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The History of Kent

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History of Ebbsfleet - Thanet

Ebbsfleet Thanet – not to be confused with the new town near Gravesend – is the site where St Augustine, sent, by Pope Gregory, to re-establish the Christian church in the South of England, celebrated his first mass, in 597AD. In 1884, they erected a stone cross on the site, to commemorate the landing.


According to Bede, who recorded St Augustines arrival in his history,  600 families lived on Thanet at the time of the monks arrival, and the Wantsum River, which stretched three furlongs (600 metres) wide, could only be crossed in two places, and joined the sea at either end.