Folkestone Chronology


  • B.C.
  • There are indications of the presence of Neolithic man, Bronze Age man and Iron Age man, especially at the foot of the hills to the north of the town. There is evidence also of Belgic occupation, particularly in the British villa found on East Cliff.
  • A.D.
  • 80-350 Roman settlement. Several villas on East Cliff.
  • 100 First century cemetery at Cheriton.
  • 600 Saxon burial ground on Dover Hill.
  • 630 King Eadbald built a church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul for his daughter Eanswythe, where she became the founder Abbess of the first nunnery in England. Eadbald also built a castle or fort on the Bayle.
  • 640 Nunnery and church attacked by the Danes. Death of St. Eanswythe.
  • 927 Church and nunnery restored by King Athelstan.
  • 1052 Godwyn, Earl of Kent pillaged the town and destroyed the church.
  • 1086 Domesday Book. Folkestone valued at £100.
  • 1095 New Priory founded on the site of the old Nunnery by Nigel de Muneville.
  • 1138 The cliff on which the Priory was built considered unsafe. New Priory and church built, outside the castle, by Wm. D*’Averanches and dedicated to St. Mary and St.Eanswythe. This was the foundation of the present church. Destroyed in 1216. Rebuilt about 1220, the date of the present chancel.
  • 1138 Relics of St. Eanswythe carried in solemn procession from the old Priory to the new church.
  • 1205 Jeffrey Fitz-Peter procures a market to be held weekly on Thursday. Since this date Folkestone has been a market town and it had two fairs a year. A cattle fair in Cow Street (‘Sandgate Road), and a Toy Fair on the Bayle.
  • 1215 Wm. d’Albrinces obtains confirmation of 1205 market.
  • 1216 King John and his court at Folkestone.
  • 1236 Extension of Parish Church.
  • 1263 Lords of the Manor had a capital messuage, with a garden, courtyard, dovecote, three mills, 400 acres of well-stocked park, 50 acres of wood and three fish ponds. They also owned a profitable quarry here.
  • 1299 Folkestone (Simon Adam, Master) provides one ‘coga’ or cock-boat and 24 companions, for Royal Service.
  • 1313 Charter of Incorporation constituting the ‘Mayor, Jurats, and Gommonalty’. Confirmed and enlarged in 1326.
  • 1349 Sir John de Segrave secures renewal of 1215 market with the addition of another weekly market on Tuesdays.
  • 1378 Combined forces of French and Scots despoiled the town.
  • 1390 Sir John de Clinton obtains a grant for a market to be held on Wednesdays and a yearly fair on the Vigil and Day of St. Giles.
  • 1467 Masters of The Boat of Folkestone seized a Spanish vessel with wine and contents worth £533.
  • 1472 Vineyards noted in the town.
  • 1522 French attack local fishermen.
  • 1535 Priory surrendered. When pulled down, the stone was used for Sandgate Castle.
  • 1539 Sandgate Castle built by Henry VIII.
  • 1542 Earl of Hertford’s Minstrels performed at Master Baker’s.
  • 1543 Henry VIII visits the town to consider the harbour.
  • 1545 Enlargement of Corporation; 24 common Councillors added.
  • 1555 Mayor’s salary £2/13/4. Town Clerk’s £4. Town Drummer’s 33/4.
  • 1564 The Queen’s ‘bereward’ visits the town.
  • 1565 Folkestone contains 120 inhabited houses; twenty-five fishing boats.
  • The Queen’s Players visit the town.
  • Mr. Rolf comes ‘to see the place of an harbour here’.
  • 1573 Queen Elizabeth visited Folkestone.
  • 1578 Wm. Harvey born in Folkestone.
  • 1580 One-hundred men at work in Folkestone quarries for Dover Haven.
  • 1584 Sir Richard Greynvile proposes construction of a haven (not carried out).
  • 1588 Spanish Armada. Preparations to resist invasion.
  • 1600 Queen’s Players in Folkestone.
  • 1605 Joan Harvey buried in Parish Church. Poorhouse noted on corner of Grace Hill.
  • 1624 Plague in town.
  • 627 Folkestone received two pieces of ordnance for defence against the French.
  • 1628 Dr. Harvey published De Motu Cordis.
  • 1636 Dr. Wm. Harvey secured from the Crown lease of part of Prior’s Leas for town use.
  • 1639 A cess granted to raise £10 to fit out a ship of war.
  • 1651 Publication of Harvey’s De Generatione Animalium.
  • 1657 Death of Dr. Harvey.
  • 1665 Outbreak of plague.
  • 1674 Harvey Grammar School founded by Sir Eliab Harvey, from bequest left by Dr. Wm. Harvey; school sited in Rendezvous Street; transferred to new buildings in Foord Road in 1882; removed again to Cheriton Road in 1913.
  • 1697 Manor of Folkestone alienated to Jacob Desbouverie.
  • 1698 Baptists established in Folkestone by Thomas Carr. In 1729 they built a meeting house in Mill Bay, where they continued until 1845 when they erected Salem Chapel in Rendezvous Street. Rebuilt 1874.
  • 1699 Inhabitants called upon to restore harbour.
  • 1705 Collapse of part of nave of Parish Church in a storm.
  • 1720 Small-pox epidemic—145 victims.
  • 1752 Act for widening road from Dover to Barham Downs. Enlarged through Folkestone and Hythe.
  • 1765 Small-pox epidemic—158 victims.
  • 1766 Act for support and preservation of Parish Church and lower part of town from ravages of the sea.
  • 1773 Mr. Wilson, ship-builder, established boat-building in Sandgate.
  • 1774 Bayle Theatre opened.
  • 1784 Extensive landslide of West Cliff. Debris used later to form Lower Sandgate Road walks and gardens.
  • 1787 ‘Two elegant bathing machines for the recreation of gentlemen and ladies.’
  • 1790 Society of Friends’ new Meeting House built in Dover Street.
  • 1794 Land for Shorncliffe Camp acquired for War Office.
  • 1795 Advertisement in Kentish Gazette, 24th June, ‘sea bathing at Folkestone . . . bathing machines will be regularly attended every day during the season’.
  • 1796 Act for paving, repairing and cleansing the town.
  • 1802 Wreck of Dutch East Indiaman, the ‘Vryheid’, at Dymchurch.
  • 1805-6 Martello Towers erected for defence of the coast.
  • 1807 Act of Parliament for constructing a Pier and Harbour. Folkestone Harbour Company formed.
  • 1808 Foundation stone of Harbour Pier laid.
  • 1811 Silver tokens issued by John Boxer.
  • 1814 Folkestone Union Charity School—British and F oreign Schools’ Society—founded in the ‘Appollo Room’. In 1835 the school moved to the former Folkestone Workhouse, then on the site of Dover Road School. The present Dover Road School on the same site was opened in 1887. Re-named ‘Hillside’ in 1951. New Hillside Secondary School for Boys opened at Park Farm in 1958.
  • 1824 Wesleyans meet at Elgar’s Yard.
  • 1825 Act of Parliament enabling Lord Radnor to grant leases for building on Folkestone estate.
  • 1828 Lord Radnor constructs Lower Sandgate Road.
  • 1829 Police Force appointed. First two constables Matthew Pearson and William Downing.
  • 1830 Cistern House adopted as Town Hall. Built by Lord Radnor and hired to Corporation. Demolished 1858.
  • 1835 British School opened in the former workhouse in Dover Road. The Board School opened on same site in 1887. Municipal Reform Act. Town has a new constitution.
  • 1840 Original Guildhall, at corner of Church Street and Rendezvous Street demolished. It had occupied the site since the mid-sixteenth century at least.
  • 1842 First Gas Works established on the beach, west of the future Pavilion Hotel. First supply to inhabitants 29th December. Private consumers 60; street lamps 30.
  • 1843 South Eastern Railway Co. bought up Harbour for £18,000. Railway line from London opened: the first temporary station being somewhere in the fields between Guildhall Street and Cheriton Road, just west of the viaduct. The viaduct was completed in December, and the first permanent station (the Junction), opened 18th December, 1843. Meanwhile, the Harbour had been cleared of shingle and mud, and the first cross-channel Packet operated from 1st August. First boat was the ‘William Wallace’. Harbour House with Clock Tower built, and Pavilion Hotel started. (Hotel enlarged in 1845 and 1850.)
  • 1846 ‘The Dispensary’ founded in Rendezvous Street. Transferred to Dover Road (Pickford’s Site) in 1863 with 3 beds.In 1864 named the ‘Folkestone Dispensary and Infirmary’, (Royal Victoria Hospital opened in 1890.) Lower Sandgate Road re-constructed.
  • 1848 Building of Guildhall Street begun. (Originally Shellons Lane.) Plans for building ‘Tontine Street. Act for supplying the Parish and Township with water, Whale taken off Folkestone.
  • 1849 Branch line to Harbour, swing bridge and ‘Terminal Station built.
  • 1850 Christ Church built.
  • 1851 Rev. Matthew Woodward became Vicar of Folkestone.
  • 1852 Opening of the ‘New National School’ in Cheriton Road (Gun School). Christ Church School. New Christ Church Primary School opened in Brockman Road in 1955. Wesleyan Chapel built in Sandgate Road.
  • 1854 St. Mary’s National School built; opened 1855. 1855 An Act to extend the limits of the Borough of Folkestone, to enable the Corporation to construct a Market House, make new streets and improvements, and to pave, light, drain and otherwise improve the said Borough. Queen Victoria visited Shorncliffe Camp. Charles Dickens stayed for 3 months at 3 Albion Villas.
  • 1856 Congregational Church built in Tontine Street.
  • 1857 Cheriton Road Cemetery opened.
  • 1858 First Post Office Pillar Box erected
  • 1859 Restoration of Parish Church begun.
  • 1860 Marine ‘Terrace commenced building.
  • 1861 Present Town Hall opened. ‘Promenade’ Pier begun.
  • 1862 Bouverie Square commenced. St. Peter’s Church built. (Later enlarged, 1870.)
  • 1863 Holmesdale Terrace commenced. New houses built on the Leas (Royal Terrace).
  • 1864 Extensive landslips in the Warren. Grant of sites of St. Michael’s and Holy Trinity Churches.
  • 1865 Clifton Gardens, East, built. St. Michael’s Church opened; first building of wood. Wesleyan Chapel, Grace Hill erected.
  • 1866 Old Gas Works on beach demolished. Works removed to Foord Road.
  • 1867 Promenade Bands organised.- 1868 Natural History Society founded. Holy Trinity Church opened.
  • 1869 Bathing Establishment (Marina) opened. Restoration of chancel of Parish Church.
  • 1870 Natural History Society opened Museum in the old Sessions House in High Street (formerly Wesleyan Methodist Church).
  • 1871 Wesleyan School opened under Chapel (closed 1926)
  • 1872 St. Peter’s School opened.
  • 1874 Opening of Hythe and Sandgate Railway. Radnor Club opened.
  • 1877 Clifton Gardens, West built. Sandgate Toll Gate abolished.
  • 1878 Bradstone Hall built. Wreck of “Grosser Kurfurst’ off Sandgate.
  • 1879 Public Library opened on the Bayle. 1880 First shaft of proposed Channel Tunnel driven.
  • 1881 Shorncliffe Station opened. Harvey Statue unveiled.
  • 1884 Central Station built. First named ‘Cheriton Arch’; renamed ‘Radnor Park’ in 1886, and finally he banied ‘Central Station’ in 1895. St. Andrew’s Convalescent Home opened.
  • 1885 Leas Lift opened, 16th September. Mundella School opened—originally the North Board School and later the North Council School. Queen’s Hotel built.
  • 1886 Art Treasures Exhibition opened. Radnor Park opened.
  • 1888 Victoria Pier opened July. Switchback Railway built. Pleasure Gardens Theatre opened, with Pleasure Gardens. New Library and Museum on Grace Hill ore by Sir E. Watkin.
  • 1889 Elham Valley Line to Canterbury opened. St. John the Baptist’s Church opened at Foord.
  • 1891 Hythe and Sandgate Horse Trams began. Operated until 1921. Wreck of ‘Benvenue’ off Sandgate,
  • 1893 Folkestone Amusements Association formed. Lower Sandgate Road Gardens laid out. Marine Gardens Bandstand built. Sandgate Hill lift opened. Closed 1918.
  • 1894 Leas Shelter opened.
  • 1895 Lower Leas Bandstand erected.
  • 1896 Technical School opened.
  • 1897 Sydney Street School opened. Radnor Park Congregational Church opened.
  • 1898 Electricity Works started. Folkestone Race Course opened.
  • 1901 First Motor Omnibus Service started between Folkestoneand Hythe.
  • 1902 Leas Pavilion opened as a ‘superior’ ‘Tea Room with music. West Leas Bandstand rebuilt; transferred from MetropoleHotel Gardens. Hill Road constructed below Downs by Lord Radnor.
  • 1904 West Leas Lift (Metropole) opened 31st March. Closed 1939. Grand Hotel built. Opened 1905.
  • 1905 Cricket Ground opened (Cheriton Road). Folkestone County School for Girls founded. Eight pupils met in Masonic Hall, Grace Hill. Moved to Pelham House, 1906, then to Penfold House, Coolinge Lane, 1921.
  • 1909 Morehall School opened.
  • 1910 Electric Theatre (Savoy) opened. Building was first planned as a theatre, and partly built in 1902. Later it was a garage, then a skating rink, next a cinema, finally a Bingo Hall. First part of Marine Promenade built.
  • 1912 Queen’s Cinema, Tontine Street opened. Playhouse Cinema opened. Central Cinema opened.
  • 1913 Leas and West Cliff Walks leased to Folkestone Corporation.
  • 1914 First World War. Voluntary organisations entertain troops.
  • 1915 Belgian refugees crowd into the town. Harbour became chief port for despatch of troops and goods to France.
  • 1917 Air Raid on town on 25th May, caused heavy casualties. 71 killed and 96 injured.
  • 1922 Zigzag Path constructed on Leas.
  • 1924 Roman Villas excavated on East Cliff.
  • 1925 Hawkinge Cemetery opened.
  • 1926 Marine Gardens Pavilion completed.
  • 1927 Leas Cliff Hall opened by Prince Henry.
  • 1928 Kingsnorth Gardens opened on site of clay pit.
  • 1929 Arthur Brough’s first season at Leas Pavilion. After being used as a Tea Room, with Billiards and ‘Drawing-Room Entertainments’, a stage was built, and Concert Party Seasons were started. The first Repertory Company under the direction of Grant Anderson came in 1928, followed by the Brough Players in October, 1920.
  • 1931 Bobby’s Store transferred from Rendezvous Street to new premises on site of old Albion Terrace.
  • 1934 Cheriton and Sandgate incorporated in Borough of Folkestone. East Cliff Pavilion opened.
  • 1935 Astoria Cinema built on site of Maestrani’s Restaurant. Later renamed ‘Odeon’ Cinema. Following a landslip, houses in Fishmarket demolished and rebuilt.
  • 1936 Open-air Swimming Pool on beach opened.
  • 1937 New Labour Exchange opened in Ingles Lane (formerly in Tontine Street). Transferred to old GPO in Sandgate Road in 1957.
  • 1938 Cheriton Branch Library and Clinic opened.
  • 1939 Harcourt School opened. World War II evacuees from London arrived 1940; Folkestone schoolchildren evacuated to Wales. Resident population reduced to 12,000.
  • 1940 Isolation Hospital destroyed by bomb (b. 1897).
  • 1942 Civic Restaurant opened at Woodward Hall. Closed May, 1946.
  • 1945 Victoria Pier destroyed by fire on Whit Monday.
  • 1953 New sea wall completed at Sandgate.
  • 1955 New Bus Station opened in Bouverie Square.
  • 1956 Hawkinge Crematorium opened.
  • 1958 Marina (Folkestone Bathing Establishment) closed. Visit of Queen and Prince Philip.
  • 1959 Metropole Hotel closed; New Metropole Arts Centre and Restaurant opened 1961.
  • 1960 Sunny Sands Restaurant opened. East Cliff Sands developed. Wood Avenue Branch Library opened. Pleasure Gardens Theatre closed.
  • 1961 Hawkinge Aerodrome closed.
  • 1962 Central Station rebuilt and line electrified. Majestic Hotel (West Cliff) closed. Queen’s Hotel closed.
  • 1967 New Civic Centre opened.
  • 1970 Trinity Pilot Station erected.
  • 1972 Car Ferry Terminal opened at Harbour.
The Origins of Folkestone Harbour


