Saturday, 14 April 2018

Canterbury Circular Walk 14th April 2018

On Saturday the 14th of April 2018 I drove to Littlebourne from home and after a little over an hour, I was parking up in a lay-by opposite 23 Nargate Street CT3 1UH.

GPX File here
Viewranger file here
 
I cross the road and take the footpath directly opposite.

This path takes me out opposite St Vincents Church in Littlebourne.


The villages 13th century church, St Vincent of Saragossa, is thought to have been founded by the monks of St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury and contains an ancient wall painting depicting Saint Christopher, patron saint of travellers. The church also has what is reckoned to be one of the finest collection of stained glass windows designed by Nathaniel Westlake in the country. Nathaniel Westlake was a leading designer of the Gothic Revival movement in England.

Work done in 1995 by experts from the V&A Museum established that he designed each of the windows over the long period of his work with the Company, thus giving an outstanding example of the development of his style.

The Church has a six-bell peal, the oldest bell dating back to 1597, the newest 1899.








Next to the church is the Littlebourne Barn. 

The present barn at Littlebourne dates from circa.1340 and stands on land owned at that time by St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury. 
Although reduced in length from its’ original size, it is still 172ft long and 76ft wide and is one of the largest aisled barns still standing in the country.
Having been in continuous agricultural use from its’ earliest beginnings until the 1960’s, the Barn and some surrounding land was acquired by Canterbury City Council in 1991 in order to preserve the building and to make it available to the public.

The Barn is open during the Heritage National Open Days and at various other times during the year. The local committee also organise events, Art shows and Craft Fairs, and can arrange for the hire of the Barn for charitable or non profit-making activities.
 




The path follows on through the churchyard and out beyond.


The path exits out onto Nargate Street , which I walk down for a bit.



I take a path on my left and follow a path over a field following The Little Stour river.




I am now approaching Wickhambreaux.

Wickhambreaux has a recorded history with connections to the Church and Crown dating back to Roman times. It is first mentioned in 948 when King Eadred granted land to a religious woman, however, Wickhambreaux settlement predates this to at least Roman times as it is on the northwest side of the Roman Road. Wickhambreaux village still retains its medieval pattern with the Church, manor house, rectory, inn and mill encircling the green.
Wickhambreaux manor was once part of the extensive portfolio of lands owned by Joan Countess of Kent, wife to Edward of Woodstock, and mother of Richard II. Joan's husband Edward of Woodstock, is popularly known as The Black Prince. His tomb is in Canterbury Cathedral.
Joan was very much a power behind the throne and was well-loved for her influence over the young king. So much so that when she returned to London from a pilgrimage to Canterbury in 1381, and found her way barred by Wat Tyler and his rebels on Blackheath, the mob not only let her through unharmed, but saluted her with kisses and provided an escort for her for the rest of her journey.
In the Domesday Book the village is referred to as Wicheham. The derivation appears to be Anglo Saxon and is formed from Wich (Wich town), meaning coastal trading settlement and Ham, meaning homestead or settlement. Although this is surprising today, in Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England the village was near the mouth of the Little Stour or Lesser Stour, where is entered the Wantsum Channel. This explains the fisheries and salt pans identified in the Domesday Book and the river was at that time easily navigable for ships of the time. Wickhambreaux is the location of the site where one of the first Roman roads in Britain crossed the Little Stour en route from, where the Romans first landed in Britain, Richborough Castle to Canterbury.
An alternative spelling may be Wykham Brewes as seen in 1418, the home of a weaver called John Bourneman. Other places mentioned in the record are Goodneston by Wyngham, Mungeham and Elmestone.

I approach the church of St.Andrews at Wickhambreaux and pass Wickham Mill.

This is a fine large five storey Napoleonic brick and weatherboard building allegedly built in 1808.  In 1887 a subsidiary business of making sheet rubber was established here; at one time fourteen pairs of stones were powered by water and steam - this was later reduced to five pairs of stones.  
It stopped work in 1940 by water but electricity was used here until 1955 after which the machinery was removed. In 1984 the mill was sold and converted into flats.

