KENT - PLACES OF INTEREST | KENT - POINTS OF INTEREST | KENT - PEOPLE OF INTEREST
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Check the Sandgate Directory
Parts of the outer expanses have been lost to the sea over the centuries, but the circular keep survived at the top of the beach. This was converted into a sort of Martello Tower, and meant that a tower did not need to be built on this lower stretch of the coast, the local towers all being high up on the cliffs slightly inland.
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A HYTHE-based dance company has been granted £14,600 from Arts Council England to host a new community project.
Instep Dance Company has secured the funding from the Grants for the Arts, which is a Lottery-funded grant programme for groups, and will be used for an “intergenerational project”.
The funding is expected to cover half of the costs needed for the project, with the other half coming from sponsorship.
Company founder Jackie Mortimer said: “It’s so important to give young dancers a total experience to open their eyes to the world of dance beyond the comfort of their training at home.
“This funding gives us access to professional dancers and companies and broadens horizons developing aspiration.”
The project will also work alongside composers, choreographers, costume and lighting designers and it aims to “awareness of the value of participation in dance”.
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.
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Sandgate Directory
Sandgate is the location of the Shorncliffe Redoubt, a Napoleonic era earthwork fort associated with Sir John Moore and the 95th Regiment of Foot, known as the 95th Rifles.
St Paul's Church lies next to the Saga building, which is built on the site of Enbrook House.
The old Sandgate School building still exists close to Spade House.
Folkestone Rowing Club is in Sandgate.
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 and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.
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. Where's the path? Use the link below.
Folkestone to Etchinghill Escarpment
specially protected by law, are present; late spider orchid Ophrys fuciflora, early spider orchid Ophrys sphegodes and bedstraw broomrape Orobanche caryophyllacea. Asholt Wood at the western end of the site is regarded as one of the best examples of a coppiced ash woodland in the county. It has an outstanding lichen flora and a diverse breeding bird community. The site also supports an outstanding assemblage of insects including many local and rare species. Part of the
site, Holywell Coombe, is of importance for its fossil remains. Most of the downland is dominated by tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum and fescues Festuca species in a mixed sward of quaking grass
Briza media, crested hair-grass Koeleria cristata and upright brome Bromus erectus. Many herbs characteristic of unimproved grassland are present such as horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, salad burnet Sanguisorba minor, squinancywort Asperula cynanchica and small scabious Scabiosa columbaria. There is a thin scattering of shrubs, mainly hawthorn, along most of the escarpment. Extensive areas of dense hawthorn and gorse scrub are present, particularly along the top and bottom of the slopes. Ash and oak have become established in some areas and are developing into secondary woodland. Among the dense scrub at Holywell is a marshy area dominated by greater willowherb Epilobium hirsutum and hemp- agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum. A number of springs emerge from the foot of the escarpment. The site supports a diverse insect fauna including a number of nationally rare flies, moths and butterflies. Of special interest is the annulet mothGnophos obscuratus which is noted for its different genetic colour forms. This is the only known locality in Britain for the form fasciata. In addition the nationally rare straw belle moth Aspitates gilvaria is found
here. Among the butterflies the locally uncommon adonis blue Lysandra bellargus and small blue Cupido minimus are two species with a restricted distribution. Asholt Wood is situated on the Gault Clay at the foot of the escarpment. The soils are poorly drained and range from highly calcareous near the chalk scarp, to neutral with some mildly acidic patches. The woodland has been managed as coppice-with-standards in the past but most has been neglected for many years. Ash and hazel with some field maple are the main coppiced species beneath pedunculate oak
standards. Coppiced alder occurs along Seabrook Stream which runs through the middle of the wood. Small patches of hornbeam coppice are present in the more acidic areas. The shrub layer is sparse but varied and includes several species characteristic of calcareous soils such as dogwood and spindle. The woodland ground flora is dominated by dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis, enchanter’s nightshade Circaea lutetiana, tufted hair-grass Deschampsia caespitosa and brambles Rubus fruticosus. Uncommon plants such as thin-spiked wood sedge Carex strigosa, stinking iris Iris foetidissima and fly orchid Ophrys insectifera also occur. The breeding bird community includes many typical woodland species such as great spotted woodpecker, tawny owl, nuthatch and treecreeper. The geological interest of Holywell Coombe can be defined as follows: 'An important Pleistocene sequence of Devensian, Late-glacial and Flandrian spring and slope deposits containing fossil molluscs, plant remains and fossil beetles occurs within this Chalk coombe. A key feature of the deposits is that they allow changes in the fossil molluscan fauna to be compared with vegetation zones and standard pollen zones. A series of mollusc assemblage zones defined on the basis of the successive mollusc faunas at Holywell Coombe is now established as a standard against which to compare and date other sites in southern England where similar mollusc assemblages occur. Holywell Coombe is therefore a key Pleistocene reference site.'