  • T‌he modern story of Folkestone Harbour goes back some 200 years, with its origins in the fishing industry. Much of its development took place in the 19th and 20th centuries to enable its use as a ferry port.

  • Before this, since at least Roman times, trading ships had been landing on the shore at East Wear Bay in Folkestone, and from about ad 1100 fishermen are known to have pulled up their boats close to the mouth of the Pent Stream, which still flows into what is now the inner harbour. However, the constant movement of the shingle beach by winds and tides made it a dangerous place to land, and boats were often damaged by storms.

  • In 1804 Lord Radnor petitioned Parliament for permission to build a stone harbour, and an Act of Parliament was granted in 1807, partly to provide potential anchorages for warships during the Napoleonic Wars.

  • Plans drawn up at this time were considered too expensive to implement in full, but civil engineer William Jessop and a team that included Thomas Telford designed and built a western pier that was completed in 1810, followed by another, running north-east at right angles, completed in 1820. Together these drystone walls, which can still be seen today, provided some shelter from the prevailing winds.

  • The original Folkestone Harbour Company had insufficient funds to deliver the full scheme and was declared bankrupt in 1842. The harbour was by then somewhat derelict, but the South Eastern Railway Company purchased it with the intention of developing Folkestone as a ­rival to Dover for steam packets to France. Their new railway line reached Folkestone in 1843 and the harbour branch line was constructed soon after­wards.

  • The arrival of the railway meant that over the next 50 years the new resort of Folkestone grew rapidly and by Edwardian times it had ­established itself as one of England’s most fashionable coastal towns. ** THE HARBOUR IN THE 19TH CENTURY**

  • T‌he first ferry boat service between Folkestone and Boulogne began in 1843, with local transport being offered between the mainline station and the harbour. Channel steamers operated to a number of continental destin­ations, including Boulogne and Calais, although by the mid-1890s the route from Dover to Calais was more popular.

  • The branch line from the mainline down to the harbour was one of the steepest railway lines in the country, descending 111 feet in less than a mile. By 1847 a viaduct and swing bridge were constructed to provide access to a level area of land that had been recovered from the sea, and these also divided the inner and ­outer harbour areas. A large warehouse was built, together with the first section of the harbour station and the foundations of a new south-east-facing pier.

  • This new pier — the Harbour Arm — was built in stages over several decades, and was completed in 1904. It was mainly constructed from poured concrete, then faced with granite.

  • On 1 January 1849 an integrated rail / sea /rail service commenced between London – Paris via Folkestone – Boulogne, and later that month the first telegraphed conversation took place, between Charles Walker, on board a boat in the Channel, and the Chairman of the South Eastern Railway at their headquarters in London.

  • On 15 May 1855 the Great Gold Robbery took place on the London – Folkestone boat train. It was discovered only when the bullion ­boxes were weighed in Paris and found to ­contain lead shot.


  • I‌n 1918 the mayor of folkestone reported that over 8.6 million passengers had passed through the port between 1914 – 18, this figure including troops en route to France or returning on leave and Red Cross workers. According to John Charles Carlyle in his book, Folkestone During The War 1914 – 1919, the number of British and Allied troops had risen to over 9.7 million by 1919, as well as nearly 850,000 Red Cross and other workers.
  • Folkestone played a key role throughout the war. For example, approximately 120,000 refugees landed from Europe. Folkestone Harbour was the preferred route through which post was sent to and from the Western Front. About 10,500 ship and 7,000 train movements took place for the military, in addition to which the South Eastern Railway handled movements by about 8,000 commercial ships and 8,500 trains.
  • In December 1915 the spy Margaretha Geertruida Zelle ( ‘Mata Hari’ ) was stopped from boarding a ship from Folkestone Harbour to France by Captain S. Dillon of the Secret Intelligence Service.
  • In April 1918 the ss Onward, which was berthed in the harbour, caught fire ( as a result of an incendiary bomb hidden among the lifeboats ) and was then scuttled to prevent the fire spreading to the station area. Five railway locomotives were used to pull the vessel upright prior to refloating.
  • In summer 1915 a free buffet ( the ‘Mole Café’ ) was set up on Folkestone Harbour Arm, which provided tea and refreshments to ­soldiers and sailors, together with members of the Red Cross. This canteen was staffed by local volunteers, and among the most devoted were the Misses Margaret Ann and Florence Augusta Jeffery. The Jeffery sisters were awarded the Order of the British Empire, the Queen Elisabeth Medal ( Belgium ) and the Medal of Gratitude ( France ). Visitors books were signed by over 43,500 people between 1915 and 1919, and were subsequently bound into eight volumes with a total of 3,518 pages. Two of these volumes can be viewed in Folkestone Library, with the remainder kept in archive in Maidstone. All of the content of the Harbour Canteen Visitors Books can be accessed in digital form on the website of the charity Step Short:


  • I‌n may 1930 the former wood and metal swing bridge was demolished and the present replacement was rolled into place, in order to ­allow heavier trains to use the station.
  • In 1931 Mohandas Gandhi was invited to attend a Round Table Conference in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. He arrived in Folkestone on the ss Biarritz on 12 September. His visit to Britain, during the fight for India’s independence, marked the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, in which the British Government agreed to free all political prisoners in return for the suspension of the civil dis­obedience campaign.
  • During the Dunkerque evacuation, in May–June 1940, every boat in Folkestone took part, bringing troops back to trains that were waiting at the harbour station. Over a nine-day ­period an estimated 35,000 troops and 9,000 refugees were landed, and 64 trains left the ­station.
  • During the course of wwii over 2,000 long-range shells fell on Folkestone. The Admiralty used part of the harbour for loading landing ships and as a result, part of the structure was demolished and the materials used to form a landing stage. It was repaired with concrete after the war ended.
  • Cross-channel passenger traffic resumed in 1946, with services to Boulogne and Calais, but traffic gradually declined over the next 50 years. The introduction of larger vessels on the cross-channel routes over the years exposed the limitations imposed by the restricted water depth at Folkestone, and there was little investment by the owners. With developments elsewhere in roll-on roll-off ferries, Folkestone Harbour did not acquire its own link-span bridge until 1972: the remains of the concrete ‘Dolphins’ that carried the ramp are still visible, the ramp and mechanism having long been dismantled.
  • Folkestone Harbour was sold in the 1980s, together with the ferry company Sealink, as part of the Government’s privatisation programme. Sea Containers purchased the port together with the ferry operation. The ferries were subsequently sold to Stena Line, which then concentrated its operations at Dover. Although catamarans ( SeaCats ) were introduced on the Folkestone–Boulogne route, these were ­finally withdrawn in 2000, following the abolition of duty free shopping and a consequent drop in passenger numbers, and heavy compe­tition from other ferry routes and the Channel Tunnel.