A Pill box by The Little Stour


To the northwest of the mill on a small rise sits the flint and stone church of St Andrew (Grade I) and its graveyard. This simple perpendicular church constructed during the 13th century, with early 16th century additions. Its plan comprises a chancel with an organ chamber to the north and a three bay nave with tie beam roof. The church was restored in 1868. Wickhambreaux was one of the early minsters founded in Kent before 700. The Art Nouveau stained glass east window of the Annunciation dates from 1896.





Guineafowl on the loose


To the south of the Old Rectory is the Rose Inn (Grade II). Its two-storey rendered frontage is late 17th early 18th century in appearance. In earlier times travellers used it as a stopping point on their way to Grove where The Stour could be crossed. It remains the busy hub of this community being one of the few businesses left in the village. Adjacent to the Rose Inn is a small terrace of locally listed cottages which, along with the Old Bell House, form the corner and entrance to The Street a narrow road of smaller terraced style houses.

The Old Rectory (formerly Wickham House) is Grade II* listed with unmistakable Baroque tendencies. It was built in 1714 by Reverend Alexander Young. The Old rectory is two storeys high with attics and a basement. Its construction of red-brown brick with red brick dressings has one of the finest examples of tuck-pointing mortar in the district.

Wickhambreaux retains the medieval pattern of development of grander homes around the green and smaller workers' cottages and small businesses in their own separate area. The Street is narrow and lined with closely packed buildings predominantly built up to the road edge. This character area contains 17 listed buildings and 23 locally listed properties. The form, layout and character of this street hark back to a much earlier era. Until 1966 the road still had the central drainage gutter from the Middle Ages and is still locally known as Gutter Street.
The Street would have been the commercial core of the village and many of the building forms and names still reflect this, however, the village shops have closed over the years.

I walk up Wickham Court Lane and turn right into Grove Road, where I walk up a short distance.

I turn left onto a footpath Opposite Kelsey Farms, a well established, family run business specialising in the commercial growing and packing of soft fruit.




They were busy preparing the tunnels ready for fruit growing, the paths were very muddy from the recent rain and tractors churning up the ground.

Now grateful to be leaving the farm and its mud, I head over a field.





I cross over Hollybush Lane and into a field opposite.


I leave the path and walk up along Stodmarsh Road towards Stodmarsh.

The name Stodmarsh is derived from the Saxon words "stode", meaning mare, and "merse", a marsh, demonstrating its former use of pasture for cattle among the marshes.

Stodmarsh has been occupied since at least Saxon times, and Saxon burial tumuli have been found near Stodmarsh Court, the 17th century former manor house.
In 686 king Eadric of Kent gave the manor, consisting of three ploughlands in the marsh called "Stodmersh", to the monastery of St Augustine in Canterbury. In 1270 Henry III extended this by granting free-warren in all their demesne lands of "Stodmarsch" to the abbot.
When the monastery was dissolved in 1537 by Henry VIII the manor fell into the hands of the king, before being granted to John Master of East Langdon six years later who moved to Stodmarsh Court.
Stodmarsh was originally a separate civil parish but was added to Wickhambreaux parish in 1934. It falls into the deanery of Bridge within the diocese of Canterbury.

The church, dedicated to St Mary is small and consists of a single aisle and chancel. It has a low pointed turret at the western end containing two bells.
This church was originally part of the possessions of the abbey at Canterbury, and remained so until 1243, when the abbot Robert, at the insistence of archdeacon Simon de Langton, granted it to the hospital of poor priests in Canterbury, together with four acres of Stodmarsh, on the condition that they should not demand in future any tithes from the abbey. When the hospital was dissolved in 1575 Elizabeth I gave all its possessions to the city of Canterbury. Stodmarsh church seems not to have been passed to the city but instead fell to the archdeaconry of Canterbury where it still remains.
The church was first built in the 12th and 13th centuries and modernised around 1880. The porch contains notable carvings known as "Crusaders' Crosses". The X-shaped brace that supports the bell turret is believed to be unique in Kent.


I pass the Red Lion Public House in Stodmarsh. Originally built in the fifteenth century, it was rebuilt in 1801 after a fire.





I continue walking along Stodmarsh Road for someway, but its a quiet road and pleasant enough with views to die for and with calves and lambs, along with various birds to look at.









