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Sandwich, East of Canterbury on A257, was founded by the Saxons on the coast at the mouth of the River Stour. Since then the river has silted up and Sandwich is 2 miles inland, with fields and golf courses juxtaposed between it and the sea.
The quay offers a convenient parking area and peaceful picnic place, with wooden benches and plenty of grass for laying out rugs along the willow-fringed riverbank. Active youngsters will enjoy the excellent safe playground. Visitors can stroll along the quayside where a range of old boats, including Thames-style barges and houseboats, float quietly up and down with the tide, or take a river-bus trip on the Stour to the small nature reserve of Gazen Salts, and beyond to the Roman ruins of Richborough Castle and the museum which displays finds from the site.


Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Shopping in Sandwich
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Sandwich Directory
Sandwich - Cinque Port
The town of Sandwich is now two miles from the sea. When it was at the height of it's power, between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, Sandwich Haven was a major port in England. It was the landing place for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury and travellers to London. According to the Cinque Port Charter of 1668, Fordwich was then a corporate member town, associated with Sandwich, and Deal a non corporate member. Deal grew to be a much busier port and took over Fordwich's position and is now the main associate. Sandwich only began to decline as a port in the sixteenth century, as the sea began to recede, and the Wantsum Channel silted up.
An original Cinque Port, Sandwich was one of England's most important naval bases, yet by the 15th century it was no longer even a harbour, but a cloth manufacturing town, its continued prosperity coming from refugee Flemish weavers who sailed there. When the cloth industry declined Sandwich became an exclusive golfing resort, with the Royal St. George's Golf Club between the town and Sandwich bay, where there is a nature reserve.
Today it is a quiet little market town with narrow streets and alleys radiating from Cattle Market, the central square with its Elizabethan town hall housing the museum. Strand Street, which runs along the former seafront, now riverside, is full of timber-framed buildings including the magnificent Weaver's Hall and King's Arms. Two of the town gates survive: massive Barbican Gate to the north, leading to the swing bridge over the river, and Fisher Gate, constructed in 1384, overlooking the quay.
Sandwich Market
At the heart of the town of Sandwich in Kent is the Guildhall, the focal point of both modern activities and ancient traditions. The Farmers' Market located around the Guildhall and Cattle Market revives this tradition ensuring they continue to play an important role in our farming community.
The farmers' Market takes place on the last Saturday in the month (March through November) between the hours of 9.00am and 1.00pm.
The Farmers Market has a variety of stalls including :-
Fruit and Vegetables in season,
Free Range Meats,
Fresh Fish
Cakes, Pastries,
Italian baked goods,
Homemade Bird Boxes,
Handmade Cards.
Handmade jewellery
Handcrafted Clocks
Dining in Sandwich
Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Sandwich Directory
The Port of Sandwich is no stranger to odd events in English history. It was here in 1255 that the first captive elephant was landed in England,[3] The prize beast arrived at Sandwich quayside, delivered as a gift to the English monarch Henry III, from the French king, and was then taken on foot to the king's zoo at the Tower of London. The journey through Kent is reported to have proceeded without incident, except when a bull in a field adjacent to the roadside took umbrage to the great beast passing and attacked it. In one move the animal was thrown by the elephant and killed outright.

Before Sandwich became a Cinque Port, the ancient Saxon town of Stonar, located on the bank of the Wantsum estuary, but on the opposite side of the mouth of the River Stour, was already well established. It remained a place of considerable importance until it disappeared almost without trace in the 14th century. The ruins of the major Roman fort of Richborough are close by. It was the landing place of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. The 2008 discovery proved that this was a defensive site of a Roman beachhead, protecting 700 metres of coast.

On 21 May 1216, Prince Louis of France landed at Sandwich in support of the baron's war against King John.

The Fisher Gate on the quay dates from 1384 and has been scheduled as an Ancient Monument. It is the only one of the original mediaeval town gates to survive. It is a Grade I listed building. The nearby Barbican dates from the 14th century and stands at the end of the bridge over the River Stour where it acted as a toll house.