  • Since 2014 Folkestone Harbour Arm has been re-imagined and repurposed as a place where people come to promenade, enjoying magnificent views, a wide choice of good food and drink, live music, arts events and other entertainment.
  • Prior to the closure of ferry services in 2000, the harbour, its buildings and structures had been poorly maintained, and much of the infrastructure had deteriorated to the point where it was unsafe. Similarly, the railway station and branch line fell into disuse and were officially closed by the Department for Transport in 2014.
  • Under new ownership, plans were considered to bring new purpose and vision for the harbour and seafront, which had been neglected for years and had become derelict. Following extensive public consultation and years of planning, permission was secured in early 2015 by Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company (FH&SDC) for mixed-use residential and commercial development.
  • Over a dozen small retail and food and drink outlets have been introduced as part of the imaginative renovation of the Harbour Arm, carried out under the stewardship of FHSDC. The objective has been to respect and reflect the port’s heritage by commissioning painstaking restoration of stone, iron and woodwork, much of it dating back over a century. The work has been carried out using an approach that puts right the damage caused by many dec­ades of neglect and persistent battering from storms whilst using materials that respect and interpret the history of Folkestone Harbour.
  • Further new outlets are planned as the wider development of the seafront gets under way. Work began in early 2020 to construct the first new homes at the western end of the site, close to the Leas Coastal Park, and where more new public spaces are planned to adjoin the Boardwalk.
Folkestone Listed Buildings
Listed Buildings in Folkestone

1 and 2, Albion Villas

1 and 3, Clifton Crescent

1-14, Marine Crescent

10, Clifton Crescent

10-15, Marine Parade Photos

106, Dover Road

11 and 12b, Clifton Crescent

12 and 14, Clifton Crescent

12, Cheriton Place

12, the Bayle Photos

12-16, Church Street

14 and 16, the Bayle

149, Sandgate Road

15 and 17, Clifton Crescent

151, Sandgate Road

16 and 18, Clifton Crescent

18 and 19, the Leas

II* 18 and 20, Church Street

18, the Bayle

19 and 21, Clifton Crescent

2, Clifton Crescent

20 and 22, Clifton Crescent

20 and 22, the Old High Street

22 and 24, Church Street

23 and 25, Clifton Crescent

23 and 25, the Old High Street

24, the Old High Street

26 and 28, Church Street

26 and 28, the Bayle

26-30, the Old High Street

27 and 29, Clifton Crescent

3 and 4, Albion Villas

3 Bollards to South of Parish Church

30 and 32, the Bayle

31, Clifton Crescent

34-40, the Bayle

4 and 6, the Bayle

4, Clifton Crescent

4, the Old High Street

4-7, Marine Parade

5 and 6, Albion Villas

5 and 7, Clifton Crescent

5-13, the Bayle

53, the Old High Street

55, the Old High Street

57, the Old High Street

59, the Old High Street

6 and 8, Clifton Crescent

6 Bollards to North East of Parish Church

7 Bollards to North of Parish Church

8 and 9, Marine Parade

82, the Bayle

84 and 86, the Bayle

88, Sandgate Road

9, Clifton Crescent


Baptist Church

Barn to North of Broadmead Manor

Barn to South of Ingles Manor


Broadmead Manor

Burlington Hotel

Church of All Souls

I Church of St Martin

Church of St Peter

Church of St Saviour

II* Church of the Holy Trinity

Cobblestones in Front of Nos 22 and 24

Coolinge Farmhouse Including Wall

Coolinge House

East Pier, Folkstone Harbour

Electricity Junction Box Outside Nos. 12-14


Enbrook Manor enbrook Manor House

Folkestone Harbour Viaduct and Swing Bridge

Folkestone Memorial Cairn

II* Folkestone War Memorial Photos

Former Gas Showroom

Former Municipal Offices

Gate piers and gates to the Army Ordnance Depot, Risborough Barracks, Shorncliffe Camp Photos

Grace Chapel (Former Technical Institute)

Hotel Ambassador southcliff

Ingles Manor

K6 Telephone Kiosk

Lamp Bracket and Bollard to North West of Parish Church

Leas Cliff Hall

Library and Museum

Lighthouse at End of Folkestone Harbour Outer Pier Photos

Lloyds Bank

Malvina House

Martello Tower No 2

Martello Tower No. 1

Masonic Hall

Memorial to the Crew of the German Warship SMS Grosser Kurfürst

Old Harvey Grammar School

Paving to Churchyard

Pillar Box

Priory House

Pulhamite Caves

Railway Viaduct Photos

Range of Stone Barns at the Firs

Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Including the Presbytery to the South East

Ruins of Christ Church

Sidney Cooper Weston drinking fountain

St Andrews Hotel and Chapel

Statue in the Grounds of the Battery

Statue of William Harvey on Plinth Photos

Stone Cross in Churchyard of the Parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe

Sundial in Churchyard of the Parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe

The Battery

The British Lion Inn

The Firs Photos

The Globe Inn Photos

The Grand Hotel Including Surrounding Wall Photos

The Guildhall

The Leas Club Photos

II* The Leas Lift, including waiting rooms, pump room, lower station tanks, track, cars, wheel houses, t Photos

The Life Boat Inn

The Manor House Photos

The Martello Public House

The New Metropole Including the Fountain in the Garden to the North and Surrounding Wall Photos

II* The Parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe

United Reformed Church

Wall and Gatepiers to the Manor House

War Memorial to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry)

Williams and Glyns Bank

More about Folkestone
  • Folkestone, like most settlements on the south coast, became involved in smuggling during the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the 1800s a harbour was developed, but it was the coming of the railways in 1843 that would have the bigger impact. With it came the tourist trade, and the two industries contributed to its prosperity until changes in tourist opportunities in the mid twentieth century hollowed out its economy.
  • Until the 19th century Folkestone remained a small fishing community with a seafront that was continually battered by storms and encroaching shingle that made it hard to land boats. In 1807 an Act of Parliament was passed to build a pier and harbour which was built by Thomas Telford in 1809. By 1820 a harbour area of 14 acres (5.7 hectares) had been enclosed. Folkstone's trade and population grew slightly but development was still hampered by sand and silt from the Pent Stream. The Folkestone Harbour Company invested heavily in removing the silt but with little success. In 1842 the company became bankrupt and the Government put the derelict harbour up for sale. It was bought by the South Eastern Railway Company (SER), which was then building the London to Dover railway line. George Turnbull was responsible in 1844 for building the Horn pier. Dredging the harbour, and the construction of a rail route down to it, began almost immediately, and the town soon became the SER’s principal packet station for the Continental traffic to Boulogne.
  • Folkestone Harbour Company commissioned Foster Associates to produce a masterplan for Folkestone which was published in April 2006. The plans describe the rebuilding of the harbour as a marina, a "Green Wave" along the sea front linking countryside west and east of the town, new housing, shops, a performance area and small university campus. The plans take in the land that was previously the Rotunda Amusement Park. Progress in developing the area has been inhibited by the recession and by new guidelines governing flood protection. A new approach to the seafront is being developed by Terry Farrell and Partners, and the former fairground site is being considered for temporary recreational use whilst planning takes place. However, there is an alternative plan being developed by the Remembrance Line Association which is based on retaining the harbour railway and its station as a major heritage/tourist operation and 'Leaving for War' museum. The harbour railway station, now unused, is gradually succumbing to nature.
  • Although Kent was the first part of the British mainland to be conquered and settled by the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the middle of the 5th century AD onwards, after the departure of the Romans, it was not until the late 7th century that the spelling Folcanstan appears. One suggestion is that this refers to Folca's stone; another suggestion is that it came from an Old English personal name, with the addition of stone, possibly meaning, in this context, "meeting place". It was not until the mid 19th century that the spelling of "Folkestone" was fixed as such, with the Earl of Radnor requesting that the town's name be standardised (although this tendency towards standardisation in the 19th century is true of English place names generally). Folkestone is often misspelt, variants including Folkston, Folkstone & Folkeston.
Useful Directory
Local Services

Folkestone Police Station 01622 690690

Hythe Town Council 01303 266152

Hythe Library 01303 267111

Folkestone Hythe District Council 01303 853000

Shepway Independent Mediation 01303 227296

Citizens Advice Bureau 01303 249310

Social Services 08457 626777

Kent County Council 03000 414141

Age UK 01303 220610

South Kent Domestic Violence 01303 220610

The Samaritans 01303 850202

RSPCA (Ashford) 01233 641189

Cats Protection Folkestone 01303 247540

Mental Health Matters (Kent) 0800 1070160

Report a Gas Leak 0800 999

Report a mains water leak 0330 3030146

Electriciity (power supply interuption) 0800 7838866

NHS non-emergency 111

Local Services

Child Line 0800 1111

NSPCC 0808 8005000

Frank (Drugs Advice)

Relate 0845 4561310

Victim Support Helpline 0845 3030900

Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 7697555

Crime Stoppers 0800 555111

Oaklands Health Centre 03030 235300

Sun Lane Surgery 01303 267102

The William Harvey Hospital 01233 633331

Eakins Chemist 01303 267876

Boots Chemist 01303 267220

Paydens Chemist 01303 261647

Pennypot Dental Hythe 01303 262683

The Country Dental Practice 01303 266308

High Street Dental Practice 01303 266308

Hythe Dental Care 01303 265566

Useful Directory

Stacks Image 487
Walking and Cycling

Walking and Cycling

Lionel Lukin

Lionel Lukin,(1742–1834), lifeboat designer, was born at Dunmow, Essex, on 18 May 1742, the youngest son of William Lukin, of Blatches, Little Dunmow, and Anne, daughter of James Stokes. His father belonged to an old Essex family, one of his ancestors being Henry Lukyn (1586–1630), who is described by Anthony Wood as a mathematician, and who is mentioned by Thoroton in his History of Nottinghamshire as having 'dwelt before the wars at South Holme' (369). On his mother's side he was descended from a Lionel Lane, one of Blake's admirals.

Lukin was for many years a fashionable London coach builder in Long Acre. He became a member of the Coachmakers' Company in 1767, and did not finally retire from business until 1824. He was twice married, and with his first wife, born Walker, and widow of Henry Gilder of Dunmow, had a daughter, and a son of the same name, who patented several inventions, and died in 1839. Lukin appears to have been a man with a taste for science and possessed of a fertile mechanical mind.

Being a personal favourite of the prince regent and connected with William Windham, secretary of state for war and the colonies, Lukin had many opportunities to bring some of his inventions to public attention. Among these was an 'unsubmergible' boat. He began by making certain alterations to a Norway yawl which he purchased in 1784, the efficacy of which he tested as far as was practicable in the River Thames. He obtained a patent in 1785 for his invention, by which 'boats and small vessels … will neither overset in violent gales or sudden bursts of wind, nor sink if by any accident filled with water' (patent no. 1502, 1785). The patent specification explained that this was to be accomplished by fitting to the outsides of vessels projecting gunnells sloping from the top of the common gunnell in a faint curve towards the water … and from the extreme projection … returning to the side in a faint curve at a suitable height above the water-line. The projections are very small at the stem and stern, and increase gradually to the dimensions required.*

The specification further provided that ports of the inside of the boat should be filled up with airtight and watertight compartments or with cork or other light material that would repel water, whereby 'the boat or vessel will be much lighter than any body of water it must displace' Lukin submitted his invention to the prince of Wales, the dukes of Portland and Northumberland, Admiral Sir Robert King, Admiral Schank, and Admiral Lord Howe, who gave him strong encouragement but no official support.

Lukin's first boat, the Experiment, was tested by a Ramsgate pilot but, after crossing the channel several times in rough weather, the boat disappeared—it may have been confiscated in a continental port. His second boat, the Witch, was tested by Sir Sydney Smith and other naval officers, and its qualities were publicly displayed at Margate. But Lukin had to contend with seafaring prejudices, and his 'unsubmergible boats', though they attracted attention, were in little demand. Apart from one built for the Bamborough Charity, only four were ordered, one of which proved very useful at Lowestoft.

In 1790 Lukin published a description of his lifeboat, with scale-drawings. Some time after the date of Lukin's patent a lifeboat was built (not patented) by Henry Greathead, who was rewarded with a parliamentary grant. Lukin declared that Greathead's boat was in general built according to the principles set out in his patent, and had no additional safety features. In 1806 a Mr Hailes put forward the claims of Wouldham of Newcastle as an inventor of lifeboats, and Lukin wrote three letters in 1806 in the Gentleman's Magazine, in which he set out his claims to priority. These he afterwards published as a pamphlet dedicated to the prince of Wales, entitled The Invention, Principles of Construction, and Uses of Unimmergible Boats (1806).

Lukin also invented a raft for rescuing persons from under ice, which he presented to the Royal Humane Society, and an adjustable reclining bed for patients, which he presented to various infirmaries. He invented a rain gauge, and kept a daily record of meteorological observations for many years until his sight failed in 1824. He died on 16 February 1834 at Hythe, Kent. A headstone, marking his grave in the parish churchyard, described him as the 'inventor of the lifeboat principle.' A memorial window in the local parish church was unveiled on 3 October 1892.