On my right was some woodland with lovely wood Anenomes and my first Bluebells of the year.





I pass Elbridge house, but this means I had walked pass the path I needed by a short way and had to backtrack a short way.



Greylag Geese
Now back on track I walk through a field of sheep with their lambs, a sure sign of Spring is finally here.


I leave one field and into another full of cows and their calves, here the field is a mud mire and my boot sink deep into the mud at one point!



I am now walking through woodland,full of more spring flowers.


I manage to lose direction and do a divert, if you are following my GPX file, here you'll need to follow your map and stay on the right path.

Back on track I follow the slippery muddy path along passing a lake (Westbere Marshes)  on my right.


I needed to duck under as I slipped my way along.

I leave the mud behind and follow a path into Fordwich.

The town grew in the Middle Ages as a port for boats on their way upriver to Canterbury. All of the Caen stone used by the Normans to rebuild Canterbury Cathedral in the 12th and 13th centuries was landed at Fordwich. It later became a limb of the Cinque Ports. It lost its status as a town in 1880 when it no longer had a Mayor and Corporation. However, in a reorganisation in 1972, Fordwich was again made a town as much as anything because of its prior importance in what is now a rather sleepy corner of Kent. Fordwich Town Hall, supposedly the smallest in England, dates from the earlier period, having been rebuilt in 1555.
The ancient Church of St Mary the Virgin, now redundant but open to the public, and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, contains part of a carved sarcophagus reputed to have contained the remains of St Augustine of Canterbury.

I pass the Fordwich Arms Public House. The Fordwich Arms is one of two pubs in the village, records showing an inn has stood here for over 900 years. Rebuilt in 1930 after a fire.

Fordwich is the smallest Town in England (with its own Town Council and Mayor) and has a lovely 15th century Town Hall, still in use as a Town Hall today. The ancient Hall has all the original timbers and, as it served as a courtroom for many centuries, has a prisoner’s bar, panelled seating for a jury (hence a jury panel), jury room and even a small gaol, last used in 1855 for two men convicted of poaching!

It charges £2 entry, I would have gone in, but my boots were filthy and time was pressing on!

Fordwich has been the subject for a series of children's books by author F.J. Beerling. Inspired by the beautiful Kentish countryside and against the backdrop of the river Stour, Beerling fell in love with the old-world charm that Fordwich has, along with the even older charm of the Fordwich Town Hall building.

The 16th-century building next the Town Hall, now known as Watergate House, was the family home of John and Gregory Blaxland, early 19th-century pioneers of Australia.

I made my way along King Street and waited a while to take the picture below as I watched a spectacle of a car and caravan stuck as another clueless driver wouldn't give it any room to pass.


The painter Alfred Palmer (1877-1951) lived at the Manor House in King Street from 1906 to 1939. As a young man he had rebelled against the strict training of the Academy schools and went to Paris to study. Despite the influence of modernism he remained very much a figurative painter, and his work is attractive to modern tastes.
Many of Palmer's works are held by the Beaney Institute in Canterbury. He also formed the East Kent Art Society with Lord Northbourne. During the first world war Palmer worked in the Secret Intelligence Service; he also used his fluent German to good effect in interrogating prisoners of war.


Now at the end of King Street I come to The George & Dragon Public House, I need to follow the path on my left now , but first I wanted to go see the bridge over the river.

Fordwich, first mentioned in 675AD as Fordewicum (meaning 'inhabited place beside the ford') has been home to the George and Dragon since around the 15th Century. The town has a unique and vibrant history.
In Roman times and up until the Middle Ages, Thanet was an island, separated from Kent by a channel some miles wide called the Wantsum (twinned with an estuary in France called the 'Avsum). An arm of the sea came as far as Canterbury and was navigable as far as Fordwich.
As a consequence of its position at the head of the estuary, controlling crucial transport links, the town has always had an importance beyond its size. Take, for instance, this proclamation by King William (William the Conqueror) concerning land rights at Fordwich:

Fordwich is also known as the home of the Fordwich Trout, a legendary large fish described by Izaak Walton in his seminal work The Compleat Angler, published in 1653.
"There is a particular species of trout" wrote Hasted, "which frequents the river Stour, and being for the most part caught within these liberties, is from thence known by the name of Fordwich trout; being esteemed of a superior flavour to most others, and there being but few of them taken in a year, they bear a high price, and are much sought after as a delicacy throughout the neighbourhood."


