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.
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.
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.
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.