Lionel Lukin

Lionel Lukin 1742-1834 invented the self-righting lifeboat in 1785, and is buried in the parish churchyard.

Born in Essex, at Great Dunmow in 1742, Lionel Lukin became credited with the invention of the Lifeboat after some experimentation along the French lines in 1784 with his own conversion of a Norway ‘yawl’ which he tested out on the river Thames, and in 1785 having received the personal encouragement of the Prince Regent, Lukin took out a patent.

The boatmen of Ramsgate were most unfortunate in overlooking the opportunity they might have been given when Lukin’s first patented ‘unimmergible’, as the boat was entrusted to a Ramsgate pilot for further testing, but the unnamed pilot, regrettably used it principally, it is suspected, for the purposes of smuggling!

Inscribed on his tombstone in Hythe Chuchyard.

‘This Lionel Lukin was the first who built a lifeboat, and was the original inventor of that principal of safety by which many lives and property have been preserved from shipwreck.’

The School of Musketry

The School of Musketry with its Corps of Instructors was formally established on 1 April 1854 at Hythe, Kent, although the first instructors were working at Hythe from mid 1853. The School was established by Lord Hardinge who, as Master General Ordnance, was determined to ensure that the best possible use was made of the greatly improved rifle musket then coming into service. From its inception a section of the School was responsible for user testing of infantry weapons and the exemplary collection of weapons in the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection bears witness to this work.

The Corps Headquarters was then renamed the Small Arms School Corps in 1929 and a Vickers Machine Gun was incorporated into the cap badge. This reflected the change in name adapted for the School at Hythe in 1919 and for the expanding School, which now included Netheravon, that took on responsibility for the Vickers Machine Gun. With the move of the Small Arms Wing from Hythe to Warminster in 1969 the Headquarters of the Corps was part of the School of Infantry and renamed Depot SASC. In 1996 under 'Options for Change' Headquarters SASC was formed as an integral part of the newly formed Headquarters Infantry.

Sainsbury's Supermarket now occupies the original site of the School of Musketry.

This photograph features the first course of students to be trained on the use of the Maxim gun at the School of Musketry, Hythe, in 1889.

The students appear to be all officers and from a cross-section of regiments. The officer standing behind the gun wearing black buttons is Lieutenant WN Congreve of 4th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade. He received a Victoria Cross for his gallantry during the battle of Colenso, South Africa, on 15 December 1899. He later became General Sir Walter Congreve VC KCB MVO, father of Brevet Major Billy Congreve VC DSO MC, also of The Rifle Brigade, the only father and son to have each been awarded a VC and to have served in the same regiment.

Colonel Mackinnon, the Chief Instructor at the School of Musketry in 1889, is third from the left in the back row and Sergeant Hills, the course instructor, is on the extreme right.

The Royal Military Canal

The Royal Military Canal at Hythe Kent is a declared historic monument, and enjoys a tourism Green flag award. Constructed before the age of Steam, over 200 years ago, the canal was dug by hand by an army of Engineers and Prisoners of War. As a defence against invasion. Created in a time of conflict, the canal is now an oasis of peace and quiet, a haven for bird life and flora totalling 26 miles across South Kent. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, a young military genius named Napoleon Bonaparte emerged from the turmoil with a vision of a united Europe under French rule. Under his leadership France set about waging war on its neighbours, declaring war on England in 1793. An uneasy peace was settled in 1802 through the Peace of Amiens, but the countries were soon at war again. Napoleon saw England as the key to conquering Europe: “All my thoughts are directed towards England. I want only for a favourable wind to plant the Imperial Eagle on the Tower of London.”

Once again England faced the threat of invasion and, with Napoleon massing an army of some 130,000 troops and 2,000 boats on the French coast near Boulogne, thoughts turned to how to defend the Romney Marsh - a low-lying stretch of coast which was expected to be the landing point for any French invasion. Defending the Marsh

The Romney Marsh had been left virtually undefended in the belief that it could be quickly flooded and the subsequent morass, criss-crossed by drainage ditches, would be impassable. The very real threat of Napoleonic invasion led to questioning of this long held view. After much deliberation Lt-Col John Brown, Commandant of the Royal Staff Corps, rejected it as unworkable, concerned by the need for ten days advance warning and the potential embarrassment, chaos and huge expense that would result from a false alarm. Brown had another idea. He suggested that a canal be built from Seabrook, near Folkestone around the back of the Romney Marsh to the River Rother near Rye, a distance of 19 miles. The canal system would have sources of water from the sea and the River Rother. It would be 19 metres wide at the surface, 13.5 metres wide at the bottom and 3 metres deep. The excavated soil would be piled on to the northern bank to make a parapet, behind which troops could be positioned and moved out of sight of the enemy. The canal would also have ‘kinks’ to allow enfilading fire along the length of the canal, if the enemy attempted to cross it.

The Duke of York and the prime minister, William Pitt, met on September 26 1804 to discuss the project: they were enthusiastic and preliminary plans were quickly made. The renowned engineer John Rennie, whose previous projects included the construction of London and Waterloo Bridges, was appointed as consultant engineer and it was proposed that the canal be extended from the River Rother to Cliff End, East Sussex incorporating the River Brede in the process. The total length of the canal would be 28 miles, of which 22.5 miles had to be dug. It was estimated that it would be completed by June 1805 and cost £200,000.

All that remained was to convince the local landowners of the advantages of the scheme. Pitt met with the landowners on October 24 at the New Hall, Dymchurch and explained that the canal would not only help to defend their country but would be a major drainage system for the winter, and a reservoir for the summer and would greatly improve conditions on the Marsh. They were persuaded. Pitt was popular with the locals, who referred to the canal as ‘Mr Pitt’s Ditch’.

Digging the Ditch

On October 30 1804 the first sod of the Royal Military Canal was dug at Seabrook. Harsh winter weather and severe flooding, as well as difficulty in attracting labourers - known as navvies - meant that the original completion date appeared wildly optimistic. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Rennie blamed the incompetence and greed of the contractors, accusing them of overcharging and poor supervision. By May 1805 the canal project was close to disaster: only six miles had been completed and work had stopped. William Pitt intervened: the contractors and Rennie were dismissed.

The project was put in the hands of the Quartermaster-General’s department with Lt-Col. Brown in command. Navvies dug the canal, while the military built the ramparts and turfed the banks. Flooding continued to be a barrier to progress and hand pumps were used day and night to keep the trench from filling with water. Eventually powerful steam-driven pumps were used to clear the water.

At its peak there were 1,500 men working on the canal. The canal was dug entirely by hand, using picks and shovels and the soil was carried away in wheelbarrows. Once the canal was dug it was lined with clay. The change of command and the greater work force speeded progress so that by August 1806 the canal was open from Seabrook to the River Rother. However, concessions were made. The original dimensions of the canal were greatly reduced due to increasing problems encountered by the builders and pressures of time, so that for most of its length the canal is half its projected width.

Iden Lock was completed in September 1808, which linked the canal to the River Rother and Rye Harbour, effectively turning the Romney Marsh into an island, but it wasn’t until April 1809 that the canal was actually completed

Iden Lock

After Napoleon By the time the Royal Military canal was fully ready for use, the threat of invasion had long since past. Napoleon’s plans for invasion suffered a major setback following his navy’s defeat at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He withdrew his troops from the French coast and focused his intentions on central Europe.

The fact that the canal was never used for its intended purpose, cost £234,310 (a huge amount in Georgian England) and was funded entirely by the state meant the voices of cynics and doubters could soon be heard from all sections of society. The canal became an embarrassment to the Government - it was considered to be a white elephant of the largest proportions and a huge waste of public money. The radical journalist William Cobbett, who toured the country on his Rural Rides during the 1820s, was typical of the critics of the canal: ‘Here is a canal made for the length of thirty miles to keep out the French; for those armies who had so often crossed the Rhine and the Danube were to be kept back by a canal thirty feet wide at most!’

The Government desperately needed to find ways of recovering some of the money spent on the canal and in 1807 opened it to navigation and collected tolls for the transportation of produce and goods. In 1810 the canal was opened for public use and tolls were also collected for the use of the military road between Iden, Rye and Winchelsea. There was also a regular barge service running between Hythe and Rye, which took around four hours to complete.

Despite efforts to utilise the canal, traffic was never heavy, and the opening of the Ashford to Hastings railway line in 1851 further decreased its use. The Government was struggling not only to recoup the money invested in the canal but to meet the ever spiralling costs of maintenance. Thus, during the 1860s the Government took steps to unburden itself from the canal. The stretch from Iden Lock to West Hythe was leased to the Lords of the Romney Marsh for 999 years at an annual rent of one shilling, while the the town of Hythe purchased the remaining stretch, that ran through the town, for conversion to ornamental waters. The canal west of Rye was sold to four individual owners. By the late nineteenth century the canal trade had all but gone. The last ever toll was collected at Iden Lock on December 15 1909.

Despite previous doubts surrounding the canal’s usefulness for defence in the nineteenth century, it was quickly requisitioned by the War Department in 1935 as war in Europe became increasingly likely. The banks were lined with pill-boxes as the nation awaited invasion, this time by Hitler, but once again there was no invasion.

The Canal Today

Although never being called upon to defend the nation, the canal has fulfilled one of its intended duties: the improvement of conditions on the Romney Marsh. The canal acts as a sink for the network of ditches that criss-cross the Marsh. During the summer, when rainfall is low and water is needed to irrigate the land, water is pumped from the canal into the drainage ditches. In winter, when there is a risk of flood, water can be taken from the ditches into the canal and the excess water let out of the canal at Iden Lock or the sluice at Seabrook. This vital function of the Royal Military Canal is managed by the Environment Agency.

Today the tree lined banks of the Royal Military Canal are an excellent place for quiet enjoyment, whether walking, fishing or simply watching the world go by. This large stretch of fresh water provides a home for many forms of wildlife, and parts of the canal are designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with the remaining length designated as a Local Wildlife Site. The Royal Military Canal is also protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM), ensuring its survival for future generations.

Seabrook Stream

The interest of this site centres on the alder carr and fen communities that support an exceptional number of cranefly species. The varied geology over the course of the stream has given rise to a range of conditions in which different habitats have developed in close proximity. Rising in a wooded valley below the Chalk of the North Downs near Folkestone, the Seabrook Stream crosses a belt of Gault Clay before cutting into the Lower Greensand. A springline occurs at the junction between the Folkestone and Sandgate Beds of the Lower Greensand series, resulting in numerous seepages on both sides of the valley and a gradation from dry sandy conditions, towards the top of the valley sides, to saturated peat and tributary streams on the valley floor.

Base-rich springline alder carr has developed on the wettest soils and here the ground flora is varied. Characteristic species such as opposite-leaved golden saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium, lesser pond-sedge Carex acutiformis and common valerian Valeriana officinalis are frequent in some areas along with marsh marigold Caltha palustris and yellow flag Iris pseudacorus. In the west of the site where a tributary stream arises there are more willows Salix spp and the ground flora is dominated by sedges Carex spp and wood club-rush Scirpus sylvaticu. Where seepages arise above the woodland rich flush communities occur, generally dominated by great horsetail Equisetum telemateia and great willowherb Epilobium hirsutum but also including greater pond-sedge Carex riparia, marsh horsetail Equisetum palustre and common spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsia. There are several areas of reedswamp dominated by common reed Phragmites australis within the site, the largest extending to almost two hectares.

On the drier slopes of the valley there is woodland, scrub and neutral grassland. The woodland canopy is dominated by oak Quercus robur, ash Fraxinus excelsior and hazel Corylus avellana with bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta, red campion Silene dioica and moschatel Adoxa moschatellina frequent amongst the ground flora. The scrub is principally of hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, elder Sambucus niger and blackthorn Prunus spinosa. Within the grassland are found species characteristic of basic soils, such as stemless thistle Cirsium acaule as well as other species characteristic of more acid soils, such as heath speedwell Veronica officinalis.

