Herne (St. Martin)

HERNE (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Blean, hundred of Bleangate, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 5¾ miles (N. E. by N.) from Canterbury; containing 3041 inhabitants, of whom 1572 are in the town of Herne-Bay. Herne-Bay, in consequence of the pleasantness of its situation on the shore of a small but beautiful bay, and the erection of a long wooden pier, has become a place of resort for sea-bathing. Several ranges of houses, with some good inns, have been built fronting the bay; and baths have been erected. In 1833, an act was obtained for paving, lighting, and improving the town. The pier is in the form of the letter T, and extends 3000 feet into the sea, having an inclined plane, 20 feet in width, for the convenience of landing passengers at all times of the tide; on a site adjoining the pier, a clock-tower was erected in 1837, by Mrs. Anne Thwaites. The parade, which extends for nearly a mile in front of the town, is 50 feet wide. There are assembly and billiard rooms, and a library. Steam-boats of a superior class run daily to and from London.

The parish comprises by admeasurement 4829 acres, of which 211 are in wood, and 165 common. The surface is undulated: the soil is chiefly clay, resting on gravel, and, under proper management, very productive; the prevailing trees are oak and elm, with ash, maple, and hazel. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 16. 3., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the appropriator: the great tithes have been commuted for £1474. 19.; and the vicarial for £557. 19., with a glebe of 3 acres, and a glebehouse. The church is a handsome structure, having a tower in the early English style, and large portions in the decorated and later styles; the walls of the aisles are embattled: the west window is a beautiful composition of five lights in the later, and the other windows are chiefly in the decorated, style; the font is elegant, and there is a good monument to Sir William Thornhurst. Christ-church, Herne-Bay, containing 700 sittings, of which 150 are free, was consecrated in 1840; it was endowed by the Rev. Henry Geary. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans, the former in the town, the latter in the village of Herne. In the channel near the bay, numerous fragments of Roman earthenware have been found, supposed to be the vestiges of a cargo of pottery wrecked whilst the Romans were in Britain. On the confines of the parish are the remains of a palace in which Archbishop Cranmer resided; Bishop Ridley was vicar here from 1538 till 1550, when he was promoted to the see of London.

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

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