HYTHE KENT
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There are plenty of flat areas along the seafront and in Hythe's many green spaces where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll.
With its fabulous Festival and Venetian Fete and a winning combination of sea and greenery, sheltered alleys and higher levels, Hythe is picturesque, peaceful, friendly and perfectly placed.

Hythe is a fascinating town of interweaving scenes and contrasts. First theres the sea and the shingle beach, behind it swathes of parks and greenery leading to the grand wide canal and country park.
The central High Street and heart of the town shelters behind the canal and its surrounding parkland, while the town centre itself masks the hills behind. Alleys from the High Street lead steeply upwards to a higher level of parallel road thats packed with beautiful old houses and cottages.
Above these cottages is the highest of the towns three levels, where the magnificent church of St Leonards sits alone, commanding views across the rooftops all around.
Theres a friendly, old world atmosphere in the 1940s-style shops, yet Hythe is close to London and near enough to France to do your shopping plus its tailor made for outdoor activities, from sailing and windsurfing to swimming to golf.

HYTHE - PLACES OF INTEREST | HYTHE - POINTS OF INTEREST | HYTHE - PEOPLE OF INTEREST

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.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Hythe - Around Town
There are four car parks in the main part of town, plus on-street parking in many of the roads. The High Street (main part) is relatively flat, but there are higher levels of Hythe which you might prefer to reach by car. Start at the Red Lion Square end of the High Street. The huge yellow building on your left is Malthouse Arcade.
Walk up the High Street and soon you'll see The Old Willow Restaurant, a wonderful jettied building, on the right. Don't miss Paydens Healthcare, with the plaque above marking the birthplace of Sir Francis Pettit.
Soon you come to The Swan Hotel on the left, then the Old Town Hall, a lovely yellow building with a colonnaded undercroft, which was once the old market place.
St Leonards Church is to the left, but its a very steep climb, so if this is problematic ignore the following section and go by car to the upper car park. Otherwise, turn left from the High Street, taking the path that passes under the Town Halls upper storey. This leads to Market Hill, and to your left you'll see The Manor House, a grand 17th-century red-brick building.
Cross Bartholomew Street and take the footpath up to the church: don't miss the attractive stone cottage on the right. Turn right as you come out to follow Oak Walk, then at its end turn left into Church Hill. At the bottom on the right corner with Bartholomew Street is historic Centuries house. Turn left and retrace your steps to the High Street.
Continue on up the High Street until you come to the Kings Head on the left, cross the road and almost opposite are the Almshouses, adjoining the timber-beamed premises of Wells restaurant. Further on, turn right into Douglas Avenue, and follow this down to the end, to Prospect Road. Cross over to Waitrose, go down The Avenue, to the left of the supermarket, and follow this road to the end. Go up the steps ahead, and climb up the broad grassy bank to the raised central path.
Ahead is a fantastic view of the canal below, beyond it the cricket ground and houses in the distance. Turn right and walk along this path, and you come to the black-metal Ladies Walk Bridge across the canal.
Before you is the white War Memorial and a splendid garden. Walk over the bridge and from here you can go into the ground of Oaklands house (you can, eventually, reach the seashore by going down Ladies Walk, but this is a long way).
From the canal bank, retrace your steps across the bridge, go out of the park onto Prospect Road. Cross here, and turn left to go back towards town. On your right is Aldi supermarket, go to the left along Bank Street, which leads you back to the High Street.
Hythe Dining
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There are a large selection of eating places in Hythe, covering all four corners of our gastronomic globe to tempt even the most discerning connoisseur. Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal, or indulge in a taste sensation.
Hythe Directory
Hythe History Room
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An interesting local museum covering the history of Hythe, situated next to the Town Council Offices in Oaklands. Access (no stairs) is via the Public Library through an entrance hall used as an arts / crafts gallery.
The fully registered Museum is in three rooms, containing memorabilia depicting the civic and social history of the town, together with a reminder of the importance of the Small Arms School Corps, which used to be stationed in the Town.

