham is a town in the unitary authority of Medway in South East England. It is part of the ceremonial county of Kent. The town includes the settlements of Brompton, Hempstead, Rainham, Rainham Mark and Twydall.
Gillingham means a homestead of Gylla's family, from Old English ham (village, homestead) and ingas (family, followers), and was first recorded in 10th century as Gyllingeham.
Also referred to in old texts as Jillyingham Water, hence the pronunciation being Gillingham (the G sounds as a "J" as in the girls' name Jill).
Gillingham is also a town in the Blackmore Vale area of Dorset, England (not shown on the map). The town is the most northerly in the county. It is 3 miles south of the A303 lying on the B3092 and B3081. It is near to the town of Shaftesbury which lies 7 miles to the south east. Neighbouring hamlets included Peacemarsh, Bay, Dorset and Wyke, Dorset. These hamlets have now however become part of Gillingham as it expanded.
Gillingham in Dorset is pronounced with the G as in 'goat'. Gillingham in Kent is pronounced with the G as a J as in the girl's name Jill.