The Dunlop Travel Guide
The following is an entry about Sandwich from The Dunlop Book published in 1919.
The only things that have changed from the account below, are that there is no longer a toll charged on "motor cars", the "shipping trade" has been replaced by leisure craft and the Quarter Sessions are no longer held in the old Courtroom - (this is now a wedding venue!).
Excerpt From “The Dunlop Book” published 1919
"One of the ancient Cinque Ports and in the 11th to 13th centuries the foremost seaport in England, Sandwich is now far gone in decay and is visited for its quaint remains of a former greatness.
Sandwich arose on the decay of a yet earlier place, the great Roman fortress and seaport of Rutupiae, now represented by the ruined walls of " Richborough," in the cornfields 11⁄2 miles distant. The same cause which ruined the Roman seaport brought about the decay of Sandwich: the receding of the sea, which has retired for about two miles.
Sandwich still keeps open a small shipping trade, along the winding course of the river Stour, but the tides once came up to its very walls. The choking of the harbour with sand became threatening so early as 1500, and from that time Sandwich was doomed. Where golfers now play, ships once sailed.
The romance of this ancient port is evident in many a quaint building. As you enter from the direction of Ramsgate and cross the River Stour, the picturesque Barbican gate and archway are seen. This is a toll-gate, at which the exorbitant impost of 3d. a wheel is levied on motor - cars.
There are three ancient parish churches remaining: St. Clement's, St. Peter's, and St. Mary's. The first is of the 12th and 13th centuries. St. Peter's is the church with the tall brick tower and the quaint cupola which is prominent in all distant views of the town. The original tower fell in 1661, and destroyed a great part of the building, as evident in the patched-up portions and in the ruins yet remaining. St. Mary's, a smaller building, dates from 1460, having been rebuilt after it was destroyed in an attack by the French, 1456.
Fishergate, another old gate in the town defences, stands upon the quay. The ramparts of the former town walls now serve the purpose of a pleasant promenade.
Among the most interesting relics is the Town Hall, in which are held the Quarter Sessions! Although wearing a commonplace exterior, it contains an ancient Court-room and old jury-box. The old sculptured lion and dragon are relics of the town's decorations on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1572."