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The Church is a fine building, containing a nave, chancel, and two chapels, with a tower at the west end. The greater part of the interior was destroyed, with many ancient monuments, by fire, in 1762, and was rebuilt partly by subscription. A Workhouse, a National School, and other charities, are established here; the town, in 1821, contained 1537 persons.
STAPLEHURST is a village, with about 1500 inhabitants, situated on the road from Maidstone to Cranbrook, from the latter of which it is distant five miles. It has a very handsome Church, lately repaired, and adorned with a magnificent altar-piece, at the expense of the parishioners. Here is also a Free School, and a Workhouse.
STROOD, a town divided from Rochester by the Medway, and communicating with it by the fine stone bridge already described, consists principally of one long narrow street, with a Church of modern construction, and rather handsome appearance. The inhabitants, whose number in 1821 was 1461, are principally engaged in the fishery, and maritime pursuits. Near this town was an establishment of the Knights Templars, and considerable portions of the building still remain, as part of a farm-house called Temple Farm, on the banks of the river.
SYDENHAM is a hamlet of Lewisham, about seven miles from London, beautifully situated on the declivity of an eminence, the summit of which commands an extensive and delightful prospect. This place was once celebrated for its medicinal springs, which were discovered in 1640, and are said to possess great virtues; unfortunately, however, they are too near the metropolis to be fashionable. Here is a neat Chapel of Ease; and in the neighbourhood are many respectable mansions and villas.
TENHAM, OF TEYNHAM, a small village between Sittingbourne and Feversham, was formerly the residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, who had here a magnificent palace, of which no traces now remain. The Church is a fine old building, in the form of a cross, with a western tower. It contains
several ancient monuments and fragments of sculpture. In this parish, about 1533, Richard Harris, gardener to Henry VIII, is said to have planted 105 acres of land with golden rennets, pippins, and cherries, which with great pains and expense he had procured from abroad; and from this nursery all the cherry-gardens and orchards of Kent are derived.
TENTERDEN, a small town, giving name to the hundred in which it is situated, 56 miles from London, is governed, by virtue of a Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth, by a Mayor, twelve Jurats, and other officers; and is a member of the Cinque Port of Rye. The Church is a large and handsome edifice, with a lofty tower, which is visible many miles round, and had formerly on its top a fire-beacon. In this town are also three places of worship for Dissenters. The Town Hall, which occasionally serves for an Assembly Room, was erected in 1792, the former building having been destroyed by fire. The Markethouse is a commodious modern structure; and the appearance of Tenterden and its neighbourhood, from the neatness of the buildings, the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and the numerous hop plantations in the vicinity, is interesting and delightful, in no common degree. The population of the town, with one or two adjacent villages, was, in 1821, 3259.
ISLE OF THANET*.
This portion of the county of Kent is separated from the mainland by the river Stour on the south, and on the west by the Nethergong, which falls into the sea, about a mile to the east of Reculver, and is almost the only remaining part of the wide estuary, anciently called the Wantsum. The marshes near the borders of these streams afford excellent pasturage; the higher grounds in the interior are principally devoted to the growth of corn, and many of the inhabitants are employed in agricultural pursuits; while fishing, and Foying, that is, going off to ships in distress, with provisions, &c. occupy many more.
* Much controversy has arisen as to the derivation of this name; the most probable conjecture is that of Lewis, who conceives it to come from Tene, a fire or beacon, maintained here by the Saxons, to give notice of the incursions of Danish or other pirates.
The extreme length of Thanet from east to west is about nine miles, and its breadth from north to south about eight; it is divided into eight parishes, whose joint population, in 1821, was 20,581. As the coast terminates in a perpendicular range of chalk cliffs, the soil is dry, and the air pure and bracing. The country is open, the surface level, and the prospects extensive and varied. The principal places of the island, as Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs, will be found described in the preceding pages; it remains to give a brief notice of those of minor importance.