'The Story of Hythe' is the latest addition to the information on display. Enquires on the Collections and on any aspect of the local history can be left with the Library staff, or the administrative staff of Hythe Town Council. There is also a 'state-of-the-art' interactive multimedia display showing old and new Visions of Hythe.
Admission to the Local History Room is free - the opening times are the same as those of the Library.
Map Directions
Hythe Swimming
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Hythe Swimming Pool has an exciting programme of swimming activities for all ages and abilities
Early Morning Swims - Senior Sessions - Adult Only Session - Family Sessions - Lane Swimming - AquaFit Classes - Atlantis Swimming - Lessons For All Ages - Pool Parties - Swimming Galas - Hythe Aqua Swimming Club - Water Polo - Synchronised Swimming - Diving - Snorkelling - Personal Survival
The main swimming pool is 25m x 11m and the dedicated teaching pool (baby pool) is 9.5m x 4.5m
Map Directions
Hythe Art Society
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Hythe Art Society was formed in 1965, and is now a thriving, well-supported Society. We meet fortnightly on Wednesdays in the St. John Ambulance Hall in Albert Lane, Hythe, CT21 6BY. Meetings start at 2.15. From September to May we have a monthly demonstration by a professional artist, then a workshop on the alternative Wednesdays, where members can try out the techniques demonstrated the previous meeting or ‘do their own thing’. We also have a Summer outdoor painting programme from June to September, run organised trips to various London Galleries, and have regular video evenings at Saltwood Parish Church. There is a DVD and video Library available at demonstration meetings and we have various other art-related activities and events through the year.
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Hythe News
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NEW STREET SIGNS FOR HYTHE
Hythe now has some new, very smart illustrated map and information street signs to make finding what you want to see or do that bit easier. Strategically placed in Aldi's Car park, at Waitrose and Princes Parade.
Hythe Farmers Market
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Hythe's market once took place in Market Square (now Red Lion Square) close to where there is now a Farmers' Market every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
Map Directions
Hythe Cricket & Squash Club
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Hythe Cricket and Squash Club host a number of different sports, much more than the name would imply.
Cricket: Hythe boasts several cricket teams which are played at varying levels. The First XI Play in the Kent League on a Saturday afternoon and our annual overseas player usually plays in this team. In 2014,we are lucky enough to have IPL player Sujit Nayak as our overseas player.
The Second XI also play in the Kent League on a Saturday afternoon and with their varied age group are a pleasure to watch.
The Sunday XI play in the East Kent League. Again, the varied age group makes for an enjoyable game.
The Cavaliers are a non-league team who play cricket on a Monday evening. This is a more relaxed game and the players and spectators clearly enjoy the matches
Colts Cricket: Colts training in held Sunday mornings 10-12.00hrs for children from 6-18 years. Matches for these age groups are usually held the same time. Hot and cold drinks along with snacks are for sale during these sessions.
Coaching is available for those aged 6-15 years. Those aged 15-18 years have the opportunity to join the V-Cricket scheme.
Squash and Racketball: Squash is played on our two indoor, newly refurbished courts. Adults can play competitively in the league or just for fun.
Junior Squash: Junior squash is coached on a Saturday morning 10.30-12.00hrs. Parental spectators are welcome (if your children allow it!)
Football: The adult football team, Grove Grovellers, play from October to March.
Children’s football: Hythe Cricket and Squash Club are linked with Stars and Stripes, the children’s football teams in Hythe. Winter matches are played on the outfield of the club.
Golf: The Golf Society is an informal group who play golf, socialise and enjoy food.
Map Directions
Hythe & Saltwood Sailing Club
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Situated just off the large shingle beach at Hythe, Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club provides great facilities for sailing and windsurfing in an informal, friendly environment. A real ‘family’ club, we welcome visitors and new members alike; you’ll soon feel ‘part of the family’. The sailing and windsurfing at Hythe is excellent, ranging from those warm, flat days, ideal for beginners, to demanding force 8 gales; enough to test the most proficient windsurfer. Usually, however, conditions are a more sedate force 2 to 4 in the prevailing south-westerly winds.
Hythe & Saltwood Sailing Club is situated on the sea front at Hythe, Kent, 10 minutes from the M20 motorway. This position allows the Club to take advantage of the excellent sailing area provided by Hythe Bay, with the convenience of Hythe town and other nearby sporting facilities. Members of the Club come from all aspects of the local community, from retired couples, to young families with children. For the non-sailor there is a social membership at a specially reduced rate.
The well appointed clubhouse, whose sun deck overlooks Marine Parade, has a licensed bar, a galley providing hot food and refreshments, changing rooms with hot showers, a large dinghy park and a secure sailboard storage garage. All club facilities, the bar and galley are run by Club members on a voluntary basis, thus ensuring a friendly atmosphere for the whole family.
The Club has two main activity sections, designed to promote both dinghy sailing and windsurfing. However the Club also has a strong social programme, with numerous parties, BBQ’s and fun sports for everyone’s enjoyment. Special events are also held throughout the year with open days and regattas.
Map Directions
Hythe Shopping
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The long ancient High Street is restricted to traffic, making it a delightful place to wander and discover the many small independent shops that reside there. There are plenty of shops to suit all tastes.
The myriad of streets and lanes surrounding the church are exceptional, with spectacular views across the town and far reaching sea views.
Hythe Directory
Saltwood Castle
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Hythe was once defended by two castles, Saltwood Castle and Lympne Castle. Saltwood derives its name from the village in its shadow. During the reign of king Canute the manor of Saltwood was granted to the priory of Christ Church in Canterbury, but during the 12th century it became home of Henry d'Essex, constable of England.
Thomas Becket had sought from King Henry II restoration of the castle as an ecclesiastical palace. Henry instead granted the castle to Ranulf de Broc.
See Map for Directions
More about Saltwood
Hythe Lawn Tennis Club
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Hythe Lawn Tennis Club was formed in 1889 making it one of the oldest Tennis Clubs in the United Kingdom.
Situated on the banks of the historic Royal Military Canal in the heart of a conservation area the Club boasts eight all weather floodlit courts which are open from 9am to 10pm daily.
Membership is available from the youngest child to the oldest adult including family memberships and a special rate for students. The highest membership is still only just over £3.50 per week making tennis the most affordable of sports.
The Club has three social mix-in sessions a week and ample opportunity to arrange your own games if you wish. We also enter up to 40 teams in the local leagues throughout the Winter and Summer Seasons.
There is an excellent social side to the Club with regular fun tournaments, monthly supper nights, twice yearly quizzes and beginning and end of season parties.
We have the services of a full time coach so whether you simply want to learn tennis, brush up on your techniques or be taught the finer points of the game there are group lessons for you or private lessons if you wish.
For further information go to our website www.hythetennis.com or visit the Hythe Lawn tennis Facebook page or contact the Chairman Hilary Casey on 07791 732636.
Map Directions
Hythe Golf
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Sene Valley Golf Club
A downland course, with stunning views of the North Downs and across the English Channel . Enjoy our excellent undulating greens and then the friendly service in Bar and Restaurant.
Sene Valley G.C. is the nearest Golf Course to the Channel Tunnel either side of the water. So why not break your journey with a days golf and channel views that will amaze you. We are most fortunate in having one of the most picturesque golf course locations in Kent. Our course is kept in excellent condition and the fast undulating greens are a pleasure to putt on. We have some of the best putting surfaces around. Map and directions to the Club are in the 'Contact us' section of the website.
There is ample car parking at Sene Valley Golf Club and when you have finished your round why not join the members in the bar for a drink and a bite to eat. If you would like to pre-book food then contact our caterer via the club and he will be happy to discuss your requirements.
Our club regularly welcomes many visitors from all over the UK and Europe.