The whole of the Seabrook valley supports an exceptional number of cranefly species, 67 having been recorded to date from this site alone. This total includes four nationally scarce species, one being Erioptera limbata, which lives on stream margins, known from only two other sites in Britain. It is the seepages within the alder carr providing a wide range of moisture regimes, that allow this site to support so many species. 14 other invertebrate species found on the site are nationally scarce: for example the caddis fly Rhvacophila septentrionis which lives in the stream itself and whose larvae feed on those of midges, mayflies and stoneflies; Osmylus fulvicephalus, Britain's largest lacewing, found by wooded streams and whose larvae feed on insects at the water margin; and the harvestman Homalenotus quadridentatus which occurs in the drier grassland further up the valley sides. Breeding bird species present are known to include reed and sedges warblers, grey wagtail and sand martin. On a national scale sand martins have undergone major population changes in recent years and the quarry in the west of the site contains one of the few significant colonies known in Kent.

Lympne Escarpment

The site consists of a steep escarpment of Kentish ragstone formed by the Hythe Beds of the Lower Greensand. Ragstone is a hard sandy limestone which produces calcareous soils. The grassland and woodland of this site are among the best remaining examples of semi-natural habitats on ragstone in Kent. Wet ash - maple is the predominant woodland type with a small area of calcareous ash- wych elm wood. Many plants usually associated with chalk soils occur in the grassland. The south-facing slope is close to the sea and the resulting mild humid conditions encourages the growth of ferns and mosses. Numerous springs and flushes occur at the base of the escarpment at the junction of the ragstone and the Atherfield Clay. Lympne Park Wood is the largest remaining example of ash coppice woodland on the ragstone escarpment. It is thought to be of ancient origin with a long history of woodland cover. Most of the wood is ash, field-maple and hazel coppice with oak and ash standards. Wych elm is present in a small area in the south-east corner. Many of the mature elms have been killed by Dutch elm disease but some saplings have survived. The calcareous nature of the soil is shown by the presence of shrubs such as spindle Euonymus europaeus, wayfaring-tree Viburnum lantana and privet Ligustrum vulgare. The ground flora is mostly dominated by brambles Rubus fruticosus but other plants present include stinking iris Iris foetidissima, early-purple orchid Orchis mascula and common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii.

Outcrops of ragstone are frequent on the upper slopes of the escarpment. The vegetation here is dominated by grasses such as fescues Festuca species cock’s- foot Dactylis glomerata, false oat-grass Arrhenatherum elatius and tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum. Grazing helps to minimise a diverse flowering plant community including cowslips Primula veris, carline thistle Carlina vulgaris and hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum officinale which are associated with calcareous soils. Due to the high humidity of the area wood sedge Carex sylvatica and stinking iris, species usually restricted to woods, are able to grow in the open grassland.

Past landslips have produced much scree at the foot of the escarpment and the grassland here is dominated by tor-grass. The marshy ground below the springline has tall herb vegetation including plants such as great horsetail Equisetum telemateia, great willowherb Epilobium hirsutum, ragged-robin Lychnis flos-cuculi and water figwort Scrophularia auriculata.

Sir Francis Pettit Smith

SMITH, Sir FRANCIS PETTIT (1808–1874), inventor of the screw-propeller for steamships, only son of Charles Smith, postmaster of Hythe, by Sarah, daughter of Francis Pettit of Hythe, was born there on 9 Feb. 1808. He was educated at a private school at Ashford in Kent, and began life as a grazing farmer in Romney Marsh, afterwards removing to Hendon, Middlesex. In boyhood Smith acquired great skill in the construction of model boats, and displayed much ingenuity in contriving methods of propulsion for them. Continuing to devote much of his spare time to the subject, he in 1835 constructed a model which was propelled by a screw, actuated by a spring, and which proved so successful that he became convinced that this form of propeller would be preferable to the paddle-wheels at that time exclusively employed.

The scheme of using some form of screw as a propeller had been advocated by Robert Hooke [q. v.] as early as 1681, and by Daniel Bernouilli and others in the eighteenth century. On 9 May 1795 Joseph Bramah [q. v.] took out a patent for a screw propeller, but did not apparently construct one. But between 1791 and 1807 John Cox Stevens, an American mechanician, made practical experiments with a steam-boat propelled by a screw at Hoboken, New Jersey. Moreover, simultaneously with Smith's first efforts, Captain John Ericsson, a Swede, was actively working in the same direction.

Smith was wholly ignorant of these endeavours. Impressed with the importance of the appliance, of which he believed himself the sole discoverer, he practically abandoned his farming, and devoted himself with whole-hearted enthusiasm to the development and perfecting of his idea.

By the following year (1836) he had constructed a superior model, which was exhibited in operation to friends upon a pond on his farm at Hendon, and afterwards to the public at the Adelaide Gallery, London. On 31 May in the same year he took out a patent, based upon this model, for ‘propelling vessels by means of a screw revolving beneath the water at’ the stern. Six weeks later, on 13 July—it is curious to note—Captain Ericsson took out, also in London, a similar patent. Smith quickly perfected his invention. With the pecuniary assistance of Mr. Wright, a banker, and the technical assistance of Mr. Thomas Pilgrim, a practical engineer whose services Smith engaged, he soon constructed a small boat of ten tons burden and fitted her with a wooden screw of two turns, driven by an engine of about six horse-power. This was exhibited to the public in operation in November 1836. An accident to the propeller led him to the conclusion that a shortened screw would give more satisfactory results, and in 1837 a screw of a single turn was fitted. With a view to proving the efficiency of this method of propulsion under all circumstances, the little vessel was taken to Ramsgate, thence to Dover and Hythe, returning in boisterous and stormy weather. The propeller proved itself efficient to an unexpected degree in both smooth and rough water.

The attention of the admiralty was now invited to the new invention, to which at the outset the sentiment of the engineering world was almost universally opposed. The admiralty considered it to be desirable that experiments should be made with a larger vessel before recommending the adoption of the screw in the navy. Accordingly a small company was formed, and the construction of a new screw steamer, the Archimedes, resolved upon. This was a vessel of 237 tons, fitted with a screw of one convolution, propelled by engines of eighty horse-power, the understanding with the admiralty being that her performance would be considered satisfactory if a speed of five knots an hour were maintained. Double this speed was actually achieved, and the vessel, after various trials on the Thames and at Sheerness, proceeded to Portsmouth, where she was tried against the Vulcan, one of the fastest paddle steamers in her majesty's service, with the most gratifying result. This was in October 1839, and in the following year the admiralty experts deputed to conduct a series of experiments with her reported that they considered the success of the new propeller completely demonstrated. The admiralty would not even then, however, definitely commit themselves, and it was not until a year later—in 1841—that orders were given for the Rattler, the first war screw steamer in the British navy, to be laid down at Sheerness. In the meantime the Archimedes was taken to the principal ports in Great Britain, to Amsterdam, and across the Bay of Biscay to Oporto, everywhere exciting interest, and leaving the impression that the value of the screw had been fully proved. When at Bristol Isambard Kingdom Brunel [q. v.] was invited to visit the vessel, and he was so satisfied with the new propeller that the Great Britain, the first large iron ocean-going steamer, which was originally intended to be fitted with paddles, was altered to adapt her for the reception of a screw. The Rattler was launched in 1843, and on 18 March 1844 Smith's four-bladed screw was tested in her with complete success. Orders were soon given for twenty war vessels to be fitted with it under Smith's superintendence. The hitherto accepted theory that the screw could not economically compete with the paddle because of the loss of power arising from the obliquity of its motion was also completely refuted, and its universal adoption for ships of war and ocean steamers became a mere question of time.

Smith acted as adviser to the admiralty until 1850, but derived from his work for the government and from his commercial operations very inadequate remuneration. In 1856 his patent—upon which an extension of time had been granted—expired, and he retired to Guernsey to devote himself once more to agriculture. But he was in 1860 compelled, by lack of pecuniary means, to accept the post of curator of the patent office museum, South Kensington. This office he held until his death. Some recognition of his services was made by Lord Palmerston in 1855, when a pension of 200l. was conferred upon him, and in 1857 he was the recipient at St. James's Hall of a national testimonial, comprising a service of plate and a purse of nearly 3,000l., which were subscribed for by the whole of the shipbuilding and engineering world. Later, in 1871, the honour of knighthood was conferred on him. He was an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, member of the Institute of Naval Architects, and of the Royal Society of Arts for Scotland; also corresponding member of the American Institute. He died at South Kensington on 12 Feb. 1874. He was twice married: first, in 1830, to Ann, daughter of William Buck of Folkestone, by whom he had two sons; and secondly, in 1866, to Susannah, daughter of John Wallis of Boxley, Kent. His widow and two sons survived him.

[On the Introduction and Progress of the Screw Propeller, 1856 (consisting of biographical notices of Smith published in various journals in 1855); Woodcroft's Origin and Progress of Steam Navigation, 1848; Treatise on the Screw Propeller by Bourne; Smiles's Industrial Biogr.; Men of the Reign; Illustrated London News; Times, 17 Feb. 1874.]

Mackeson Brewery

Mackeson Brewery Mackeson Brewery Mackeson Brewery Mackeson Brewery

Mackeson Brewery Mackeson Brewery Mackeson Brewery

The Town & Parish of Hythe

THE PARISH OF HYTHE, at this time within the liberty of the Cinque Ports, and the corporation of the town of Hythe was antiently, with part of the parish of West Hythe, within an hundred of its own name.

It is called in some antient records, Hethe; in Domesday, Hede; and according to Leland, in Latin, Portus Hithinus; Hithe signifying in the Saxon, a harbour or haven. (fn. 1) In the year 1036, Halden, or Half den, as he is sometimes, and perhaps more properly written, one of the Saxon thanes, gave Hethe and Saltwood, to Christ-church, in Canterbury. After which they appear to have been held of the archbishop by knight's service, by earl Godwin; (fn. 2) and after the Norman conquest, in like manner by Hugo de Montfort, one of those who had accompanied William the Conqueror hither, at which time it was accounted only as a borough appurtenant to the manor of Saltwood, as appears by the book of Domesday, taken in the year 1080, where, under the title of lands held of the archbishop by knight's service, at the latter end of the description of that manor, it is said:

To this manor (viz. Saltwood) belong two hundred and twenty-five burgesses in the borough of Hede Between the borough and the manor, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth sixteen pounds, when he received it eight pounds, and now in the whole twenty-nine pounds and six shillings and four-pence .

Besides which, there appears in the description of the archbishop's manor of Liminge, in the same record, to have been six burgesses in Hede belonging to that manor. Hythe being thus appurtenant to Saltwood, was within the bailiwick of the archbishop, who annually appointed a bailiff, to act jointly for the government of this town and liberty, which seems to have been made a principal cinque port by the Conqueror, on the decay and in the room of the still more antient port of West Hythe, before which it had always been accounted within the liberty of those ports, which had been enfranchised with several privileges and customs, though of what antiquity they were, or when first enfranchised, has not been as yet, with any certainty, discovered; and therefore they are held to enjoy all their earliest liberties and privileges, as time out of mind by prescription. The quota which the port of Hythe was allotted to furnish towards the mutual armament of the ports, being five ships, and one hundred and five men, and five boys, called gromets. (fn. 3)

The archbishop continued in this manner to appoint his bailiff, who acted jointly with the jurats and commonalty of the town and port of Hythe, the senior jurat on the bench always sitting as president, till the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when the archbishop exchanged the manor of Saltwood, together with the bailiwick of Hythe, with the king for other estates elsewhere. After which a bailiff continued to be appointed yearly by the crown, till queen Elizabeth, in her 17th year, granted them a particular charter of incorporation, by the name of mayor, jurats, and commonalty of the town and port of Hythe, under which they continue to be governed at this time; and she likewise granted to the mayor and his successors, all that her bailiwick of Hythe, together with other premises here, to hold by the yearly fee farm of three pounds, by which they are held by the corporation at this time.

