You'll see this very striking building on Market Street....you can hardly miss it!It's got the wooden beams, and the diamond-paned windows, slightly overhanging storeys and even beautifully carved and painted wooden figures helping to hold up those overhangs.But don't be misled. This building is not old, at least not in UK terms. It's a prime...more
I really liked Fisher Gate, one of the ancient gates into the walled city of Sandwich. As its name suggests, it's the one right by the quayside used by the fishermen when Sandwich was an active trading port.The lower part of the gate dates from around 1384 and the upper part was added in 1578 (possibly as part of Henry Vlll's increased defences...more
The Barbican is the gate to the walled town which faces the river Stour and its toll bridge...the Barbican once acted as a toll house for that bridge.The structure probably dates back to the late 1300s, though obviously underwent extensive changes over the centuries. The bases of the two towers are of ashlar blocks, with a first floor (the access...more
Like St Mary's, St Peters' is an ancient church which is rarely used for services but is still a consecrated space.A church was probably first built on this site in Norman times (the Normans invaded England in 1066), but that first stone church was largely destroyed in the French raids of 1216. Much of what you can see today dates from the...more
A lovely mish-mash of a building (like St Peter's), St Mary's is a very ancient church indeed. It may in fact be the oldest church site in the town, being on the site of a 7th-century (600s) convent which was destroyed by Danish invaders. No remains have yet been found of that convent.The original Norman church still stands in large part despite it...more
Sandwich really is a very pretty town, as well as being full of historical buildings.I particularly liked the fact that it's retained much of its Medieval street layout. Despite the modern traffic, you can get a good feel for how it must have been when the town was a thriving port.Take some time to just explore. Use the town trail leaflet if you...more
Strand means 'the shore of a sea, large lake or river' and when Strand Street was first built it did indeed lie along the River Stour, fronting the quayside of the busy port.It's an excellent example of a late-Medieval street, with many examples of wonderful timber-framed buildings dating back to the 1500s and 1600s, and tiny alleyways leading from...more
Named for St Thomas a Becket (murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on the orders..sortof..of King Henry 11) this hospital, like others of its period, did not cater for the sick. It originally provided 'hospitality' for travellers and alms for the poor, with accommodation for 12 people.Sandwich hds three such hospitals in Medieval times: St Thomas, St...more
I have to be honest and say that when I looked at Sandwich's Guildhall (where the bus from Canterbury arrives and departs) I was not greatly impressed. It looked to me like a typical faux-ancient building, constructed in the late 1800s or 1900s to fit in with Sandwich's older architecture.I was wrong about it not being old, but you really wouldn't...more
The Guildhall was built originally in 1579 and the centre piece was added around 1912, The new section was built in 1973 to enclose the pedestrian courtyard. Magistrates Courts are still held in the Guildhall Courtroom, continuing a tradition dating back to Elizabethan days. The museum is also housed here.more
The local church of St Peter's is in the centre of the town and is of Norman origin. It is now redundant but has had a long history. It probably dates back to the Norman conquest and it appears that the church was destroyed and rebuilt in the 13th century. In 1661 the tower collapsed due to lack of maintenance. No-one was hurt but the south aisle...more
I needed something to eat (and a beer) and the Crispin Inn presented itself at exactly the right time.
It's a proper English pub, originally built as an ordinary house (in 1491) but licensed to sell beer from 1769. It was named the 'Crispin Inn' (after St Crispin) in 1792.
The pub is set right next to Sandwich's ancient Barbican gate, one of the entrances into the town when it was fully-walled. The fact that you have to step down into the bar gives away the age of the building: road surfaces have risen over the centuries as roads have been re-surfaced and re-surfaced.
The 'snug' has comfy chairs, the bar wooden ones. Strings of dried hops decorate the walls and there is a patio area with views of the river and quayside. There's a good selection of real ales (and they stock English wine) . And it's the only pub where I've come across which has a selection of reading glasses available for customers' use! :-)
I only wanted a sandwich (very nice, served with crisps and salady bits) but the Crispin also does home-cooked, locally-sourced meals and cream teas (see website for menus and prices).
Even though it was the middle of a chilly January weekday there were quite a few customers eating: I suspect it is a popular place with locals.
Definitely worth popping in for a beer (or a coffee), at least.
It's very easy indeed to get to Sandwich from Canterbury by bus, and you'll get some nice views of the countryside as you make the journey. There are 4 routes in operation: 13, 13A, 14 and 89. If you take advantage of the excellent One-Day Rover bus ticket (£6.80 in February 2012, buy them from the bus driver) you'll be able to combine your visit...more
Sandwich sits on the river Stour and you can take a boat trip from the Quay in Sandwich for £6.00 per adult. These trips mostly run at weekends and on Bank holidays.The main aim of the trip is to sea the Seals and other wildlife that live in the waterways between Sandwich, Fordwich and Fort Richborough.more
Sandwich is a good spot to daytrip from the Weekly Bus Pass is 7 GBP and it is an hour to Cantebury a Hour to Dover Castle a few more minutes to town. Deal is about a 30 Minute trip. We spent two days in Cantebury and one at Dover Castle and one in Dover and the Cliffs.In town the Tourist Office is next to the Bus stop and the town Museum a walking...more
Accessed via Three Kings Yard, off Strand Street, this ruined building is very old indeed.It was originally built in 1250 as a dwelling house but then became a chantry chapel..a chapel where prayers were said for the person who left money for those prayers to be said in his or her will.After the Dissolution of the monasteries (courtesy of King...more
Sandwich, being an important Cinque Port during the Medieval period, of course had many visitors from mainland European countries (and no doubt elsewhere). Quite a few of them settled in the town; in 1582, for example, there were 151 Dutch settles in Sandwich plying 59 different trades.The Old Dutch House is a rather lovely building on King Street,...more