Not far from Broadstairs is the North Foreland, the most eastern point of the English coast, on which has been erected
The first Light-house built here was of timber, which being burnt in 1683, the present edifice was raised in its stead; it is octagonal, and, except the two upper stories, which are of brick, and were added in 1793, the material used in its construction is flint. The light was formerly supplied by a large fire of coals, but has been much improved by the introduction of patent lamps and reflectors, 20 inches in diameter, under a dome covered with copper, and enclosed with glass. The light is exceedingly brilliant, and is visible in clear weather at the Nore, a distance of 30
miles. Every British vessel sailing past the North Foreland pays two-pence, and every foreign one fourpence, per ton, for the maintenance of this Light, the profits of which belong to Greenwich Hospital.
ST. LAWRENCE, situated on the hill above Ramsgate, is a pretty village, with a large and ancient Church, containing many monuments. A mile and a half from hence, inland, is MANSTON, in a most romantic situation; and about a mile to the south, PEGWELL BAY, famous for its excellent shrimps, &c.
MINSTER is six miles from Margate, and derives its name from the Nunnery founded here in the seventh century by Domneva, a Saxon princess, and afterwards dedicated to her daughter, St. Mildred. The Church is a handsome edifice, and the views from the neighbouring eminences are delightful.
MONKTON is a small place, with a Church which has suffered from time; two miles off is SARR, now a still smaller village, but once a considerable haven for shipping. A mile from hence is ST. NICHOLAS, a pleasant village, with a good Church, which gives name to the place. In this parish is a small manufactory of blocks for paper-stainers.
BIRCHINGTON stands on an eminence about half a mile from the sea, and four miles from Margate, and has a Church, with a high tower, and a shingled spire. In this edifice are several ancient monuments. From the neighbouring eminences the most extensive views both by sea and land may be enjoyed, the latter reaching to Canterbury in clear weather.
ACOL had formerly a Church, which has been disused ever since the sixteenth century; and of STONAR, which is near Sandwich, and was once a populous town, scarcely a vestige now remains.
Many other places in this Island deserve the notice of the visitor; among which may be mentioned DANDELION, formerly the residence of a distinguished family of that name, but since occupied as public gardens for tea-drinking, dancing, &c. and possessing a fine old gateway in good preservation; and KINGSGATE, a singular residence, built by the first Lord Holland, and surrounded by a whimsical congregation of buildings and ruins, of every age and description, whose incongruities provoked the poet Gray to make them the subject of some very severe lines.
TUNBRIDGE, OR TONBRIDGE,
A handsome town, 30 miles from London, is situated on the Medway, by five streams of which it is watered, and consists principally of one very capacious street, filled with elegant shops, many of which display the well-known wooden ware peculiar to this place, the manufacture of which employs many of the inhabitants. The Church, a large and well-built edifice, has lately undergone considerable repairs, and is now the principal ornament of the town.
Here are the picturesque remains of a Castle, supposed to have been erected by Gilbert, Earl of Clare, towards the close of the eleventh century; and also the Hall (now occupied as a barn), and a few fragments of the walls, of a Priory, founded about 1130.
There are several charitable institutions in this town; but the principal is the Grammar School, founded and endowed in 1558 by Sir Andrew Judd, a native of Tunbridge, “ for the free education of the boys inhabiting the town and adjacent country." Lands, at that time of the annual value of £56, were vested by his will in the Skinners' Company of London, where the estates were situated, and very considerable donations have been since received from other parties, for this purpose. But although the property has greatly increased in value, its beneficial effects are far from being so widely diffused as was doubtless the intention of the benevolent donors.
Considerable business is done in Tunbridge, and a monthly Market is held, which is well attended. The population of the town is about 3000; of the parish, in 1821, 7406.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS, a fashionable watering-place, five miles from the town of Tunbridge, is partly in Kent, and partly in Sussex. The buildings known by the general name of " Tunbridge Wells," are rather a series of detached villages and dwellings, than a connected town. They consist principally of Mount Ephraim, Mount Sion, Mount Pleasant, and the Wells, properly so called. They extend nearly two miles in length by one in breadth, and the buildings have of late years rapidly increased, many persons of rank having residences here. The Wells are near the centre of the place, and in their vicinity are many