On 28 August 1457, after four years of uneasy peace in England the king presided over a wasting realm, with feudal barons lording over the population of the north and the west of the realm.[9] The French took advantage of the situation by sending a raiding party to Kent, burning much of Sandwich to the ground. A force of around 4,000 men from Honfleur, under the command of Marshal de Breze came ashore to pillage the town, in the process murdering the mayor, John Drury. It thereafter became an established tradition, which survives to this day, that the Mayor of Sandwich wears a black robe in mourning for this ignoble deed.

Sandwich was later to gain significantly from the skills brought to the town by many Dutch settlers, who were granted the right to settle by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. These settlers, brought with them techniques of market gardening, and were responsible for growing the first English celery. The Huguenot refugees also brought over Dutch architectural techniques, that are now as much a part of Kent as the thatched cottage. In addition techniques of silk manufacture were imported, enhancing the Kent cloth industry.

The title Earl of Sandwich was created in 1660 for the prominent naval commander Admiral Sir Edward Montagu.

In 1759, Thomas Paine had his home and shop in a house at 20 New Street, Sandwich.[10] The house is now marked with a plaque and is a listed building.

In 1912 Sir Edwin Lutyens built The Salutation in Queen Anne style. The gardens were laid out by Gertrude Jekyll.

In 1980 Jean Barker was made Baroness Trumpington of Sandwich.

Sandwich is twinned with Ronse in Belgium, Honfleur in France and Sonsbeck in Germany.

There is Monk's Wall nature reserve and a bird observatory at Sandwich Bay, which provides a home for wild duck and other wildlife in a wetland habitat. The reserve was opened by celebrity bird-watcher Bill Oddie in May 2000. Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust proposed the design and a Management plan including modifications to ditches and control of water levels to create ecological conditions that attract wetland species of plants, animals and birds. Historically the land was reclaimed from the river and sea by the monks of Sandwich and the northern boundary is still the old Monks' wall of the 13th century. In the 1953 floods the sea covered the whole area around Sandwich and after these fields were drained a new river bank was created and the land ploughed for arable farming with heavy use of fertiliser.

There is also a 15 acres (6.1 ha) Local Nature Reserve known as Gazen Salts.

Sandwich lies at the southern end of Pegwell Bay which includes a large nature reserve, known for its migrating waders and wildfowl, with a complete series of seashore habitats including extensive mudflats and salt marsh.

The Guildhall, in the town square, was built in 1579. Work in 1812 encased the building in yellow brick, this was removed 100 years later in 1912, when the south-west wing was also added. Further alterations were undertaken later in the 20th century. It contains antique panelling and paintings, particularly within the council chamber. It is a Grade II* listed building.[20] It includes a stained glass window, showing Queen Elizabeth I arriving at Sandown Gate in 1573, which was added in 1906.

The Admiral Owen is a pub in a two storey 15th century timber-framed building. It was refronted in the 18th century but this preserved the overhang of its 1st floor on a Bressummer and massive corner post with 3 brackets.[22] The nearby Crispin Inn was originally called the Crispin and Crispianus. It has similar timber framing and was built in the 16th century. Across the road on the quay is the Bell Hotel, which underwent major rebuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. There’s been a Bell Inn on the quay since the 14th century.

The three pubs cluster around The Barbican which was built in the late 14th century. It consists of 2 round towers, with chequered work of stone and flints. A narrow road passes between the towers with a semi-circular timber barrel roof over it. A small 2-storeyed 20th century house built on to north side of the north west tower was occupied by the toll collector for the bridge. The bridge itself was built in 1773 of Portland stone with a Dutch type timber raised platform which was replaced in 1892 with an iron swing bridge.

Sandwich has had at least eight windmills over the centuries, the earliest reference to a mill being dated 1608.[27] Two windmills were marked by Hasted at the New Cut on the Stour estuary. They were most likely pumping mills associated with the saltworks there in the late eighteenth century.

The White Mill is the only survivor. It was built in 1760 and worked by wind until 1929, then by engine until 1957. Today it has been restored and is a heritage and folk museum. The Black Mill was a smock mill which burnt down circa 1910.
There was also a post mill which stood near the Black Mill, and was worked in conjunction with it. A smock mill on the Millwall was also known as the Town Mill. It was burnt down. Another mill of unknown type is known to have stood on the Millwall. A sixth windmill stood to the north west of Sandwich, and west of the railway. It formed a group of three with the Black Mill and its neighbour.