On the cliff tops and further inland are small areas of chalk grassland, whilst on the chalk cliff ledges and slopes are plant species with a preference for maritime or calcareous habitats. Several are rare nationally and some with mainly continental distribution reach their northernmost point in Great Britain at this site. Their survival on this stretch of coast may be largely attributable to its warm, south facing, sheltered climate, which is comparable to that of re g ions several degrees latitude to the south. Many rare invertebrates breed within the site, representing several taxonomic groups and also including species with a preference for warm climates. The site is also a major landing place for migrant insects from the continent which may form temporary colonies.
The site contains one of the most Important localities for marine interest between the Isle of Wight and Flamborough Head, by virtue of the combination of intertidal habitats and communities, another rare species which are present. Also of considerable interest are the plant and animal communities of the adjoining sublittoral zone.
Chalk is exposed for much of the length of the site, the underlying gault clay creates instability in the chalk and landslips occur from time to time resulting in a mosaic of cliff ledges, scree, bare faces and undercliffs, of varying slope and aspect. This configuration is best developed at the eastern end of the site where the cliffs are undefended. The cliff vegetation is predominantly calcareous grassland but scrub Is present on the more stable undercliffs, and there is a characteristic assemblage of plant species at the spray-line which includes such national rarities as sea-heath Frankenia laevis, curved hard-grass Parapholis ??crva and golden samphire Inula crithmoides. Above the sprayline, plant
species typical of calcareous grassland and of maritime habitats grow side by side, resulting in plant communities which are considered rare in Europe. Several nationally scarce plant species are represented here, including wild cabbage Brassica oleracea and the Dover variety of Nottingham catchfly Silene nutans var. nutans, whilst the humid climate favours the growth of species which inland are restricted to woodlands on calcareous soils, such as stinking iris Iris foetidissima and wood spurge Euphorbia amygdaloides. The clove-scented broomrape Orobanche caryophyllacea, in Great Britain only known from five sites in East Kent, is also present. The areas of chalk grassland on the cliff tops and inland are chiefly dominated by sheep's-fescue Festuca ovina, tor-grass Brachiopodium pinnatum and upright brome Bromus erectus, and a variety of herb species characteristic of chalk soils are present. These include early spider-orchid Ophrys sphegodes, and horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, food plant of the larvae of the Adonis blue butterfly, which breeds within the site.
The Gault and Lower Greensand cliffs at the western end of the site are unstable and sparsely vegetated. In the Warren, landslips have given rise to a succession of steep, broken slopes where scrub and woodland is developing and there are several small ponds. The combination of southerly aspect, chalk substratum and maritime influence of the site provides favourable conditions for a wide diversity of invertebrate species, several of which occur sparsely if at all outside south east England. These include the harvestman Trogulus tricarinatus and the millipede Polydesmus testaceus. A number of rare Lepidoptera species have bred within the site including the fiery clearwing moth Bembecia chrysidiformis, known only from Folkestone Warren in Britain. Regular migrants to the site from the continent include the sub-angled wave moth Scopula nigropunctata. The ornithological interest of the site includes cliff-nesting and wintering bird species and migrants, particularly passerines such as chats and warblers in the autumn, which make landfall in Folkestone Warren and in other areas of scrub. The site contains one of the two cliff-nesting colonies of housemartins in the county and fulmars breed on the cliffs in reasonable numbers for Kent. Small numbers of purple sandpiper overwinter on the rocky foreshore at Copt Point and below Shakespeare Cliff.
