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History of Whitstable

Whitstable comes from The Old English words ‘stapol’ meaning a ‘pole, pillar’ preceded by either ‘hwit’ as ‘white’ or ‘wita’ for a ‘councillor’; therefore either ‘white post’ or ‘post of the councillor’. The Domesday Book chronicles Whitstable as Nortone.

Whitstable’s parish church is dedicated to All Saints. The Normans built the original church, consisting of a chancel and nave, around 1200. They rebuilt it in the 13th century with the addition of a tower and erected the north aisle and north east porch in the 15th century. There is a record of three bells in the tower in 1594, which Samuel Knight recast into a ring of six, in 1730. In 1799, Edward Hasted describes the church, in his topographical survey, as consisting ‘of two isles and two chancels, which are embattled, having a tower steeple at the south-west corner, in which hang six bells. The church seems antient, and the walls of it, though much repaired, are in a very decaying condition, owing to the land-springs underneath the whole of it. It is kept very neat and clean’.

In 1873, Charles Barry Jnr carried out extensive repairs, which included a new roof, chancel and windows. An unknown architect added the south aisle and west porch in 1962.

Whitstable railway station opened on the Canterbury to Whitstable line, on 3 May 1830. It holds the record as the first passenger carrying railway in the world. The line finally closed on 1 March 1953. A second station opened on the London Chatham and Dover Railway’s Faversham to Herne Bay extension on 1 August 1860 and would eventually reach Ramsgate on 5 October 1863…. more

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