The liberty of the town and port of Hytheextends over the whole of this parish, and part of that of West Hythe, which indeed before the harbour of it failed, was the antient cinque port itself, and to which great part of what has been said above of the antient state of Hythe likewise relates, but not over the scite of that church. The corporation consists of a mayor and twelve jurats, of which he is one, and twenty-four common councilmen, together with two chamberlains and a town-clerk. The mayor, who is coroner by virtue of his office, is chosen, as well as the other officcers of the corporation, on Feb. 2d yearly, and, together with the jurats, who are justices within this liberty exclusive of all others, hold a court of general sessions of the peace and gaol delivery, together with a court of record, the same as at Dover; and it has other privileges, mostly the same as the other corporations within the liberties of the five ports. It has the privileges of two maces. The charters of this corporation, as well as those of the other cinque ports, were in 1685, by the king's command, surrendered up to colonel Strode, then governor of Dover castle, and were never returned again.

Hythe has no coat of arms; but the corporation seal represents an antique vessel, with one mast, two men in it, one blowing a horn; and two men lying on the yard arm.

THE PRESENT TOWN OF HYTHE is supposed to owe its origin to the decay of the antient ports of Limne and West Hythe, successively, the harbours of which being rendered useless, by the withdrawing of the sea, and their being banked up with sand, occasioned this of Hythe to be frequented in their stead, and it continued a safe and commodious harbour for considerable length of time, till the same fate befel it likewise, and rendered it wholly useless; and whoever, as Lambarde truly observes, considers either the vicissitude of the sea in different places, and the alterations which in times past, and even now, it works on the coasts of this kingdom, will not be surprized that towns bordering upon the sea, and supported by traffic arising from it, are subject in a short time to decay, and become in a manner of little or no consequence; for as the water either flows or forsakes them, so they must of necessity flourish or decay, flowing and ebbing, as it were, with the sea itself. (fn. 4) Thus after the sea had retired from the town of West Hythe and its haven, the former fell to decay, and became but a small village of no resort, and the present town of Hythe, at two miles distance, to which it was continued by a number of straggling houses all along the shore between them, rose to prosperity, and its harbour became equally noted and frequented in the room of it; so that in a short time the houses and inhabitants increased here so greatly, that Leland says there was once a fair abbey in it, and four parishes and their churches, one of which was that of our Lady of Westhithe, which shews that West Hythe was once accounted a part of the town itself. But this must have been in very early times; for long before king Richard II.'s reign, I find it accounted but as one single parish. The town and harbour of Hythe were by their situation always liable to depredation from enemies; in particular, earl Godwin, when exiled, returned in 1052, and ravaging this coast, took away several vessels lying at anchor in this haven, and Romney; and in king Edward I.'s reign, anno 1293, the French shewed themselves with a great fleet before Hythe, and one of their ships, having two hundred soldiers on board, landed their men in the haven, which they had no sooner done, but the townsmen came upon them and slew every one of them; upon which the rest of the fleet hoisted sail, and made no further attempt. In the latter part of king Richard the IId.'s reign, a dreadful calamity happened to it, when more than two hundred houses of it were burnt down in one day; (fn. 5) and five of their ships were lost, and one hundred men drowned, by which misfortunes the inhabitants were so much impoverished and dispirited, that they had thoughts of abandoning the place, and building themselves a town elsewhere; but king Henry IV. by his timely interposition, prevented this, and by charter released them from their quota of shipping for several turns. The following is Leland's description of it, who wrote in king Henry VIII.'s reign, "Hythe hath bene a very great towne yn lenght and conteyned iiii paroches, that now be clene de stroied, that is to say, S. Nicholas paroche, our Lady paroche, S. Michael paroche, and our Lady of West Hithe, the which ys with yn less than half a myle of Lymne hill. And yt may be well supposed that after the haven of Lymne and the great old towne ther fayled that Hithe strayt therby encresed and was yn price. Finally to cownt fro Westhythe to the place wher the substan of the towne ys now ys ii good myles yn lenght al along on the shore to which the se cam ful sumtym, but now by banking of woose and great casting up of shyngel the se is sumtyme a quarter, dim. a myle fro the old shore. In the tyme of king Edw 2 ther were burned by casuelte xviii score houses and mo, and strayt followed a great pestilens, and thes ii thinges minished the towne. There remayn yet the ruines of the chyrches and chyrch yardes. It evidently appereth that wher the paroch chirch is now was sumtyme a fayr abbey, &c. In the top of the chirch yard is a fayr spring and therby ruines of howses of office of the abbey. The havyn is a prety rode and liith meatly strayt for passage owt of Boleyn; yt croketh yn so by the shore a long and is so bakked fro the mayne se with casting of shingil that smaul shippes may cum up a large myle towards Folkestan as in a sure gut." Though Leland calls it a pretty road, yet it then seems to have been in great measure destroyed by the sands and beach cast up on this shore, by the desertion of the sea, for he describes it as being at that time as only a small channel or gut left, which ran within shore for more than a mile eastward from Hythe towards Folkestone, that small vessels could come up it with safety; and the state of the town and trade of it in queen Elizabeth's time, may be seen by a survey made by her order in her 8th year, of the maritime parts of this county, in which it was returned, that there were here, a customer, controller, and searcher, their authority several; houses inhabited, 122; persons lacking habitation, 10; creeks and landing places two; th'on called the Haven, within the liberties; th'other called the Stade, without the liberties. It had of shipping, 17 tramellers of five tunne, seven shoters of 15; three crayers of 30, four crayers of 40; persons belonging to these crayers and other boats, for the most part occupied in fishing,

Soon after this, even the small channel within land, above-mentioned, which served as the only remaining harbour, became likewise swarved up and lost, though it had the advantage of the Seabrook, and other streams, which came down from the down hills, as a back water, to keep it scowered and open; and though several attempts were from time to time afterwards made, at no small expence and trouble, to open it again, yet it never could be effected; and the abovementioned streams, for want of this channel, flow now towards the beach on the shore, and lose themselves imperceptibly among it.

The parish of Hythe, which is wholly within the liberty of the corporation, extends from the sea shore, the southern bounds of it, northward up the hill a very little way beyond the church, which is about half a mile, and from the bridge at the east end of the town westward, about half way up the hill towards Newingreen, being more than a mile and an half. The town, which contains about two hundred houses, is situated exceedingly pleasant and healthy, on the side as well as at the foot of the quarry-hill, where the principal street is, which is of a handsome breadth, and from the bridges at the extremities of it, about half a mile in length. It has been lately new paved, and otherwise much improved. The court-hall and market place are near the middle of it, the latter was built by Philip, viscount Strangford, who represented this port in parliament anno 12 Charles II. His arms those of the five ports; of Boteler; and of Amhurst, who served likewise in parliament for it, and repaired this building, are on the pillars of it. There are two good inns; and near the east end of it St. John's hospital. Higher up on the side of the hill, where the old town of Hythe is supposed once to have stood, are parallel streets, the houses of which are very pleasantly situated; several of them are handsome houses, occupied by genteel families of good account, the principal one of them has been the seat of the family of Deedes for several generations.

This family have resided at Hythe, in good estimation, for upwards of two hundred years; the first of them that I meet with being Thomas Deedes, who by Elizabeth his wife, sister of Robert Glover, esq. Somerset herald, a most learned and judicious antiquary, had one son Julius Deedes, whose youngest son Robert had a grant of arms confirmed to him, and Julius his nephew and their heirs, by Byshe, clarencieux, in 1653, Per fess, nebulee, gules and argent, three martlets, counter changed , which have been borne by the different branches of this family ever since. William, the youngest son but one, left a son William, the first who appears to have resided at Hythe. He died in 1653, and was buried in this church, which has ever since remained the burial place of this family. He had one only son Julius Deedes, esq. who was of Hythe, for which he was chosen in three several parliaments, and died in 1692, having had three sons, of whom William, the eldest, was ancestor to the Deedes's of Hythe, and of St. Stephen's, as will be mentioned hereafter; Henry, the second son, was of Hythe, gent. whose eldest son Julius, was of Hythe, esq. and died without surviving issue, upon which this seat, among the rest of his estates, came by the entail in his will, to his aunt Margaret Deedes, who dying unmarried, they came, by the same entail, to her cousin William Deedes, esq. late of Hythe, and of St. Stephen's, being descended from William, the eldest son of Julius, who died in 1692, and was a physician at Canterbury, whose son Julius was prebendary of Canterbury, and left one son William, of whom hereafter; and Dorothy, married to Sir John Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, by whom she had no issue. William Deedes, esq. the only surviving son before-mentioned, of Hythe and St. Stephen's, possessed this seat at Hythe, with several other estates in this neighbourhood, by the above entail. He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Bramston, esq. of Skreens, in Essex, and died in 1793, leaving surviving two sons, William, of whom hereafter; John, who married Sophia, daughter of Gen. Forbes, and one daughter Mary, unmarried. William Deedes, esq. the eldest son, is now of Hythe, and married Sophia, second daughter of Sir Brook Bridges, bart. by whom he has two sons and three daughters.

Further westward is St. Bartholomew's hospital. Opposite Mr. Deedes's house, but still higher up, with a steep ascent, is the church, the hill reaching much above it northward. On the upper part of this hill, are several springs, which gush out of the rock, and run into the streams which flow at each end of the town. All the houses situated on the side of the hill, have an uninterrupted view of the sea southward, Romney Marsh, and the adjoining country. The houses throughout it are mostly modern built, and the whole has a neat and chearful appearance. There is a boarding-school kept in the town for young ladies, and on the beach there are bathing machines for the accommodation of invalids. There was formerly a market on a Saturday, which has been long since discontinued, though the farmers have for some time held a meeting here on a Thursday, for the purpose of selling their corn; and two fairs yearly, formerly held on the seasts of St. Peter and St. Edmund the King, now, on July 10th and December 1st, for horses and cattle, very few of which are brought, and shoes and pedlary.

Here is a small fort, of six guns, for the protection of the town and fishery, which till lately belonged to the town, of which it was bought by government, but now rendered useless, by its distance from the sea, from the land continuing to gain upon it; the guns have therefore been taken out. Soon after the commencement of the war, three new forts, of eight guns each, were erected, at the distance of a mile from each other, viz. Twis, Sutherland, and Moncrief; they contain barracks for 100 men each. Every summer during the present war a park of royal artillery has been established on the beech between the forts and the town, for the practice of guns and mortars; and here is a branch of the customs, subordinate to the out port of Dover. This town is watered by two streams; one at the east end of it, being the boundary between this parish and Newington; and the other at the west end, called the Slabrooke, which comes from Saltwood, and runs from hence, by a channel lately made for that purpose, into the sea, which has now left this town somewhat more than half a mile, much the same distance as in Leland's time, the intermediate space being entirely beach and shingle-stones, (the great bank of which lines this shore for upwards of two miles in length) on which, at places, several houses and buildings have been erected, and some parts have been inclosed, with much expence, and made pasture ground of, part of which is claimed by different persons, and the rest by the corporation as their property.

THE CINQUE PORTS, as well as their two antient towns of Rye and Winchelsea, have each of them the privilege of returning members, usually stiled barons to parliament; the first returns of which, that are mentioned for any of them, are in the 42d year of king Edward III.

The following is a list of such returns of the barons which have been returned to parliament for the port of Hythe, from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign.


Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.

1st. At Westminster. Ralph Hasilherst, Ralph Hasilherst.

5th.— Edward Popham, gent. John Bridgman, gent.

13th. — William Cromer, esq. John Stephens, gent.

14th. — Thomas Honywood, esq. John Bridgman, gent.

27th. — Christopher Honywood, gent. George Moreton.

28th.— John Smith, William Dalmington, gent.

31st. — John Smith, gent. John Collins, gent.

35th. — Henry Fane, esq. John Collins, gent.

39th.— Christopher Honywood, Christopher Toldervy, esqrs.

43d. — William Knight, mayor, Christopher Toldervy, esq.


1st. — John Smith, Christopher Toldervy, esqrs.

12th. — —.

18th.— Peter Heyman, Richard Zouch, LL. D.

21st. — The same.


Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.