Hythe Imperial Golf Club
Challenging 9-hole links course with views over the English Channel on one side and bordered by the Napoleonic Military Canal on the other. Easy-walking course.
Map Directions
Brockhill Country Park
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It was previously once part of a large estate, dating back to Norman times. The old manor house is adjacent to the park. This was once Brockhill Park, now used as the main building of Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. The estate is connected with the Tourney family, until the death of the eccentric William Tourney Tourney (the last Lord of Brockhill Manor) in 1903. Who seems to have a reputation for world travel and oddness as well as gaining an extra Tourney (to his name!). Upon his death, he is said to have ordered that his constant companions, his dog and his horse, were to be killed and buried with him. The grave of the dog is next to William's on an island in the middle of one of the lakes, that are now part in Brockhill Country Park.
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Brockhill Country
Park Brochure

Tourism Brochures
Martello Tower 15
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On the Hythe Ranges with Tower 14, Tower 15 had a 'D' painted on it, although this appears to have worn off. Fort Sutherland originally stood between 15 and Tower 16.
Standing further into the range danger area than Tower 14, the tower appears to be in a similar condition to its neighbour. The upper half of the brickwork is exposed where the outer skin of yellow brick has fallen off, although the general condition is reasonable.
The tower is currently empty, and the importance of the Hythe Ranges to the Ministry of Defence means that access and public use of Towers 14 and 15 is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future.
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About Martello Towers
Port Lympne
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Port Lympne Wild Animal Park & Gardens
There's an animal for everyone at Port Lympne. One of the largest wild animal parks in the UK, with plenty of wide open spaces for our animals to roam. Committed to conservation, putting animals first and treating them as guests. World leader in breeding rare and endangered species.
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More about Lympne
Royal Military Canal
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Take time out on a crisp sunny day and stroll alongside the Royal Military Canal, one of Kent’s famous pieces of local history. Discover its wildlife, beauty and past on a walking route in Hythe.

