Sandwich: The first bite

Sandwich is a town in Kent, on the River Stour, one of four English rivers bearing this name. It is close to the channel coast, lying south of Ramsgate, and east of Canterbury. It has been established as a town since Roman times, and was once a busy port. It was one of the original Cinque Ports, providing men and ships for the navy, in exchange for lenient trade laws, and low taxes. At the time of Edward The Confessor (1042-1066) they formed the first real navy organised for the defence of England.

The town still has a connection with the sea, and is popular with boat-owners, and those taking trips along The Stour. It has become something of a tourist trap, thanks mainly to its historical connections, the proximity to Canterbury, and the variety of well-preserved old buildings to be found there. Julie and I visited last year, and she enjoyed the best sandwich she had ever had, in The Bell Hotel. Not that the town has any connection with the foodstuff, other than the title bestowed on the Earl, who it is claimed invented the idea so he could continue to gamble, without sitting down to eat.

This year, Julie was unable to repeat the experience of the chicken salad club sandwich, as the hotel has discontinued it. She had to settle for a mixed-meats bruschetta instead. This was something of a disappointment, like the weather, which was cloudy and overcast, and made the day seem dark by early afternoon. This will be reflected in the following photos, which were taken in those same unforgiving lighting conditions.

The Barbican once protected the entrance to the town from the old toll bridge. It was built in 1539.

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This well-maintained old house is in the town centre. If you enlarge the photo, you can read the date over the door. It was built in 1517, during the reign of Henry the Eighth.

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The Guildhall houses the local Courts, meeting rooms, and the offices of the Town Council, The Mayor, and the Tourist Information Centre. Originally built in 1539, it was later extended, in 1912, and refurbished, in 1973.

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There will be two more posts about this town, as there is too much to see, for one article to do justice to this interesting place.

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15 thoughts on “Sandwich: The first bite

  1. The well-maintained old house is just shy of 500 years old. It is truly amazing that a house can weather the centuries in such good shape, routine maintenance notwithstanding. I might point out that there are a few old houses in the U.S. that are still standing today. Here’s a Wikipedia article for your reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_oldest_buildings_in_the_United_States

    I enjoyed the photos, and am about to munch on the rest of your Sandwich posts.

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    1. I like to think of those people in Tudor dress wandering past this house, almost 500 years ago.
      I looked at the link, and it was interesting to see some old houses well preserved in the USA. Of course the Spanish and English settlers built near-identical houses to those styles that they knew from Europe, but the indigenous dwellings in the south-west are much older.
      Regards from Beetley, Pete.

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  2. D’oh! I read this series in the wrong order, but enjoyed it very much, like eating a meal with dessert first. I have a memory of having a drink, maybe food as well, overlooking the harbour.

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    1. I should have posted them in reverse order, so the first one came up on the reader in sequence. One of the foibles of blogging, that I omitted to consider properly.
      Perhaps you too were at The Bell Hotel terrace? It has views across to the river and The Barbican.
      Best wishes as always, Pete. x

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  3. Shame about the sandwich! Love the architecture you have captured. I hope you will take Ollie (and Julie of course) to explore the villages in Norfolk and take photographs as there are some lovely buildings in that county too.

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