Now happy to be off this busy road and bridge I head back up along the path following The Stour Valley way.


I take the path across a ploughed field.

I now walk across Canterbury Golf Course, I hate walking across courses always looking out for stray golf balls coming my way!

I walk through another woodland, here I got lost a little again, GPS being slow to show direction. I corrected the GPX file here to show the correct path.

I leave the woodland behind and walk out onto a  council estate in Canterbury.





Barton mill formerly belonged to the priory of Christ church being appropriated to the grinding of the corn used by them for their own spending within the court. At the dissolution in king Henry VIII's time, it came to the crown. Christopher Hales, esq. afterwards knighted, and attorney-general to king Henry VIII. was possessed of this mill, then called Barton mill, with a meadow belonging to it, then in the tenure of George Robinson, holding it in capite by knight's service, and then being of the value of ten pounds. He died in the 33d year of that reign, and it was afterwards sold by his daughters and coheirs to Thomas Culpeper, on whose decease, Alexander his son, had livery of it in the 3d and 4th year of Philip and Mary. It lately belonged to Mr. Allen Grebell, who erected close to it a handsome house, in which he afterwards resided. But the mill and some land adjoining to it, has been lately sold to Messrs. Sampson* and William Kingsford, the latter of whom has long resided on the premises.


I follow the Great Stour river along for a while.


Looking back to Barton Mill.




I now reach Abbots Mill on The Stour.

The first watermill here belonged to the monks of St Augustine’s Abbey – hence the name. The last mill on the site was built in 1792 as a city granary during the Napoleonic Wars. It was a landmark construction, six storeys high, and was designed by John Smeaton who also designed the Eddystone lighthouse.  From 1896 the mill was known as Denne’s Mill and it was sometimes called the White Mill. In October 1933 the mill was destroyed by fire. The timber-frame burnt for seven days and nights, half a million gallons of water were poured on the flames and the streets were lined with spectators.






I now leave the Stour. 

The huge mask which stood outside Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre from 2003 until it was demolished in 2009 has returned.
Bulkhead, to give it its real name, was moved back to the theatre in The Friars on Friday but now stands by the river in the newly-created outdoor seating area.
The mask is the work of sculptor Rick Kirby and arrived in the city as part of a sculpture festival called Blok.



Canterbury has been occupied since Paleolithic times and served as the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci and Jute Kingdom of Kent. Many historical structures fill the area, including a city wall founded in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and a Norman castle, and the oldest extant school in the world, the King's School. . There is also a substantial student population, brought about by the presence of the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Girne American University Canterbury campus. Canterbury remains, however, a small city in terms of geographical size and population, when compared with other British cities.


I walk along the shop lined streets, only wished I had to time to look about properly. I'll have to come back!





Bronze Statue of Canterbury Tales Author Geoffrey Chaucer by Sam Holland
I pass by The Canterbury Pilgrims Hospital of St Thomas on the King's-bridge, near the Westgate.

The Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr of Eastbridge was founded in the 12th century in Canterbury, England, to provide overnight accommodation for poor pilgrims to the shrine of St Thomas Becket. It is now one of the ten almshouses still providing accommodation for elderly citizens of Canterbury and is a grade I listed building.

A quick diversion down to see the beautiful Old Weavers House. 

The Old Weavers House takes its name from the influx of Flemish and Huguenot weavers who settled in the area after fleeing from religious persecution during the 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth I granted the Flemish weavers the right to establish their businesses in Canterbury, and they are known to have used this and other similar buildings nearby.
Despite the date 1500 which can be seen prominently displayed above the door, this house probably dates back to at least the 14th century. The current building largely dates to a reconstruction in the second half of the 16th century, not the first, as you might assume by the sign!
At the rear of the Old Weavers House is a medieval ducking stool, jutting out over the river. This ducking stool was historically used as a method of punishing 'scolds' - women accused by their husbands of talking back too much! The stool may also have been used as a more severe punishment for suspected witches. The suspected witch was dunked under the water and held there for several minutes. If she (it was usually a female) did not drown, she was proved a witch. If she drowned, at least her name was cleared!