The Royal Military Canal runs across the northern edge of the marsh, to Winchelsea. Running under Stade Street, the canal, intended to repel invasion during the Napoleonic wars of 1804 to 1815, gives central Hythe its character. Now shaded by trees, the canal, 30 feet (10m) wide passes into the marsh from the middle of the town. The canal begins at Seabrook and runs through Hythe and across Romney Marsh to Winchelsea. Its 26-mile length can be walked.
Electric Boat Trip Video
Hythe Civic Society
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We promote the attractions and amenities of Hythe. We participated in the SEEDA partnership that delivered a number of community projects that have benefited the town and its visitors. We maintain an archive of photographs and documents, often dealing with research queries from all over the world.
Respected throughout Hythe, the Civic Society has an influential voice on a range of matters and as a member you will have an opportunity to direct the way in which this is brought to bear. Membership will enable you to celebrate the town’s heritage and physical environment, introduce new ideas and opportunities to young people and participate in the debates concerning the key issues affecting Hythe.
Hythe Civic Society
Hythe - Cinque Port
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Hythe was once the central Cinque Port, between Hastings and New Romney to the west and Dover and Sandwich to the east.
According to Hasted, a French fleet approached Hythe in 1293 and landed 200 men, 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 1348 the black death afflicted Hythe, and in 1400 the plague further reduced the population.
About Cinque Ports
Lympne Castle
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St. Stephen's church and Lympne Castle overlook Romney Marsh, the church being significantly older, and close by Lympne Hill figures in the Doctor Syn stories.
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More about Lympne
RHDR
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Hythe is the northern terminus of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, running third-scale steam and diesel locomotives. The track runs parallel to coast through Dymchurch and New Romney to Dungeness. The founders were Captain J Howey and Count Louis Zborowski. It opened in 1927. The trains run on a gauge of 15 inches (380 mm) in width, and the track is nearly 14 miles (23 km) long. During the Second World War the service transported the Operation Pluto pipeline.
Laurel & Hardy Video
Eaton Lands
Eaton Lands are one of Saltwood’s hidden treasures with precious few visitors discovering this delightful area of mature ancient woodland, meadows and wild flowers. In addition to the abundance of wildlife and nature on display it is also a great place to discover some peace and quiet, whilst still within a modern town environment. Eaton Lands are open every day of the year and is a short walk from the parish church of St Leonards. Eaton Lands Hythe, Kent CT21 5HY
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Venetian Fete
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HYTHE VENETIAN FETE 2015
Hythe Venetian Fete
Wednesday 19 August 2015
Royal Military Canal, Hythe, Kent
FLOATING EXTRAVAGANZA OF FAMILY FUN
PROCESSIONS OF DECORATED FLOATS
LIVE MUSIC - ENTERTAINMENTS - FIREWORKS AT DUSK
Gates open 4pm, Events start at 5pm,
Procession of floats - 7pm and after dark
FREE BAND CONCERTS
Canal Bank - 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th August 2015
Every two years, Hythe hosts the Hythe Venetian Fete, when organisations and individuals create decorated floats which travel up and down the Royal Military Canal.
Francis Petit Smith
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Francis Pettit Smith, inventor of the marine screw propeller, was born and raised in Hythe; a plaque is on the wall above Paydens Chemist in High Street.
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Kent Tourism Guides & Maps - Click to View

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Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Timetable 2015

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Saint Leonards Church - Hythe

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Saint Leonards Church - Hythe - Interactive Map
On the image below - hover over the Red buttons - click for details

Image Map
The large 11th-century church St Leonard is up the hill; the tower at its western end was destroyed by an earth tremor in 1739 and reconstructed in 1750.
Under the chancel (added on to the Norman church building in the 13th-century) is an ambulatory that was used for processions in the Middle Ages and which is now an ossuary containing the largest and best-preserved collection of skulls and bones in the United Kingdom. Shelves within four arches in what is (commonly but inaccurately) referred to as the crypt are lined with some 1,200 skulls, while a large stack of some 8,000 thigh-bones occupies much of the main floor space. These date from the medieval period, probably having been stored after exhumation to make way for new graves in St Leonard’s and other local churchyards. This was common in England, but bones were usually dispersed, and this is thus a rare collection. See Map for Directions --- 2015 concerts in St Leonard's Church.pdf
The Ossuary
The crypt of St Leonard’s Church in Hythe contains one of only two ossuaries in the UK (the other is in Rothwell, Northants). It holds over 2,000 skulls arranged neatly along the walls and 8,000 bones in a huge pile stacked almost to the ceiling - like a macabre game of Jenga. When death is such a taboo these days it’s a shock to see so much of it staring you in the face.
Seeing so many skulls in one go makes them less of a sinister object and more of an anthropological souvenir. They come in all shapes and sizes, some with axe wounds and congenital deformities – a sign of the times. One even shows a trepanning wound, where a hole was drilled in the skull and miraculously, the patient survived. A table of jawbones shows rows of teeth in surprisingly good shape. In those days refined sugar wasn’t part of the diet and the greatest dental hazard was tough bread.
This collection is gold dust for those want to know more about the health and genetic make-up of our predecessors. The numbers stamped on to each skull are signs of a study that took place in the 1930s. Recently, a forensic anthropology student from Bournemouth University was working away with a craniometer, measuring the skulls one by one. The owners hope that new technology will reveal more about the lives of the people who came to rest here.
Listen to Hythe Church Bells
Lionel Lukin
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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 life~boat, and was the original inventor of that principal of safety by which many lives and property have been preserved from shipwreck.’
Launching of the Nottingham Lifeboat 1930 Hythe
The City of Nottingham arrived at Hythe on 11th January 1930. The Lord Mayor of Nottingham christens new motor lifeboat gift of city and county. - Hythe, Kent.
Large crowds of people surrounding the new lifeboat singing songs. Live sound of Lord Mayor of Nottingham Walter Wesson dressed in long robes giving speech. He christens the boat by declaring that, "I name this beautiful ship the 'City of Nottingham'." He pulls a cord which smashes bottle against the side of the boat.
Live sound of the numerous people dragging the boat down ramp towards the water. Live sound of the boat launched into the water, people applaud as the boat takes to the water.
Centuries
The house named Centuries is the birthplace of Hamo de Hethe, b.1270, a son of Gilbert and Alice Noble of Hythe. Hamo became the Bishop of Rochester in Kent, England in 1330. The original building date is unknown, although confirmed in 2013 by English Heritage as 13th centuryThe house named Centuries in Hythe, Kent, England is the birthplace of Hamo de Hethe, b.1275, who became the Bishop of Rochester in Kent, England in 1330. The original house was built in 1107 by a family named Noble, believed to be Hamo's ancestors. The simple two story structure with a large cellar is built of local rag-stone and was, at that time, in a preeminent location on the docks in Hythe, on the corner of the 12th century road to Canterbury called Clyme Hill, via Saltwood Castle.

