Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sandwich, Kent

Seal of Sandwich 1238

Sandwich was one of the main Cinque Ports. It was a fief of the Archbishops of Canterbury and was used by Becket to make good his secret escape to Flanders after the council of Northampton in 1164. And also for his return from exile in 1170. The people of Sandwich were his men, and owed fealty to him. 

Very likely in Becket's time it was involved in the North Sea herring trade, and the people of this region of England were Men of Kent. It always had many small boats, especially fishing ones, ready for cross-channel traffic.

In 1023 it is alleged that king Cnut granted the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, the tolls of the port of Sandwich and all the landing place and water dues on both sides of the Wantsum channel [River Stour] along with half of any clothes, nets, weapons, iron, gold or silver found on the western shore of the Wantsum.

Sandwich [Sandvika] was an important channel port during the Middle Ages. For a very long time. however, the whole area has been silting up with sands, and the river channel of the long reach of the River Stour which led from the sea by Pepper Ness to Sandwich town is not as deep and wide as it once was. The land around Sandwich is low lying marshland liable to flooding, a kind of fenland, some of which has been deliberately reclaimed. For example there is the Monk's Wall constructed by the monks of Sandwich to reclaim land from the river and sea in the 13th Century. The port of Sandwich was known as Sandwich Haven [Portus Sandvicensis].


King Cnut of England grants his crown and the port of Sandwich to Christ Church, Canterbury, 1023: Stowe Ch 39

English Channel: Kent and Pas de Calais
Wikipedia Sandwich (Kent)

Wikimapia Sandwich and Eastry

1023 - Charter for the Grant by king Cnut to Christ Church, Canterbury, the port of Sandwich.

Anglo-saxon chronicle (1861). Annales Saxonici. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts. pp. 290–1.

Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris; Its (1815). Mémoires. pp. 198–9.

Caius Plinius Secundus (maior); Ajasson de Grandsagne (1829). Histoire naturelle de Caius Plinius Secundus. Panckoucke. pp. 332–3.

Saxon Shore Way - Wikipedia

Samuel Lewis (1831). A Topographical Dictionary of England: Kent: S. Lewis. pp. 500–.

Stuart Fisher (5 January 2012). Rivers of Britain: Estuaries, Tideways, Havens, Lochs, Firths and Kyles. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 243–. ISBN 978-1-4081-5583-7.

British History Online. 
The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10 (pp. 152-216)
The town and port of Sandwich

Town Plan of Sandwich  1787

Town Plan of Sandwich  1787
1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Eastry." The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10 (1800): 98-121. British History Online. 
British Historical Documents: Life of Thomas Becket (Gervase of Canterbury)

Richborough Castle

Isle of Thanet

Edward Hasted. "The island of Thanet: Introduction." The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10 (1800): 217-237. British History Online. 
Watling Street

Sandwich 19th century

British Library: A Chart of the Isle of Thanet and Sandwich Marsh 

Goodwin Sands



Isle of Thanet

Isle of Thanet [Thanatis or Tenet] Map Showing the Ancient Course of the River Wantsume Past Stourmouth ca 1550

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