I walk back up passing the Royal Museum and Free Library. 

The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who studied medicine before emigrating to Australia, where he found his success. Upon his death in 1891, Dr Beaney left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge.
A cultural hub in East Kent, praised for its welcoming atmosphere, providing a range of services under one roof, uniting art, heritage, books, ideas, information and collections.




I now reach Canterbury Cathedral, where there was a long queue of people waiting to get in.

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the archbishop.






I pass St Thomas of Canterbury Church and walk on. 



The City Walls


I now reach St Augustine's Abbey. St Augustine's Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Canterbury, Kent, England. The abbey was founded in 598 and functioned as a monastery until its dissolution in 1538 during the English Reformation. After the abbey's dissolution, it underwent dismantlement until 1848. Since 1848, part of the site has been used for educational purposes and the abbey ruins have been preserved for their historical value.

In 597, Augustine arrived in Anglo-Saxon England, having been sent by the missionary-minded Pope Gregory I to convert the Anglo-Saxons. The King of Kent at this time was Æthelberht or Ethelbert. Although he worshipped in a pagan temple just outside the walls of Canterbury to the east of the city, Ethelbert was married to a Christian, Bertha. According to tradition, the king not only gave his temple and its precincts to St Augustine for a church and monastery,he also ordered that the church to be erected be of "becoming splendour, dedicated to the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and endowed it with a variety of gifts." One purpose of the foundation was to provide a residence for Augustine and his brother monks. As another, both King Ethelbert and Augustine foresaw the abbey as a burial place for abbots, archbishops, and kings of Kent.
William Thorne, the 14th century chronicler of the abbey, records 598 as the year of the foundation.The monastic buildings were most likely wooden in the manner of Saxon construction, so they could be quickly built. However, building a church of solid masonry, like the churches Augustine had known in Rome, took longer. The church was completed and consecrated in 613. Ca. 624 a short distance to the east, Eadbald, son and successor of Ethelbert, founded a second church, dedicated to Saint Mary which also buried Kentish royalty. The abbey became known as St Augustine's after the founder's death.
For two centuries after its founding, St Augustine's was the only important religious house in the kingdom of Kent. The historian G. F. Maclear characterized St Augustine's as being a "missionary school" where "classical knowledge and English learning flourished." Over time, St Augustine's Abbey acquired an extensive library that included both religious and secular holdings. In addition, it had a scriptorium for producing manuscripts.

Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury from 959 to 988, influenced a reorganisation of the abbey to conform to Benedictine rule. Buildings were enlarged and the church rebuilt. Dunstan also revised the dedication of the abbey, from the original Saints Peter and Paul, by adding Saint Augustine in 978. Since then, the abbey has been known as St Augustine's.

The invading Danes not only spared St Augustine's, but in 1027 King Cnut made over all the possessions of Minster-in-Thanet to St Augustine's. These possessions included the preserved body of Saint Mildred. Belief in the miraculous power of this relic had spread throughout Europe, and it brought many pilgrims to St Augustine's, whose gifts enriched the abbey.

Following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror confiscated landed estates, but he respected Church property.  At St Augustine's Abbey, the Anglo-Saxon buildings were completely reconstructed in the form of a typical Norman Benedictine monastery. By 1100, all the original buildings had disappeared under a Romanesque edifice. There was further rebuilding as a result of the great fire in 1168.The fire's destruction accounts for the paucity of historical records for the preceding period.
From about 1250 onwards was a period of wealth in which "building succeeded building." Boggis' history calls this period a time of "worldly magnificence," marked by "lavish expenditures" on new buildings, royal visits, and banquets with thousands of guests. In addition, the papacy imposed many levies on the abbey. The large debt that was incurred by these expenditures might have swamped the abbey had it not been for generous benefactors who came to the rescue.
The cloister, frater (refectory) and kitchen were totally rebuilt. A new abbot's lodging and a great hall were added. In the early 14th century, land was acquired for a cellarer's range (living and working quarters for the cellarer who was responsible for provisioning the abbey's cellarium), a brewhouse, a bakehouse, and a new walled vineyard. A Lady chapel was built to the east of the church.