Built of Kentish rag-stone and wide-joined rubble, the simple two story structure had an exterior staircase made of wood on the east side. The cellar, with its door facing the docks, was used for storage and trade while the ground floor and first floor were living areas. It is likely that the original cellar door and south-facing windows had rounded arches in the Norman style, that were adapted to the Gothic style at the time of the western addition. There is a large stone that goes several feet into the ground on the southeast corner of the building which is most likely a mooring Bollard.
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In 1335 the west wing extension was added along the quayside on Duck Lane, by Hamo de Hethe,by then Bishop of Rochester. He continued to use the house as a summer residence. The west wing is built of roughly squared sandstone rubble with simple Gothic arched windows and a central door which leads, still today, through a stone floored passage that exits in the back garden.
The exterior wooden steps were removed and an interior stair case built, from the cellar up to the ground and first floors. Upon entering the cellar there is an ancient Aumbry built into the stone wall, which would have been used for storage objects of a religious nature, holy waters, and the like.
The house is listed as a Grade II Historical Building and can be viewed from the corner of Church Hill and Bartholomew Street.
Small Arms School
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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.
SAC Monument
The Maxim Gun
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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.
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Hythe Poster
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Red Lion Square - Fountain
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The fountain was given to the town in 1886 by Mayor Thomas Judge, a young prosperous jeweller.
It was installed next to the Town Hall in the wall of Dr. Fagge's house, the freehold was disputed. The house became a bank. When the bank was rebuilt in 1911 the fountain was carted to Red Lion Square.
The metal cup was snipped off in 1965 by the Health Officer, water was withdrawn shortly afterwards.
Map Directions
Shepway Cross
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A monumental cross now indicates what was from 1358 a meeting place of the confederation of the Cinque ports, several miles west of Hythe, known then as "the Shepway crossroads". Shepway cross, erected in 1923, the monument to the Court of Shepway, is beside the Hythe to Lympne road (B2067).
The lathe of Shepway was the Saxon name for south east Kent, roughly corresponding with the modern District of Shepway, comprising Folkestone, Hythe, Romney Marsh and nearby villages as far north as Elham.
Many think this monument marks where the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports held his court for Shepway, and it is referred to as the “Shepway Cross”. In fact the Shepway Cross is a civic war memorial erected in 1923. It was placed on the top of Lympne Hill because that was traditionally the site of the Court of Shepway.
Shepway Cross was paid for and unveiled in August 1923 by Earl Beauchamp, the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, attended the ceremony. The memorial now shows signs of decay. The lettering denoting the monument's true purpose is hardly legible.
See Map for Directions
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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.

Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View, old Ordnance Survey maps, Cycle routes and much more.

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.
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Lympne Escarpment Maps

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.
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Seabrook Stream Maps
More Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Kent
Kent Place Names
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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.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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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.
Kentish Dialect

