Ash-near-Sandwich (St. Nicholas)

ASH-Near-Sandwich (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Eastry, hundred of Wingham, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 3 miles (E.) from Wingham; containing 2077 inhabitants. This place is by most antiquaries identified with the Rutupium, or Urbs Rutupiæ, of the Romans, one of the earliest stations, if not the first, in the island, and supposed by Camden to have been established by that people for the protection of their haven called Portus Rutupensis, the landing-place of their fleets, and the usual passage into Britain. According to Bede, the station was called by the Saxons Reptaceastre, and subsequently, by Alfred of Beverley, Richeberg, from which its present name Richborough is derived. Of the ancient city every vestige has disappeared, and the site is now covered with cornfields: part of the citadel alone remains, consisting of portions of the walls, about 200 feet in length, varying from ten to thirty feet in height, and about twelve feet thick, forming one of the most interesting relics of Roman antiquity in the kingdom. The parish is intersected by the road from London to Deal, and bounded on the north by the river Stour, over which are two ferries. It comprises 6872a. 1r. 36p., of which 3128 acres are arable, 3258 meadow, 331 orchard and garden, 100 hop ground, 49 wood, and 6 rectorial glebe; the soil is rich and fertile. Pleasure-fairs are held on April 5th, and Oct. 11th. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £147; patron and appropriator, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is a handsome building in the early and later English styles. A chapel of ease dedicated to the Trinity was erected in 1841, in the early English style, partly by subscription and partly by aid of a grant from the Church Building Society. There are two small places of worship for Wesleyans; and a free school, founded, and endowed with £75 per annum, in 1714, by the Cartwright family.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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