The abbey gatehouse was rebuilt from 1301 to 1309 by Abbot Fyndon. It has since been known as the Fyndon Gate or the Great Gate. The chamber above the entrance was the state bed-chamber of the Monastery. In 1625, Charles I of England and Queen Henrietta Maria slept in this chamber, following their marriage in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1660, after the Restoration, Charles II and his brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, stayed in the gatehouse on their way to London.
Fyndon's gate suffered such damage by German bombs during the Second World War that it had to be rebuilt. The gate faces a small square known since the reign of Charles I as Lady Wootton's Green." Statues of Æthelberht of Kent and Queen Bertha stand on the green.



After a whistle stop visit due to lack of time, I head off up the road passing the university and the strong smell of cannabis.

I follow the road along Pilgrims way, a rather boring stretch of the walk.

I can see St Martins Mill up on the hill. St Martin's Mill was built in 1817 by John Adams. It was working until 1890 and was converted into a house by a Mr Couzens in 1920. There was a proposal to demolish the mill in April 1958, but a preservation order was placed on the mill by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.




More road walking but at least now they are surrounded by fields.



The art of a new thatched roof going on.



Now I reach the road after walking through Hodes Farm on Hodes Lane.


I reach Patrixbourne.
In the Domesday Book Patrixbourne was held by Bishop Odo, but in 1200 it was transferred to a cell of an abbey in Normandy and thereafter to Merton Priory. After the Reformation it passed to the Says and then the Cheyneys.
An Anglo-Saxon cemetery is on the Bifrons estate or Bifron's Park in the south of the village. Bifrons took its name from a name for the Roman god Janus ("the two-faced") as well as having two wings and was built in the early 1600s by John Bargrave (Bargar) the Elder, brother of Isaac Bargrave Dean of Canterbury. The Bargrave family were staunchly Royalist during the Civil War and Bargrave's son John sold the estate in 1661 as he resumed his ecclesiastical career after the Restoration. In September 1694 the estate was bought by Sandwich MP John Taylor. It was remodelled by Edward Taylor in 1770 and in 1820 became the seat of Elizabeth Conyngham, Marchioness Conyngham, last mistress of George IV. The house was demolished in the late 1940s.
The parish church is dedicated to St Mary.





I take a footpath on my left between some properties. 

Alpacas



I walk across a field , step over an electrified fence, careful not to catch my nuts and up to the road where I am now in Bekesbourne.

Bekesbourne church sitting up high
Bekesbourne was the site of an aerodrome, built during World War I, and which thrived as the home of the Kent Flying Club until World War II, when it was closed. One large hangar remained. It was severely damaged by and rebuilt after the Great Storm of 1987. Developed reuse took place in 1997 to build 10 detached houses on a new road, De Havillands.

I walk through a tunnel under the railway line.



I walk along Howletts Farm heading back towards Littlebourne.

Ruined Medieval Chapel near spring. There was at one time a hamlet here, called Well, which at various times in its history was a 'chapelry district' of Littlebourne, then Ickham and, since 1935, Bekesbourne. Pool and a complex of streams and springs here where the waters of the Nailbourne merge with the source of the Little Stour.




I am eventually back in Littlebourne, its been a great walk, but I'm thirsty and my legs are tired,but worse of all as usual after a long distance my boots start to rub on the top of my toes.

The significant Howletts Anglo-Saxon cemetery is in the parish. It is regarded as "Jutish"; finds are in the British Museum and elsewhere, and include two of the very rare quoit brooches.
The manor of Littlebourne belonged to St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury and the abbot maintained a vineyard there according to Canterbury MP and antiquarian John Twyne in his De Rebus Albionicis.

The viticultural theme is reflected in the parish church's unusual dedication to St Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of winemakers. The church is in all regards consistent to have been founded by the monks of St Augustine's, which oral history attests, in the 13th century and contains a medieval wall painting depicting Saint Christopher, patron saint of travellers.




I am now back at the car after a 15.5 mile walk, a quick cup of tea before the drive home.