Smugglers, Shipwrecks, Spies

Half close your eyes and you can picture darting figures, bringing ashore their booty: Brandy for the Parson, ’Baccy for the Clerk; Laces for a lady, letters for a spy... Enjoy the thrill of the chase and get hot on their heels!
Kent’s coast, so near to the Continent, was prime territory for ‘free trading’, no place more so than remote Romney Marsh. To this day you feel far away from the bustle of ordinary life here, the squat Romney Marsh sheep still grazing as they have for centuries. When massive taxes on exports of wool were imposed in the 13th century, locals made fat profits from smuggling fleeces to weavers on the Continent.
Explore their haunts, including the medieval marsh churches: look in Snargate church for the wall painting of a ship dating from 1500 – smugglers’ code for a safe place to hide illicit goods. And soak up the atmosphere of the old Woolpack inn near Brookland, once a smugglers’ base. The contrabandists were nicknamed ‘owlers’ because they communicated by hooting at dead of night and they came from all sections of society. Flick through Russell Thorndyke’s Dr Syn novel (1915) and you’ll find even the vicar of Dymchurch led a double life as a smuggler.
Then blow away the cobwebs scrunching across the wild, shingle beach of Dungeness. In one week in 1813 free traders landed 12,000 gallons of brandy here, out of sight of prying eyes. After filling your lungs with fresh air, skirt up the coast to Folkestone, passing the territory of the notorious 19th-century Aldington Gang. Smugglers in Folkestone often brought ashore goods in East Wear Bay. Preventive forces knew most people were in cahoots with the trade and expected no help in catching them.
Hythe Archaeological Evidence
There are few archaeological data for the town of Hythe and slightly more for its surroundings. Since the mid 1950s there have been six very small excavations. The Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) for the area of study records the following evidence. Unprovenanced material and historic buildings have been omitted.
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Iron Age
Iron age pottery has been discovered on the ridge above Stutfall Castle, Lympne, (Collins 1992, 8).

An iron age ditch with sloping sides and a flat bottom was traced for c. 20m to the west of St Leonards church, at TR 15503495. The ditch contained daub, animal bones and iron age potsherds of c. 500-350 BC, sealed by a deposit containing daub, oyster shells, animal bones, iron nails and iron age, Roman and medieval potsherds. The iron age features are thought to represent a small settlement (Willson 1984, 150-155).
Romano-British
Building foundations, bricks and tiles were discovered in 1864 at the south-east corner of Harp Wood,(VCH III, 134).

Much Romano-British material was collected from the fields through which Stone Street (now a footpath) runs. The finds include many Samian and coarse-ware sherds plus two coins of late third century date (Bradshaw 1971, 238).

A dispersed scatter of Roman pottery and tiles was discovered during field walking north of Berwick Lane, Lympne in 1992-3 (Glass 1993).

Romano-British material including coins, coarse pottery, Samian ware and tiles, suggesting a building nearby, were found in 1992-3 during field walking north of Berwick Lane,(Glass 1993).

Stutfall castle (Portus Lemanis). Excavations in 1850 and 1894 revealed east, west and north walls surrounding an irregularly shaped fort with a bathhouse and part of the headquarters building (principia). The main east gate was also excavated. Eleven tiles stamped with variations of CLBR (Classis Britannica), a Romano-British altar and 261 coins were found. Further small-scale excavations from 1976 to 1978 produced a revised plan but no trace of an earlier Classis Britannica base. Work carried out 19781981 on nearby farmland and marsh to the south revealed a storm beach containing large quantities of Romano-British material including tile fragments and a worn stamp of Classis Britannica type, suggesting that the Classis Britannica base lay c. 1km south of the later fort (Cunliffe 1980, 227-228; Horsley 1894; Philp 1982, 175-191; Smith 1850, 233-268). The later fort is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, SAM Kent 74.

Prehistoric, Romano-British and medieval pottery was recovered during field walking c. 1992 on The Roughs above Burmarsh Road, West Hythe (Collins 1992).
A coin of Gordianus Pius was found between North Road and the Small Arms School, Hythe (OS Record Card).
Saxon
Saxon brooches, beads and other material have been found north of Hillcrest Road, Hythe. Saxon brooches and a spindle were exhibited in 1863 and part of a square-headed brooch of c. AD 600, found in the same area, was displayed at Folkestone. The finds are thought to represent a group of Saxon burials. Saxon inhumation burials are marked on the 1872 OS map, (Meaney 1964, 125).

In 1947-8 a Saxon occupation site was excavated on the sand dunes at Sandtun, West Hythe, at TR 12143388. The finds included hearths, fishhooks, shears, scramasaxes, bronze pins, an almost complete Merovingian pot of continental pattern and large quantities of bones of cod. An infant burial and the burial of a cat were also found at the site, but it is not certain whether they are contemporary with the occupation debris. An adult burial and that of another child were reported from the area during the Second World War. The site was interpreted as a seasonal occupation site, probably a summer-camp for fishermen. The lower level of the excavation revealed an eighth to ninth century North French spouted pitcher; the upper level produced a sherd of eleventh to twelfth century pottery from Normandy. Both layers yielded rough sherds of early medieval pottery, possibly of middle Saxon date (Hurst 1959, 21). The site was re-examined from 1993-1998 in advance of housing development and for research purposes (Gardiner 2001). The site was located on a sandbank near the mouth of a gradually silting inlet and was occupied from c.700 AD until the later ninth century. Evidence was recovered from a diverse range of activities including bone-working, spindlewhorl manufacturing and fishing. Salt-making is also referred to in documentary evidence. There was also metalwork typical of rural sites of the period. The pottery assemblage contained a high proportion of imported types and the excavators suggest that the site may have served as a landing-place for trading ships.

Saxon vases are reported to have been found below Shepway Cross on Lympne Hill, Lympne (OS Record Card).

