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which the towers, and a part of the west front, still remain, is said to be a portion of the original buildings of the Abbey, but the style of its architecture does not indicate so remote an antiquity. Within its walls Ethelbert, the first Christian King of Kent, was interred, as was also Ethelbert II, who died in 760; and several remains of ancient monuments and brasses are still observable. The parish of Reculver contains but a few mean houses, whose inhabitants in 1821 were 266, but they are now much fewer.
RICHBOROUGH CASTLE, which defended the southern entrance of the haven, is supposed to be the first military station occupied by the Romans in this country. It is believed that the eminence on which its ruins now stand, was, at the time of its erection, an island, although it at present is environed by marsh land. Its remains are considered by antiquaries to afford the most perfect specimen of Roman military architecture in Britain. The walls are in some places 25 to 30 feet high, and 12 thick; they enclose an area of about four acres, which is now sown with corn; the principal part of the eastern wall has fallen, but the others are in a great measure still perfect, and form an august spectacle, mantled with ivy, and superior to the assaults of time and warfare, during a period of eighteen hundred years. The western wall is 484 feet in length, the southern 540, and the northern 560; and they are built of flint, faced with square white stones, and courses of Roman bricks laid regularly, at intervals of three feet four inches from each other. Not far from the Castle are some remains of an Amphitheatre, of a circular form, and about 630 feet in circumference; and the city or town of Rutupiæ is supposed to have surrounded the Castle, on the slope of the hill. Great numbers of British, Roman, and Saxon antiquities have been discovered at various times not only at Richborough and Reculver, but in almost every part of the surrounding country.
ROLVENDEN, a village about three miles from Tenterden, contains 1403 inhabitants, and has a Church, remarkable for its neatness, which has been lately repaired, and enriched by the erection of a new and
excellent organ. Not far from this place, in a spot supposed once to have been a branch of the river Rother, a very ancient vessel was discovered in 1822, in good preservation, believed, from its construction, to be one of a fleet abandoned by the Danes, after their final defeat by Alfred. It was 61 feet 2 inches long, and contained a sword, an hour-glass, and several other articles; and its subsequent exhibition in London excited considerable curiosity.
ROMNEY, OR NEW ROMNEY,
So called to distinguish it from Old Romney, (now containing only a few straggling houses and an ancient Church, about two miles distant from this town,) is, notwithstanding its title, of considerable antiquity; and at the period of the Domesday Survey was of far more consequence than at present, containing then 156 burgesses, 12 wards, and five parish churches. It was anciently a maritime town, and is still considered one of the Cinque Ports, although the harbour has long been filled up, and its site is scarcely distinguishable. A dreadful tempest in the reign of Edward I completed the ruin of this haven, and produced the decline of the town, whose five churches are now reduced to one, a spacious building, dedicated to St. Nicholas, consisting of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with a large tower at the west end, having four pinnacles, and highly ornamented in the Norman style of architecture, but which has been much obscured and defaced by the application of whitewash, and other modern improvements.
New Romney returns two Barons to Parliament, and is governed by a Mayor, nine Jurats, and eleven Commoners. The town is neat in its appearance, and consists of one principal street, crossed by a smaller one. It has a Court Hall, or Brotherhood House, in which the meetings of the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports are usually held; a Market-house, rebuilt about thirty years ago, with a weekly Market on Saturday; Alms-houses, and a Charity School. Its population in 1821 was 962 persons, and its distance from London is 71 miles.
The extensive district called ROMNEY MARSH, is in length, from the vicinity of Rye to the entrance of Hythe, nearly 20 miles, and in breadth on an average
nearly 10 miles. This immense track was for ages a dreary waste, frequently overflowed, and always useless; until at length, by draining and embankment, especially by that great work called Dymchurch Wall, which is in length about three miles, in height 18 or 20 feet, and furnished with sluices for effectually draining the marsh, it was converted into the richest pasture ground in the kingdom, and in many parts of it corn and other productions are now cultivated, and even hops, although to a small extent, and only in sheltered situations. All affairs relative to the property and jurisdiction of this district, its embankments and drains, are regulated by the members of a Corporation, comprising the principal persons in the towns of Romney and Lydd, and nineteen other parishes, who are dignified by the title of "Lords of the Level."
