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Discover Medieval Sandwich: A Guide to its History and Buildings

Discover Medieval Sandwich: A Guide to its History and Buildings (Paperback)

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Sandwich today is a quiet Kentish town on the banks of the river Stour where small pleasure craft tie up at The Quay. It is hard to imagine that in medieval times there was a wide expanse of water, Sandwich Haven, which provided a calm anchorage for every sort of vessel from Anglo-Saxon longships preparing to take on Viking invaders to fleets of Venetian galleys laden with exotic cargoes. Nor does Sandwich now stand at the entrance to a main waterway joining the English Channel to the Thames. It is now a peaceful town beside a lazy river.

This book describes what happened to medieval Sandwich over the centuries. We see how it grew from nothing more than a landmark for Anglo-Saxon seafarers to a Norman market town with 2,000 inhabitants. But then, from a prosperous trading centre where ships of all European nations anchored in The Haven it became a landlocked town with no contacts with the sea. The present town is a beautifully preserved example of a small medieval town, probably the most complete in England. Its houses are its chief glory and many of them are illustrated here. Though the town can be seen as the hero of this book, the people of Sandwich are there too; some serve as mayors and members of parliament, others brew beer and own bowling alleys. All have left their mark.

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