Sherds of Saxo-Norman and medieval pottery, animal bone, tile and possible house platforms were discovered c. 1992 during field walking on The Roughs above Burmarsh Road (Collins 1992).
Medieval
St Stephens church, Lympne.

Lympne castle. A fortified manor house of the Archdeacons of Canterbury, built 1420-1430, restored several times in the twentieth century (Rigold 1969, 260-262; Vallance 1932, 294).

The remains of St Marys church, West Hythe. Now roofless with the nave still standing but the chancel collapsed almost entirely (Livett 1914a 251-257; DoE 1973, 34). The church is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, SAM. Kent 147.

Lambardes Carde of c. 1570 shows a beacon at Lympne. The beacon system dropped out of use after 1640. Although Beacon Fields are shown at TR 123348 and TR 128349. There is nothing to be seen on the ground (White 1934).

West Hythe deserted medieval village (?), No visible remains and a doubtful site (Beresford and Hurst 1971).

Trial trenches through the site of the church of St Nicholas, exposed some fragmentary walling; one stretch c. 1m long and c. 0.7m wide may have formed part of the nave. In 1902 many bones but no building foundations were discovered while levelling the slope at the eastern side of St Nicholas churchyard. 1978 excavations revealed a medieval ditch cutting through a deposit containing potsherds of c. AD 1300, and a grave on an east-west axis with the remains of an adult with the head to the west and the left arm across the chest. Four iron nails were found close to the skull, suggesting a wooden coffin. There may have been a small medieval settlement here (Elliston-Erwood 1954, 216; Livett 1914a, 257- 261; Willson 1984, 150-155).

Sculpted stones and some bones were discovered c. 1874 when building Cannongate Road, Hythe. This may be the site of the church of St Mary mentioned by Leland in his Itineraries (Livett 1914a, 261).

The site of the medieval St Johns Hospital in the High Street, Hythe at TR 16403484. Founded in the fourteenth century, the present building dates from the sixteenth century and was greatly altered in 1802 (DoE 1973, 20).

The Manor House, Hillside Street, Hythe. Excavations inside the building in 1973 and 1975 exposed three masonry walls, a clay floor sealing a small pit, two gullies and 13 stake-holes cut into underlying deposits in the north-west corner of the house. A thick layer of burnt clay, wood and tile, representing the collapse of a timber and clay internal partition during a serious fire in the fifteenth century, sealed the earlier features. The fire debris contained iron fittings, a carbonised wooden shutter, pottery, a bronze cauldron, a crushed and burnt iron bucket, a large iron bill-hook and a broken bottle, most of which were distorted by the fire. The present house was built c. 1660 (Mynott 1974, 227; Philp 1996, 130 - 141).

St Bartholomews hospital, Bartholomew Street, Hythe, founded before 1276, closed by 1334 and re-founded in 1342. The walls are fourteenth century, but the doorway, windows and the extension up Church Hill are all nineteenth century (Newman 1969, 346).

A hardstanding for the beaching of boats was located in 1998 during excavations at 136-138 High Street, Hythe. The hard is on the edge of a former shoreline, is probably medieval and in use from the early thirteenth to fourteenth centuries. Subsequently the area was used as a rubbish dump before fourteenth and fifteenth century silting created a tidal mudflat across the area (Priestly-Bell 1998).
Since 1500
Burchs corn mill, a watermill built in 1773, immediately north of Mill Road, Hythe at TR 16653498. The machinery, pond and bypass sluice still exist and the tailrace is carried in a tunnel for c. 250m under the mill house and road, to discharge into the Royal Military Canal (Haselfoot 1978, 44).

Two lime kilns on the north side of North Road, Hythe. The site has since been built over (OS 1st edition 1872).

Martello Tower at TR 14863350. Built in 1805; only fragments of the wall remain (Bennett 1977, 38).

Martello Tower at TR 14523329. Built in 1805 but subsequently destroyed by the sea. There are no remains in situ but a few fragments can been seen on the foreshore (Bennett 1977, 38).

Site of a Martello Tower at TR 14193308. Built in 1805, destroyed by the sea before World War II. No remains visible (Bennett 1977, 38).

Fort Moncrieff Battery, at TR 141330. Built 1798, with an armament of eight 24-pounders (Bennett 1977, 38).

Martello Tower at TR 15873400, now a private house. Built in 1805, sold by the War Department in 1906 and used as a dwelling since 1928 (Bennett 1977, 38).

Martello Tower at TR 15503383. Built in 1806 in brick with a coating of cement on the outside. Of two storeys with a flat-roof gun emplacement (Bennett 1977, 38; Scheduled Ancient Monument, SAM Kent 76.

Martello Tower At TR 15213369. As above. Scheduled Ancient Monument, SAM Kent 76.

Martello Tower at TR 16253415. No trace of the tower has been found above ground and a road covers the site. This tower along with Sites 34 and 35 were part of the long line of low-level towers built on the shore in front of Hythe. They were demolished in the nineteenth century when the Promenade was constructed (Sutcliffe 1972, 87-88).