The range of geological substrata exposed on the shore provides a diversity of intertidal habitats and these are colonised by a wide variety of marine plants and animals in characteristic assemblages. Many species found here are rare in south east England or nationally and reach their eastern limit of distribution in the Eastern Channel at this site. The chalk shore at Abbots Cliff and Shakespeare Cliff are among the better examples of their type in south east England. They possess full vertical shore zonations and a wide range of plant and animal assemblages characteristic of this soft rock are present on the wave cut platform and chalk boulder habitats, the latter being continually renewed from the unprotected cliff face. The wave exposed headland at Abbots Cliff Is animal dominated in contrast to the Shakespeare Cliff site with its luxuriant algal growths. The clay bands of the Lower Chalk form wave cut intertidal platforms between Shakespeare Cliff and Abbots Cliff, and in East Wear Bay These clays support characteristic and unusual assemblages of small algal species with many ephemerals and including rarities such as Scinaia forcellata, Sphacellana spp and Derbesia tenuissima, and species well outside their normal limits of distribution, such as Chorda filum. Copt Point, formed principally of hard Lower Greensand, is a unique site in Kent and south east England. It supports algal assemblages more typical of northern and western England including the fucoid algae Pelvetia canaliculata and Ascophyllum nodosum, which are very rare on natural substrata in the south east. The intertidal fauna are a so unusual for south east England, beingparticularly species-rich and with some species rarely recorded east of the Isle of Wight.
Whilst the SSSI boundary follows Mean Low Water Mark, there are also marine communities of interest on the lower shore and in the sublittoral which itself falls into three fairly distinct regions. Off Copt Point Folkestone, the sea-bed is rocky (greensand), but the presence of the sewage outfall has resulted in much of the area becoming dominated by extensive mats of mussels, upon which are feeding large numbers of starfish Species diversity here is low, although potentially could be high in
East Wear Bat the sea bed in the shallow sublittoral is predominantly sandy, and supports polychaete worms, bivalve molluscs and many juvenile flat fish. The most interesting area is off Abbot’s Cliff and Shakespeare Cliff where there is an almost continuous belt stretching to around 300 m offshore which consists of chalk bedrock overlain with chalk boulders up to 2m high. In places, clay and marl bands in the Lower Chalk are exposed, so providing a variety of different substrata for the flora and fauna There are rich growths of algae, including kelps, and animal ‘turf’, together with a range of larger animals. The sublittoral chalk habitat is scarce in Kent, and the site may mark the eastern limit of distribution along the English Channel of species such as the kelp Laminaria nyperborea.
The coastline between Folkestone and Dover contains two internationally Important reference sites for stratigraphic studies of certain stages of the Cretaceous Period in geological history, and the formations present are of Importance for the vertebrate and invertebrate fossils which they yield in addition the succession of coastal landslips which has taken place in Folkestone Warren Is of considerable geological interest. The series of cliff sections at the western end of the site, with some 50m of Folkestone Beds and Gault, represents the most important single locality for studying the sedimentology and stratigraphy of these formations in England. The sequence has been the focus of extensive research and represents the historical type section for both the Folkestone Beds and the Gault. This is an historic locality of international importance for stratigraphic and palaeontological studies in the Albian the Cretaceous period. In addition, the East Wear Bay section of the Gault Cliffs has yielded a selection of reptiles from several horizons and is considered to be the best Gault reptile site in Britain. The reptiles are often well localised, and they may be dated by abundant ammonites. The reptiles are mainly marine forms; turtles Rhinochelys, ichthyosaurs Opthalmosaurus, plesiosaurus Cimiliosaurus, pliosaurs Polyptychodon, and pterosaurs Ornithocheirus. The East Wear Bay section has produced type specimens of several species, and fresh erosion maintains the potential of the site. The chalk sections which span this site together with those which fall within the Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs SSSI are an internationally important stratigraphic reference site which provides extensive and near continuous cliff and shore exposures of the Cenomanian, Turonian and Coniacian Stages of the Cretaceous Period (Lower, Middle and early Upper-Chalk). The site is historically very important as many geological principles, such as biostratigraphic zonation were tested here during the early development of geology. Many parts of the succession are fossiliferous and, in particular, the up per parts of the Turonian and lower p arts of the Coniacian are rich in Micraster, which have contributed, and still are contributing to our knowledge of evolution. The area of coastal landslides at Folkestone Warren which includes both Chalk and Gault, has probably been more intensively studied than any other of comparable size in
Great Britain. This is largely because it is crossed by the main Folkestone-Dover railway line, which on occasion has been displaced by slipping (notably in 1915), creating an immediate demand for detailed studies and monitoring. The site has suffered twelve major slips since 1765, and is now protected by a complex of coastal defence works whose long-term effect on the movements provides a field of future study.
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.
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.
Smugglers, Shipwrecks, Spies
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.
Have you ever wondered what that ship was just out at sea? Where it was going?
Where it had been? Use the interactive map below to find out.
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