1st. At WestminIst. At Westmin Edward Dering, knt. Edward Clarke, esq.

1st.— Peter Heyman, knt. Basill Dixwell, esq.

3d. Peter Heyman, Edward Scot, knts.

15th. — Henry Heyman, John Wansford, esqrs.

16th. — Henry Heyman, bart. John Harvey, esq.


12th. — 1660. Philip, viscount Strangford, Phineas Andrews, esq.

13th.— 1661. John Harvey, esq. Phineas Andrews, esq.

31st. — 1678. Edward Dering, bart. Julius Deedes.

31st. — 1679. Edward Dering, bart. Edward Hales, esq.


1st.– 1685. Hon. Heneage Finch, Julius Deedes, esq.


Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.

1st. At Westminster, 1688. Edward Hales, Julius Deedes, esqrs.

2d. – 1690. Philip Boteler, bart. William Brockman, esq.


7th. – 1695. Philip Boteler, bart. Jacob Desbouverie, esq.

10th. – 1698. The same.

12th. – 1700. Philip Boteler, bart. John Boteler, esq.

13th. – 1701. The same.


1st. – 1702. Philip Boteler, bart. John Boteler, esq.

4th. – 1705. The same.

7th. – 1708. Hon. John Fane, John Boteler, esq.

9th.– 1710. Richard, viscount Shannon, Hon. John Fane.

12th. – 1713. Jacob Desbouverie, esq. John Boteler, esq.

Deedes, the mayor, is not duly elected. New writ ordered in his stead. Journals, vol. ix. William Shaw, esq. was chosen in his room.


Years of the Reign, &c. Names of the Barons in Parliament.

1st. At Westminster, 1714. Sir Samuel Lennard, bart. Jacob Desbouverie, esq.

7th. – 1722. Sir Samuel Lennard, bart. Hercules Baker, esq.


1st. – 1727. Sir S. Lennard, knt. and bart. Hercules Baker, esq.

7th. – 1734. Hercules Baker, William Glanville, esqrs.

14th. – 1741. Hercules Baker, William Glanville, esqrs.

21st. – 1747. William Glanville, esq. Sir Thomas Hales, bart.

28th. – 1754. The Same.


1st. – 1761. William Glanville, esq. Lord George Sackville.

7th. – 1768. John Sawbridge, Wm. Glanville Evelyn, esqrs.

14th. – 1774. Sir Charles Farnaby, bart. William Evelyn, esq.

20th. – 1780. The Same.

24th. – 1784. The Same.

30th. At Westminster, 1790. Sir Charles Farnaby, bart. William Evelyn, esq.

36th. – 1796. The same.

The right of election, as was determined by the house of commons in 1710, at which time the number of the electors were fifty, is in the mayor, jurats, common council, and freemen, making together in number at present in all about one hundred and thirty-six, that is mayor and jurats twelve, commoners twenty four, freemen one hundred and seventy-three, of which altogether there are only twentytwo residents.

The barons, or freemen of the cinque ports, and their two antient towns, have, time out of mind, been allowed to carry the canopy over the king and queen at their coronations, and afterwards to have the same, with their appurtenances, as their accustomed fees; and also to sit the same day at the principal table, at the right side of the hall. These fees of the canopies and bells, the barons divide equally among themselves. (fn. 17) This is called, in the charter of Edward I. their honors at court, to perform which they formerly received summons, but they have long since been used to put in their claim by petition, and at the time of a coronation, a special election is made by each port, of thirty-two of their respective barons to serve for this purpose; the number for Hythe being usually two for each canopy.

THERE ARE TWO HOSPITALS in this parish, for the maintenance of the poor; one called St. Bartholomew's, and the other St.John's. The former, now called St. Bartholomew's hospital, seems to have been that which was at first intended to be founded in this parish by Hamo, bishop of Rochester, in 1336 (fn. 18) on the spot where he and his ancestors had their origin, and was dedicated by him to St. Andrew the Apostle, the patron saint of his church of Rochester. When it first changed its name to St. Bartholomew, I have not found, but I have not met with the name of St.Andrew any where but in the bishop's charter of foundation, now how he came afterwards to alter his intention, and to found it in the parish of Saltwood instead of Hythe, but so it appears he did, for it is universally described as the hospital of St.Bartholomew of Saltwood, from whence it was not removed till after the year 1685, to its present situation in Hythe. Although the foundation was to have by the king's licence, xiii poor in it, yet the bishop, by his charter for that purpose, as may be seen hereafter, placed in it at first only ten brethren and sisters, who were to be chosen especially from such of this parish who had fallen from affluence to poverty, who were to be clothed uniformly in russet gowns, and to have four-pence each a week alms for their food. They were to attend divine service in their own chapel, if they had one, or otherwise in this parish church, and the rest of the day employ themselves in useful and honest occupations; and if the revenues should at any time be increated, the number of poor and their stipends, with the authority of the diocesan, should be augmented likewise; which seems to have happened afterwards, and the full number of xiii, mentioned above, to have been admitted, and continued in it for some length of time. In the 26th year of king Henry VIII. the revenues of it were valued in the king's books at 4l. 6s. per annum; and in the 5th year of queen Elizabeth, anno 1562, as appears by the return of archbishop Parker, at eight pounds per annum, with the charges; at which time there were xiii poor, according to the foundation, who were relieved by alms in it. This hospital is now situated in this parish of Hythe, at no great distance south-westward from the church. There are ten poor persons in it, five men and five women, who have each about nine pounds per annum in money, with an apartment, coals, and other emoluments. There are about one hundred acres of land belonging to it, which lie near it, of the yearly value of about one hundred and twenty pounds per annum. It is under the management of three trustees, now called wardens, chosen by the mayor and corporation. The owner of the manor of Postling has a nomination of one of the poor persons in this hospital, as is supposed from his having been at some time a benefactor to it. Mrs. Margaret Deedes, of Hythe, by will in 1762, left five pounds per annum to this hospital, payable out of land now in Mr. Deedes's possession.

THE OTHER HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN, is situated at the east end of the town. The founder of it, as well as the time of its foundation, is totally unknown. further than that it appears by the charter above-mentioned, of Hamo, bishop of Rochester, in 1330, to have existed at that time, and to have been founded especially for the relief of lepers, excepting that Henry Skinner of Hythe, by will anno 1461, gave to the alms house of St.John Baptist, of Hythe, a piece of land lying at St.Nicholas, and Richard Cromp, of Hythe, mercer, by will anno 1580 in that reign, gave to the alms-house of Hythe, and to the perpetual relief of the poor members of Christ there entertained, ten acres of land lying in Biddenden, both which I suppose were intended for this hospital, from which time till the reign of queen Elizabeth, I meet with nothing more concerning it; but in the account given by archbishop Parker, in the 5th year of it, anno 1562, of the state of the hospitals in his diocese, by order of the queen, he returned, that the hospital of St.John of Hythe was founded, ordered, and charitably only maintained by the jurats and commonalty of the said town; and that there were kept daily and maintained eight beds, for the needy poor people, and such as were maimed in the wars, and further, that the hospital was endowed with lands amounting to six pounds per annum, but that it was not taxed to the tenths. (fn. 19) The revenues of it at present consist of fifty-four acres of land, of the value of 57l. 16s. per annum. It is under the management of trustees, who are in general members of the corporation, and when their number is reduced to two, they are to chuse as many more as they think proper. The number and qualifications of the poor relieved is at the discretion of the trustees, and there are six apartments in it for their accommodation. It is situated on the south side of the high street; the front of it has an old gothic arch for its entrance, and over it a window of the like form. Near this, eastward, was another stone building, of like fashion, belonging to it, which has been lately pulled down, and the scite and materials converted into a tanner's barn.


THOMAS WALTON, of Hythe by will anno 1508, ordered his feoffees to enfeoffe the churchwardens of Hythe, in his piece of land called the Kowleeze, lying at Damycott, to the use and reparation of the church for ever; which land is now in two pieces, which are let together at 2l. 6s. per annum.

WILLIAM LANGDON, of Hythe, by will anno 1581, gave 12d. yearly to the reparation of the church here, to be raised out of his then dwelling house here for ever; and 6d. yearly out of his shop, called the Fordge; and 6d. likewise yearly for ever out of a garden, called Hopis-hall.

LAURENCE WELLER, of Hythe, tanner, by will anno 1663, gave to the poor of Hythe 3l. to be distributed on the day of his funeral; and he gave to the poor of this parish a parcel of meadow and pasture land, lying in Saltwood, containing two acres. And the sum of 80l. which he directed that the churchwardens, with the consent of the mayor and jurats, should lay out and secure in lands, the yearly profit to remain for ever, to be from time to time employed towards putting out apprentices, one or more poor children, whose fathers or mothers were dead, or whose mothers were widows; and in default of such poor children, whose parents were no ways able to provide for them; and on the churchwardens or overseers neglecting to observe his will in this behalf, then he wills the benefit of it to the use of the poor of Saltwood, till such time as the parish officers of Hythe should perform the same. The annual produce of which bequest is now 12l, 2s, 6d. per annum.

JOHN BROWN gave by will 20l. the interest of it to be distributed among the poor of this parish on every Easter-day.

There is a charity school in this parish, supported by voluntary contributions, to which-Dr. Tenison, bishop of Ossory, gave a piece of land at Kennington, held by lease from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, now let for 1l. 7s. per annum.

There have been several scarce plants observed in and about this parish, and among others

Papaver cornutum flore luteo, yellow horned poppy; plentifully on the beach along the sea shore here.

Behen flore albo elegantiori; all along upon the beach between this place and Romney.

The PARISH OF HYTHE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Eleham.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Leonard, is a fine handsome building, consisting of three isles, a north and south cross, and three chancels, with a tower steeple at the west end, in which are six bells and a clock. The church stands on the side of a high and steep hill, a considerable height above any of the town, having a very large church-yard adjoining, mostly on the west and north sides, in the middle of which is a large open well of water, under a cove of the quarry stone. There is a very handsome flight of many stone steps up to the church, given by William Glanville, representative in 1729. The room over the porch at the entrance, is the town-hall, where the mayor and other members of it are yearly chosen. The tower, built in the room of the old one, which suddenly fell down in 1748, was rebuilt, and the church repaired, by a brief. It is a very fine one, of excellent masonry of quarry stone, with ashlar quoins and ornaments, and has four turrets on the top. The middle isle has, not long since, been paved with Portland stone, and new pewed. There are two galleries; one built at the charge of the parish, in 1750; the other by Hercules Baker and William Glanville, representatives, in 1734. In the middle hangs a handsome brass branch. This isle has a row of small upper windows on each side, being an upper story in the choir fashion. The south cross, at the time the tower was new built, and the church repaired, was taken down by the family of Deedes and rebuilt by them, with a vault of its full size underneath, for their burial, which was finished in 1751, at their own charge; for this, and for appropriating to themselves and servants four pews in this isle, they obtained a faculty. This cross isle or chancel is paved with Portland stone, and is separated from the south isle by an iron railing. In it are several monuments of the Deedes family. On the west side of the north cross, there appears on the outside to have been an antient door-way, the arch over it being circular, with zig zag ornaments, &c. The ground on the outside is nearly up to the spring of the arch, and there are no appearances of it on the inside. The three chancels are very antient indeed, much more so than the isles, from which there is an ascent to each; the pillars in them are inclustered with small ones of Bethersden marble, and both the arches and windows very beautiful and lofty. The middle or high chancel has a grand approach, having eight steps to it from the middle isle, and three more towards the altar. The windows are very light and losty, especially the three at the east end, which are remarkably elegant. There are, round the upper part of it and on the south side, small double arches and Bethersden pillars, similar to those on the sides of the choir in Canterbury cathedral. The whole is new paved with Portland stone. The north chancel, which, as well as the opposite one, has a rise of steps from the isle, has no inscription in it. The pillars of both these chancels have an unusually large base, of near three feet high, and about five feet square, upon the surface of the pavement. The rector formerly repaired the high chancel; but on account of the smallness of his living, the parish took upon themselves the repair of it, and in lieu assessed him to a small portion of the church rate. In this church are numbers of monuments and memorials; among others, for the family of Deedes, for the Master's and Collins's. Memorials for Isaac Rutton, lieutenant of Dover castle, obt. 1683; for Henry Estday, gent. obt. 1610; for Robert Kelway, A. M. rector of Hope, &c. obt. 1759. An inscription on brass for John Bredgman, the last bailiff and the first mayor of Hythe, obt. 24 Elizabeth, 1581. For several of the Knights, arms, A chevron, between three birds ; and a monument for Robinson Bean, gent. ten times mayor here, &c. &c.