Martello Tower at TR 16493422.

Martello Tower at TR 170344.

Fort Sutherland, at TR 154337. Built in 1798 with an armament of eight 24-pounders (Bennett 1977, 38).

Saltwood Heights Battery, at TR 155349. Built in 1798 with an armament of two 24-pounders (Bennett 1977, 38).

Fort Twiss Battery, at TR 16493443. Built 1798 (Bennett 1977, 38).
Modern
An anti-aircraft acoustic-detection device. It is similar to one at Greatstone, Lydd which was built for the RAF between 1930 and 1934 but which went out of use by 1935 with the introduction of radar.
Kent Parishes

Kent Parishes
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894-1895

HYTHE PARISH

Hythe, a town, a parish, and a parliamentary and municipal borough in Kent. The town stands on the Military Canal, at the end of Stone Street, about three-quarters of a mile from the sea, and has a station on the S.E.R., 66 miles from London, and 4 1/2 W by S of Folkestone, and a post, money order, and telegraph office. It sprang from a Roman fortress, but in consequence of natural changes on the coast, is now fully 3 miles distant from the spot called Portus Lemanis, which gave it origin. It became one of the Cinque Ports, and in that capacity was rated at five ships. It was given in 1036 to the Archbishops of Canterbury, whose seat was in the neighbourhood at Saltwood Castle, and it seems to have acquired additional importance from the archbishops' influence. It is said by Leiand to have had at one time four parish churches and a fine abbey. It suffered much damage in the time of Henry IV. by a fire, and was afterwards desolated by the plague. Its harbour was long very suitable for commerce, but became by recession of the sea greatly narrowed in the time of Elizabeth, and nearly closed and useless soon afterwards, and probably will never be succeeded by even an artificial-one, as the beach is open and affords no shelter. The town was thrown into decay by the loss of its commerce, but it revived a little by the forming of the Military Canal, and it has revived still more by the formation of the railway, and by the attraction of summer visitors for sea-bathing. Its situation is very fine, on a declivity descending towards the sea, with a good bathing beach amid environs of great beauty, with charming walks and rides, with several interesting ancient ruins, with many picturesque close views, and with a prospect across the channel to France.
The town includes one long principal street, well-built, paved, and clean; has also several smaller streets branching from the principal one, or parallel to it; and still exhibits, in the features of its older houses, many traces of its ancient prosperity. Its chief public buildings are a town-hall, a sessions hall, barracks, a school of musketry, a bathing establishment, a public library and reading room, a church, also an iron church erected in 1893, three dissenting chapels, and two hospitals. The town-hall stands on the N side of High Street, near the centre, and is a commodious structure of 1794. The barracks stand at the W extremity of the town, on the Ashford Road; were erected in 1807-8 for the use of the royal staff corps, and have accommodation for 30 1/2 men, besides officers. The school of musketry was established by government for rifle practice, both by regulars and by volunteers. The bathing establishment was erected in 1854 at a cost of upwards of £2000, and includes waiting-rooms and guides' residence. The sea-wall and parade, between Hythe and Sandgate, is the property of the S.E.R. It comprises a line of 5 miles along the coast, to the west of Folkestone, with a carriage drive the whole way.
The church stands on lofty ground N of High Street; is partly Norman, partly Early English; consists of nave, aisles, and triple-chancel, with W tower; was partly rebuilt toward the middle of the 18th century; contains enrichments in Bethersden marble; and has several beautiful memorial windows, and a crypt, situated under the central chancel, containing a large pile of human bones. These bones are locally supposed to be remains of Britons slain in a sanguinary battle in 84.6, on the shore between Hythe and Folkestone, but they not improbably were exhumed from a contiguous Roman or Saxon cemetery. The building was thoroughly restored in 1875, and the roofs vaulted in 1886. There are Wesleyan and Congregational chapels. The two hospitals are St Bartholomew's and St John's, the former founded in 1336 by Bishop Hamo-of Rochester, the latter of unknown but early foundation; they are both endowed, and are used as almshouses.

The town has a bank, two chief inns, a literary institution, a dispensary, and some other institutions, and is a seat of petty and quarter sessions. There is a large brewery. The town shared all the privileges of the Cinque Port charters; had also a special charter from Elizabeth; is now governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; sent two members to Parliament from the time of Edward III. till the Act of 1832, and now sends one. Its municipal boundaries comprise the parishes of Hythe St Leonard and West Hythe, andi its parliamentary boundaries comprise, in addition to these,. the parishes of Cheriton, Folkestone, and Saltwood, and part of the parish of Newington-next-Hythe. Area of the parliamentary borough, 13, 402 acres; population, 35, 547. Area of municipal borough, 2620; population, 4347. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury; value, £260 with residence. Patron, the Vicar of Saltwood.
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