The town is served by Sandwich railway station. It was formerly also served by Sandwich Road railway station on the East Kent Light Railway.

Sandwich has been bypassed by the A256 road, which connects the Thanet towns to Dover, and is reached from Canterbury by the A256 road.

St Bartholomews Chapel was restored and enlarged by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century.[29] Nearby were two religious almshouses; St. Barts Hospital dates back to around 1190 and St. Thomas's Hospital which was built in the 14th century and named in honour of St. Thomas Becket.

The Church of St Peter includes some evidence of early Norman work, but was rebuilt in the early 13th century. In 1661 the top of the central tower collapsed, destroying the south aisle. The Anglican parish church is St. Clement which has a tower dating from the latter half of the 12th century, with the rest of the church being from the 12th and 14th centuries. St Mary's Church also has Norman features and was built on the site of a convent founded by Domne Eafe, cousin to King Ecgberht of Kent.

Sandwich has two world-class golf courses, Royal St George's which hosts The Open Championship approximately every 10 years, and Prince's which hosted The Open Championship in 1932, and is currently an Open Championship Final Qualifying course. The Open Championship has returned to Sandwich in 2011.

The town's connection with the snack of the same name is that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who lived in the 18th century allegedly invented it. It is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. Because Montagu also happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" However, the exact circumstances of the invention are still the subject of debate. A rumour in a contemporary travel book called Tour to London (although not confirmed) by Pierre Jean Grosley formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table. The sober alternative is provided by Sandwich's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, who suggests Sandwich's commitments to the navy, to politics and the arts mean the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his desk.

The town of Sandwich has an annual festival period towards the end of August where a number of events are staged. During Sandwich festivals of the past there have been European markets, motorcycle meets, illuminsted boat parade or dressed ship parade on The Quay, a street Barn Dance, various concerts (both classical and modern pop/rock), Simultaneous Chess Tournament with Grand Master John Emms and a vintage Car Show. The festival usually lasts for 8 days.

There is a nearby hamlet to the south called Ham. A fingerpost some miles away in the village of Worth points towards both Ham and Sandwich, thus reading:"Ham Sandwich."

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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
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Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895