SANDGATE, a village about two miles from Folkstone, has of late years risen into notice as a bathingplace; and the neatness of its buildings, the beauty of its situation, the translucent purity of the waves which roll upon its shore, and the romantic and picturesque scenery with which it is surrounded, fully justify the patronage it has already experienced. It possesses an extensive Library and Readingrooms, Warm and Cold Baths, good Inns, and excellent Boarding-houses. An Episcopal Chapel was erected here in 1822, at the expense of the Earl of Darnley, who has a handsome villa in the neighbourhood; and a Methodist Chapel has also been built. The population in 1821 was about 800, but a very considerable increase has since taken place in the number of the inhabitants.
Sandgate Castle was built by Henry VIII, on the same plan as those of Deal and Walmer, but on the site of a more ancient edifice; a part of this fortress has been converted into a Martello tower*, and now
* The Martello Towers are of a circular form, the walls being of brick, of vast thickness, and the roofs bomb-proof; two or more guns are mounted on each, on a swivel, so as to enable the men within to point them in any direction, while they are themselves defended by a high parapet. Their only entrance is by a small opening, at a considerable height from the ground, by the assistance of a ladder, which being drawn up, cuts off all communication from without. They are placed at irregular distances, but generally about half a mile from each other; and are now used as stations for the Coast Blockade, employed in the prevention of smuggling.
combines with many other erections of a similar nature on the neighbouring eminences, to defend this line of coast. These buildings were reared during the late war, at which time extensive Barracks were also erected on Shorn Cliff, above Sandgate; and here commences the Military Canal, which runs from hence to Cliffe End, in Sussex, a distance of about 23 miles. All these works were executed with the view of repelling the threatened French invasions; but as no landing was attempted by the enemy, it cannot be known how far the enormous expenditure thus incurred, might have answered the object of its
A very ancient town and Cinque Port, is supposed to have arisen in consequence of the decay of the harbour of Rutupiæ; its name denotes its origin to be Saxon, and the first mention of it occurs about the year 655. During the Danish incursions it suffered severely; but in 851 these barbarous invaders were here defeated with great slaughter, both by sea and land, and nine of their ships taken. On several subsequent occasions, however, they wreaked their vengeance on this town and the vicinity; and it was not until the peaceable establishment of Canute on the English throne that Sandwich began to recover from the effects of their devastations. That monarch partly rebuilt the town, and granted its inhabitants several important privileges, which were confirmed and increased by Edward the Confessor.
From the period of the Conquest the wealth and importance of this town continued to increase; during the wars of Edward III his fleets and transports generally assembled here; in the reign of Richard II its fortifications were strengthened; but in that of Henry VI it was twice plundered, and in part burnt, by the French, and once by the Earl of Warwick. Edward IV rebuilt the walls, and gave large sums towards the restoration of the town, which, before the close of his reign, had recovered its former prosperity, and had 95 ships and 1500 mariners belonging to it. Early in the reign of Richard III, however, the Harbour began to be filled up with sand, and "suit was made to the King's highness for a new haven." These applications were unsuccessfully re
peated to Henry VII and VIII, and the sinking of a large ship at the very mouth of the harbour, completed its ruin. Under Edward VI and Elizabeth further attempts were made to obtain the assistance of government, but with the same result; and the town would probably have been depopulated, had not the queen established here a great number of the Flemings, whom the Spanish persecutions had driven from their native land, and who brought the manufactures of flannel, baize, &c. into this town in 1561.
In the succeeding reign the trade of Sandwich appears to have experienced a considerable increase, but it soon afterwards again declined; and as the town is now more than two miles from the sea, it is not probable that it can ever attain to any considerable degree of its former importance; its situation on the Stour, however, which admits small vessels, and is navigable by barges to Canterbury, still occasions some business here, principally in malt, hops, &c.; and an Act of Parliament passed in 1825, for the construction of a new Harbour; the effects of this measure remain to be seen.
Sandwich still contains three Churches, of which
a spacious and ancient edifice, is the most remarkable. It consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with a fine tower, of Norman construction, in the centre, ornamented with three ranges of circular arches, and surmounted by a low spire.. The interior of this building presents a very interesting specimen of the