Leland says, as has been already mentioned before, that it evidently appeared, where the church now is was once an abbey, and the ruins of the offices belonging to it were in his time to be seen, near the spring in the church-yard; but there have been no traces of any such buildings for a long time, nor any mention made of such foundation by any other writer.

In the cript or vault under the east end of the middle chancel, is piled up that vast quantity of human sculls and bones, so often mentioned in this history, the pile of them being twenty-eight feet in length, and eight feet in height and breadth. They are by the most probable conjectures supposed to have been the remains of the Britons, slain in a bloody battle, fought on the shore between this place and Folkestone, with the retreating Saxons, in the year 456, and to have attained their whiteness by lying for some length of time exposed on the sea shore. Several of the sculls have deep cuts in them, as if made by some heavy weapon, most likely of the Saxons.

Leland's authority has been mentioned for there having been four parish churches, viz. St. Nicholas, Our Lady, St. Michael, and Our Lady of Westhithe, at the time this town was in its greatest prosperity, which were then clean destroyed, as he expresses it; and that there remained the ruins of them and the church-yards in his time. And though I meet with no other mention of them by other writers, yet there are probable circumstances, to think there were once more parishes and their churches here than the present parish and church of St. Leonard; for it appears by the map of the hospital lands, made in 1685, that there is a field about half a mile westward from Hythe church, called St. Nicholas's church-yard, with some ruins of a building at the south-west corner of it. Upon the side of the quarry-hills, between Hythe town and West Hythe, is another field, called St. Michael's Ash, probably from that church having been once near it. This will account for two of these churches, Our Lady of West Hythe is the third, and the fourth which he calls Our Lady, I should think means the present church, which might perhaps in early times be so called. However, I find the present one of St. Leonard, mentioned as the only parish church of Hythe as early as the 8th of Richard II. several years before the dreadful conflagration abovementioned happened, which is said to have been the ruin of the town of Hythe. This church of St. Leonard being exempt from the jurisdiction of the arch deacon, has always been accounted as a chapel of ease to the adjoining church of Saltwood, to the manor of which this borough of Hythe was ever appurtenant; accordingly it is, with that rectory, in the patronage of the archbishop, the rector of Saltwood being collated and inducted to the rectory of Saltwood, with the chapel of Hythe appurtenant to it.

It is included in the king's books in the valuation of the rectory of Saltwood. In 1588 here were communicants five hundred and sixty.

There was formerly a chantry in this church, which was suppressed with others of the same kind anno I and 2 Edward VI. when the incumbent William Decon, had a yearly pension of six pounds

Footnotes 1. Lamb. Peramb. p. 184. Spelman's Gloss. p. 277.

  1. Battely's Somner, pt. i. appendix, p. 49.

  2. Jeake's Charters of the Cinque Ports, p. 23.

  3. See Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 187.

  4. See Leland's Itinerarty, vol. vi. p. 11.

  5. See an account of him in Wood's Ath. vol. ii. col. 255.

  6. On his death Thomas Westrow, esq. was chosen.

  7. The year before the restoration, Sir Robert Hales, knight and baronet, and William Kenrick, esq. were chosen by this port to parliament.

  8. In 1672, a new writ was ordered in the room of Sir Henry Wood, deceased, petition of Edward Hales, esq. referred. Journals, vol. ix. Again in 1674 petition of Mr. Hales referred, resolved, that Sir Lioline Jenkins is duly elected. Journals, ibid.

  9. In 1685, information given, that the mayor had returned himself, resolved by the house of commons, that Mr. Julius.

  10. Afterwards earl of Westmoreland.

  11. They were declared unduly elected by the house of commons, on the petition of William Berners and John Boteler, esq. who were declared duly elected in their stead. Journals, vol. xvi. On William Berners's death in 1712, Richard, viscount Shannon, was elected in his room.

  12. He died in 1728, and William Glanville, esq. was chosen in his room.

  13. He died in 1744, and Thomas Hales, esq. was chosen in his room.

  14. He died in 1766, and Col. William Amherst, (youngest brother of Jeffry, lord Amherst) was chosen in his room.

  15. Sir Charles Farnaby, bart. who had taken the name of Radcliffe, died in 1798, and the hon. Charles Marsham, eldest son of lord Romney, was chosen in his room.

  16. See Jeake's Charter's of the Cinque Ports, p. 129.

  17. This charter is sealed by the bishop, and by the community of the port of Hethe, with their common seal, anno 10th Edward III. See Reg. Roff. p. 413. Dugd. Mon. vol. ii. p. 468. Rot. Pat. 10 Edward III, p. I, m. 14. Tan. Mon. p. 225.

  18. Strype's Life of archbishop Parker, p. 114.

  19. See Raii Synopsis, p. 142, 252, 337, 375, 423. Hudson, p. 186, 307, 405. Merrett's Pinax, p. 14.

  20. Willia's Mitred Abbeys, vol. ii. 105.


WRITTEN in Domesday,Werde, is the next hundred south-westward from Hythe. In the 20th year of king Edward III. it was written as at present.


  1. WEST HYTHE in part.






And the churches of those parishes; and likewise part of the parishes of LIMNE AND NEWCHURCH, the churches of which are in other hundreds.

This hundred, excepting that part of the parish of West Hythe within the bounds of it, lies wholly in the district of Romney Marsh, and within the liberties and jurisdiction of the justices of the same.

It was intended to have described all the parishes lying on the quarry-hills above the marsh first, and then those in the marsh altogether, in order to prevent the frequent change from the marsh to the upland country and back again, in the descriptions of them; but the hundreds remaining undescribed in this lath extending promiscuously over parishes both on the hills and in the marsh, has entirely prevented that method being pursued.

WEST HYTHE LIES the next adjoining parish south-westward from the township and parish of Hythe, last-described. It was at first called simply Hythe, and in after times Old Hythe, (fn. 1) in comparison of the new and more prosperous town which rose out of its ruins, but more usually West Hythe, from its situation westward of it. Great part of this parish is a member of the town and port of Hythe, and within the jurisdiction of the justices of it, the liberty of which and of the cinque ports claim over so much of it; the residue, being the north-west part, in which the church stood, is within the hundred of Worth, and jurisdiction of the justices of the county. The manor of Wye extends over a small part of this parish.

This place seems to have been but of small consequence, whilst the neighbouring harbour of Limne remained in a flourishing state; but when that was deserted by the sea, and the ships by that means hindered from coming to it, this haven of West Hythe succeeded in turn, and became the usual resort for shipping in its stead, and the town here increased in proportion as that of Limne decayed. But this was of no long duration, for the sea continuing to decrease from this coast, after no great length of time, left this haven likewise so choaked up with beach and sand, that it became entirely useless, and the shipping were necessicated to stop eastward at Hythe, the haven of which then became the usual resort in the room of it; but the same inconstancy of that fluctuating element prevailed after some time there too, and destroyed that harbour in like manner, by withdrawing its waters from it, so that now the sea does not flow near it for the space of near half a mile, nor to this place for three times that distance.

The particular times of the destruction of these havens, by the sea deserting them, has never been ascertained. That of Limne was after the Romans had left this island, and it must have been during the time of the Saxons, perhaps in their earliest time here; for in the reign of king Edward the Consessor, this of West Hythe was become of such resort and consequence, that it was esteemed as one of the cinque ports. From which time the town is said to have greatly increased, insomuch that Leland seems to infer that it in some measure reached all along the shore, to where the substance of Hythe now is, as one of the same town, in which there were three churches besides this of Our Lady of West Hythe, the ruins of which, as well as the church-yards, remained in his time; and although there is great probability of the truth of these circumstances, yet there is no mention of them by any one else, any more than there is, that this town of West Hythe, where the ruins of the church then remained, was more particularly that which was burnt along the shore in the reign of Richard II. as has been already fully related before. When this haven of West Hythe was rendered useless, and that of Hythe, eastward of it, resorted to in its stead, has only been conjectured; but most probably it was not long before the Norman conquest, at which time lord Coke says, Hythe was added to the other ports, which I should apprehend means the present port, in the room of the old one of West Hythe, which thenceforward became only a member to the new one. Some place the Roman port, called Portus Lemanis, at West Hythe, and others at Hythe; among the latter is Baxter, forming their conjectures from the derivation of the name; but neither of these places are of sufficient antiquity for this purpose, and however the learned may disagree where that port was, they in general agree, that it was not at either of these places.

The parish lies on the ridge of quarry or sand hills, and extends below them westward as far as Botolphs bridge, now vulgarly called Butters bridge, the two houses near which are within the bounds of it, and southward quite to the sea shore between the parishes of Hythe and Dimchurch. There is no village; but there are about fifteen straggling houses, and the ruins of the church, at the foot of the hill, close to the marsh grounds. Several large thriving elms grow near the foot of the hill, going down to the church; a tree very rare indeed near this place.

It is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURIDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Limne.

The church, which was dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary, has been long since in ruins; it appears to have been very small, and consisted of one small isle, and a still smaller chancel. The west, north, and part of the south walls are standing. The arch between the isle and chancel is gothic, as is that of the door at the west end, over which is an arch of Roman brick, but not the work of that people; there is a small window likewise in the south wall, turned with the same brick, but of modern work. It probably fell to decay at the very latter end of king Henry VII. or beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign; for in the 17th year of the former, Robert Beverlye, vicar, was buried in the choir of it; and when Leland wrote, about the middle of the latter reign, about forty years afterwards, he represents it as then in ruins.

This church is a vicarage, in the patronage of the archdeacon of Canterbury, who has likewise the appropriation of the great tithes. In the 8th year of king Richard II. this vicarage was valued at four pounds, and on account of the smallness of its income, not taxed to the tenth. It is valued in the king's books at 8l. 14s. 4½d. and the yearly tenths at 17s. 5¼d. In 1588 here were communicants fiftythree; in 1640, forty; and it was valued at fortyfour pounds. Before the civil wars of king Charles I. there was paid twelve-pence an acre to the vicar for marsh-land in this parish; but the incumbent, to ingratiate himself with the parishioners, abated twopence per acre; so that there has been only tenpence paid ever since.

The christenings, marriages, burials, and other occasional duties, are performed at Limne church, for which the vicar pays to the vicar of Limne an annual acknowledgment.

This vicarage is now of about twenty-seven pounds clear annual income.

Church of West Hythe.

Patrons, Vicars.

Or by whom presented.

Archdeacon of Canterbury. William Merricke, Sept. 23, 1595, obt. 1610.

James Hyrst, A. M. May 29, 1610, resigned 1615.

Barnaby Pownall, Dec. 20, 1615, resigned 1629.

William Kennet, A. M. July 25, 1629, obt. 1633.

Stephen Sackett, A. M. Nov. 9, 1633, obt. 1679.

William Coleman, clerk, May 10, 1679.

William Newton, March 12, 1719, resigned 1732.

John Sackett, A. M. June 16, 1732, obt. 1753.

William Howdell, A. M. 1753, the present vicar.


  1. See Leland's Itinerary, vol. vi. p. II.

  2. See Harleian MSS. No.6997.

  3. Likewise curate of Wingham. He wrote the Antiquities of Maidstone. He resigned this vicarage on being presented to the rectory of Gillingham, in Dorsetshire.

  4. See Folkestone, of which parish he was likewise curate.

What are you waiting for?

For a Free Listing on Folca, if you are in the Shepway area, provide us with a name, contact details, and type of service, business or skill. For an Enhanced Listing on Folca check the More Information on the Directory page buttons to see the sort of details we require, and contact us for further details.