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More places to visit in & around Sandwich Kent

Places to See in Sandwich Kent: Historic Sites in Sandwich

The Butts, Ropewalk, Millwall and the Bulwarks mark the original path of the Town Wall and make a delightful walk all around the old town. There are may places of historical interest in the town - those marked on the map and the photos are just a few of them.

Click on the place names on the map or click the thumbnails to see photos and information.

Sandwich Town Trail

  • Barbican
    One of the main gates to the town. This used to be called David's or Davy's Gate. The photo is a view from the Tollbridge. Untill a few years ago, people had to pay a toll to use the bridge.
  • Bulwark
    The town was entirely walled in 1385 by order of Richard II, to keep out raids and invasions.
  • Butts
    This was where men in medieval times had to perform their archery practice. Henry V's archers probably practiced here before they sailed to the battle of Argencourt in 1415.
  • Dutch House
    Between 1560 and 1640 many thousands of refugees fled from Spanish oppression in the Netherlands. Many settled in Sandwich and built houses in their own style. The Dutch House is probably the best example.
  • Fishergate
    Leading on to the Quay, the only other town gate, besides the Barbican, still standing. The gate as we see it today, dates from 1560, as at that time, the Coopers were granted a Charter of Incorporation, as long as they kept the gate in good repair. But the lower part of the gate dates from around 1384, and together with the other gates of the town, formed part of the fortifications ordered by Richard II.
  • Gaol
    St. Peter's Street used to be called Jail Street, and the medieval jail can still be seen.
  • The Guildhall
    Built in 1579, it has been added to and modified since then. In the old courtroom (which is now no longer a courtroom but a wedding venue!) can be seen carved oak paneling dating from 1607 and oak candle sticks which once held large hand dipped candles.
  • Kings Lodgings
    The house has a datestone of 1713 and the front windows and brickwork date from that time, but the house is timber framed and actually dates from about 1400. It belonged to Christchurch, Canterbury and is believed to have been the principal guest house for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. The main doorway was added for the visit of Henry VIII in 1534. Queen Elizabeth I also visited in 1573.
  • Manwood Court
    Sir Roger Manwood's School was built in 1563 on the site of the 'Great House', a Hospice which, according to the records of 1220, was owned by the monks. When the school moved in 1895, to its present site in Manwood Road, the original building in Strand Street became private residences, known as Manwood Court.
  • Millwall
    Part of the old Town wall - so called because a windmill used to stand here.
  • Thomas Paines house
    Born in Thetford, Suffolk (or Norfolk - the county borders were different in those days), England, Thomas Paine moved to Sandwich in 1759. He lived in a small house in New Street,where he practiced his trade as a master stay-maker.
  • Harfleet House
    There were huge cellars beneath beneath this street used for storing barrels of wine and goods from the many trading ships. Harfleet House has a cellar dating back to the Norman period and is the only one known in Sandwich, that has a fireplace. As it is too shallow for a baker's oven and set too high up for a domestic fire place - it is thought that this could have been the site of the Sandwich Mint. Coins minted in Sandwich during Norman times can be seen at the British Museum and are stamped, SANDWI.
  • Quay
    When the River Stour was not silted up, this was a large major port called Sandwich Haven. Monarchs and their armies embarked here, for the wars in France.
  • Ropewalk
    Follows the path of the old town wall. Once used for ship's rope making,which required a long, straight path for 'walking out'.
  • Stbarts
    One of the oldest established hostels for travellers and pilgrims, dating back possibly, to 1190, but the present buildings may have been built in 1217 to celebrate defeating a French invasion. The photo is of St. Bart's Chapel.
  • St Cement's Church
    Saxon in origin. Town Mayors were elected here by common consent, until 1685.
  • St marys
    The church, built by the Normans (said to be on the site of a Saxon nunnery), kept being destroyed and rebuilt during the French raids between 1217 and 1457.
  • St peters
    The medieval practice of ringing the curfew bell at 8pm, is still carried out from here. It is rung for 3 minutes at 8 pm every night, although nowadays the animals are not usually let out on the streets!
  • Strand Street
    Strand Street is the oldest Street and originates from the Saxon 'Stronde' . Originally the River Stour was at the edge of Strand Street. The Saxon pattern of some the roads from Strand Street can still be seen - they run South Westerly and are 10 feet wide. It was very marshy at that time and possibly, this street pattern allowed the ox carts from the Quay to drive on to drier land.
  • St Thomas's Hospital
    Situated in Moat Sole, built in the 14th century and named in honour of St. Thomas Becket.
  • Weavers
    16th century Dutch refugees used this building as their home and workshop.
  • Whitemill
    Built in 1760 this smock windmill retains its original machinery. See the White Mill pages for more information.