Sandwich, a market-town, a municipal borough, and three parishes in Kent. The town stands on the river Stour, with a station on the Deal branch of the S.E.R., 86 miles from London, 2 W of Pegwell Bay, and 4 1/2 NW by N of Deal, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It grew out of the ruins of the Roman Rhutupis or Ratnpise at Richborough; was known to the Saxons as Sandwic or Sondwych, signifying "sand town," figured in the Saxon times also as Lundenwic, or outport to London; appears first on record as the landing place of Wilfred in 665, after he had preached among the Frisians; was attacked, but not taken, by the Danes in 838 and 851; was attacked by them again and pillaged in 852, 994, and 1007; stood, in these early times, on the margin of the sea, with a good and capacious haven; was the rendezvous of the fleet of Etheldred II. to oppose the Danes; suffered renewed attacks by the Danes in 1008, 1009, and 1013; became, about 1014, the most important of the English harbours,, was visited in that year by Canute; was the landing place of Canute in 1016, on his way to the throne; was reconstructed by Canute, and given by him to Christ Church, Canterbury; was visited in 1039 by Hardicanute; had 307 houses in the time of Edward the Confessor, and was then made a Cinque port; was visited by Edward the Confessor in 1049, and again in 1052 to oppose Earl Godwin. It had 383 houses at Domesday; was the embarking place of Thomas A Becket after his scene with the king at Northampton, and his landing place on his return in December, 1170; was the landing place of Richard I. in 1194, after his imprisonment in Austria; was burned by the French in 1217; was the embarking place of Edward III., for France and Flanders, in 1342, 1345,1347, 1349, 1359, and 1372; was the landing place of the Black Prince, with his prisoner the French king; was fortified against the French in 1384 by Richard II.; was the embarking place in 1416 of Henry V.; was plundered by the French in 1445, and burned by them in 1457; made such speedy recovery from its disasters as to have 95 ships with 1500 sailors in the time of Edward IV., and as then to yield customs to the yearly amount of £17,000; was the embarking place of Edward IV. to France in 1475; began to suffer decay from the choking of its harbour with sand about 1500; experienced revival in 1561 and subsequent years, by immigration of Walloons, acting principally as barge workers and as gardeners; suffered a slight stroke of earthquake in 1579 ; was ravaged by plague in 1636,1637,1644, and 1666; was visited by Henry VIII., by Elizabeth in 1573, by Cromwell in 1651, by Charles II. in 1660. It numbers among its natives Bishop Henry de Sandwich, who died in 1273; Manwood the lawyer, who died in 1592; Sir J. Mennes the mariner, who was born in 1598; Sir J. Burroughs the herald, who died in 1643; Sir H. Furnese, who was born in 1658; Sir G. Ent the physician, who died in 1689; Burchett, the admiralty secretary in the time of Queen Anne; Dr Simmons, who was born in 1750; and Admiral Rainier, who died in 1808. It has given the title of Earl to the family of Montague since 1650, and had its name transferred, through the Earl Sandwich who was minister of George III., to the group of South Sea Islands discovered by Cook in 1769.
The town had an ancient castle which was held against Edward IV. by Falconbridge and is now quite gone, and had also encompassing walls, partly of stone, partly of earth, with five gates, one of which called Fisher's Gate still stands. The old walls have been converted into a promenade. It had likewise a Carmelite friary, founded in 1272 by Lord Clinton, vested with the privilege of sanctuary, and given at the dissolution to the Ardens, and retains interesting fragments of ancient domestic architecture. A curiously carved house, supposed to be of the time of Henry VIII., and the house said to have been occupied by Queen Elizabeth in 1572, are still in existence. There are also the remains of a Roman amphitheatre in the neighbourhood. Sandwich exhibits now a decayed, antique, crowded, and intricate appearance, more that of a plain old weather-worn continental town than most old towns in England. It stands, with rectangular outline, on a platform about 15 feet above the level of an encompassing plain; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; was made a borough by Edward III.; is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; and until disfranchised by the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, returned, in conjunction with Deal and Walmer, two members of Parliament. It has two banks, a guild-hall of 1579, an assembly-room, a two-arched bridge with swing for transit of vessels, three churches, three ahnshouse hospitals, and considerable charities. St Clement's Church has Early English nave and chancel, a low central Norman tower, a restored Tudor roof, miserere stalls, and an ancient octagonal font. The churchyard has yielded ancient urns and other antiquities, indicating it to have probably been a cemetery connected with the Roman Ehutupis. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury; net value, £150 with residence. Patron, the Archdeacon of Canterbury. St Peter's Church is mainly Early English, and has a ruined S aisle, a modern tower of stone below and brick above, and numerous monuments hidden by pews; the whole building has undergone frequent restoration since 1865. The living is a rectory; net value, £135 with residence. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. St Mary's Church is partly ancient, and has a steeple of 1718; the building was thoroughly restored in 1874. The living is a vicarage; net value, £90 with residence. Patron, the Archdeacon of Canterbury. St Bartholomew's Hospital was founded about 1200, gives lodging and maintenance to sixteen persons, includes an interesting Early English chapel which has been thoroughly restored, and has an endowed income of £850. St Thomas' Hospital was founded in 1392 by T. Elys, maintains twelve persons, includes an ancient dining-hall with Early Perpendicular English window, and has an endowed income. St John's Hospital was founded before 1287, and afterwards rebuilt, and has an endowed income. There are Wesleyan, Congregational, and Primitive Methodist chapels.
A corn market is held every Wednesday, and a cattle market every alternate Monday. Tanning, wool-sorting, malting, brewing, seed-crushing, iron-founding, and shipbuilding are carried on; coal is extensively imported for the supply of much of the E of Kent; timber and iron are also imported; and corn, malt, flour, seeds, wool, fruit, timber, and hops are exported. Extensive golf links have been formed on the downs by the St George's Golf Club. The municipal borough comprises the parishes of St Clement, St Peter, and St Mary, and the extra-parochial tract of St Bartholomew's Hospital. Area of the municipal borough, 707 acres; population, 2796; of St Mary's parish, 126 acres; population, 916; of St Peter, 40 acres; population, 1010; of St Clement, 535 acres; population, 833; and of St Bartholomew's Hospital, 6 acres; population, 37.
S3 Sandwich St. Clement
S4 Sandwich St. Mary
S5 Sandwich St. Peter
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