Place:Broadstairs and St. Peter's, Kent, England

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NameBroadstairs and St. Peter's
Alt namesBroadstairssource: largest part of the borough
Westwood by Broadstairssource: village in parish and borough
St. Peter'ssource: village in parish and borough
TypeTown, Urban district
Coordinates51.367°N 1.45°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoThanet District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality of which it has been a part since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Broadstairs and St Peter's is a civil parish in the Thanet District of Kent, England. The parish comprises the settlements of Broadstairs, St Peter's and Westwood (including Westwood Cross). It is a successor parish, created in 1974 to replace Broadstairs and St Peter's Urban District. It is governed by Broadstairs and St Peter's Town Council. The population in the UK census of 2011 was 24,903.

Broadstairs

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Broadstairs is a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in the Thanet district of east Kent, England, about east of London. It is part of the civil parish of Broadstairs and St Peter's, which includes St Peter's and had a population in 2001 of about 24,000. Situated between Margate and Ramsgate, Broadstairs is one of Thanet's seaside resorts, known as the "Jewel in Thanet's crown". The town's crest motto is Stella Maris ("Star of the Sea"). The name derives from a former flight of steps in the chalk cliff, which led from the sands up to the 11th-century shrine of St Mary on the cliff's summit.

The town spreads from Haine Road in the west to Kingsgate (named after the landing of King Charles II in 1683) a hamlet in St Peter parish in the north and to Dumpton in the south (named after the yeoman Dudeman who farmed there in the 13th century). The hamlet of Reading (formerly Reden or Redyng) Street was established by Flemish refugees in the 17th century.

Broadstairs History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Before 1400

The inland village of St Peter's was established after the building of a parish church in about 1080. The coastal confederation of Cinque Ports during its mediæval period consisted of a confederation of 42 towns and villages in all. This included St Peter's, as a 'limb' of Dover. On the nearby coast was a cliff-top shrine, the Shrine of Our Lady, at what was then called Bradstow(e), meaning "broad place" (perhaps referring to the wide bay). A fishing settlement developed in the vicinity of the shrine in the 14th century. This came to be called "Broadstairs", after a flight of steps which was made in the cliff to give access to the shrine from the bay. Older forms of the name include Brodsteyr Lynch (1434 & 1494 ), Brodestyr (1479), Broadstayer (1565) and Brod stayrs (1610). Charles Culmer, son of Waldemar, is supposed to have reconstructed the stairs in 1350.


1400-1600

In 1440, an archway was built by George Culmer across a track leading down to the sea, where the first wooden pier or jetty was built in 1460. A more enduring structure was to replace this in 1538, when the road leading to the seafront, known as Harbour Street, was cut into the rough chalk ground on which Broadstairs is built, by another George Culmer. Going further in defence of the town, he built the York Gate in 1540, a portal that still spans Harbour Street and which then held two heavy wooden doors that could be closed in times of threat from the sea. Richard Culmer was the son of Sir Richard Culmer by his first wife and was born in 1640/41. Richard was buried in the parish church of Monkton, on the Isle of Thanet. Of his legacies was the endowment on Broadstairs of an area of six acres (24,000 m²) of ground for the poor of the parish. The name survives to this day as "Culmer's Allotment" as does the allotment.

1700-1815

In 1823, Broadstairs had a population of about 300. A brief outline of the history of Broadstairs Pier is given in Broadstairs, past and present, which mentions a storm in 1767, during which Culmer's work was all but destroyed. At this time, it was of considerable importance to the fishing trade with catches as far afield as Great Yarmouth, Hastings, Folkestone, Dover and Torbay and elsewhere being landed. It had become so indispensable that the corporations of Yarmouth, Dover, Hythe and Canterbury with assistance from the East India Company and Trinity House subscribed to its restoration with a payment of £2,000 in 1774.

By 1795, York Gate needed repair to repel any threat from the French Revolutionary Wars. The subsequent renovation was undertaken by Lord Hanniker in the same year as the first lightvessel was placed on the Goodwin Sands.

On the occasion of the landing at Thanet of Major Henry Percy of the 14th Dragoon Guards, on 21 June 1815 with the captured French eagle standard taken at Waterloo, a tunnel stairway from the beach to the fields on the cliff tops above was excavated, and christened "Waterloo Stairs" to commemorate the event. Broadstairs was supposedly the first town in England to learn of this historic victory, although there is no written evidence of this.

Smuggling was an important industry in the area, and the men of Broadstairs and St Peter's became very good at outwitting customs agents. This was very profitable because of the very high duty payable on tea, spirits and tobacco. There is a network of tunnels and caves strewn in the chalk strata which were used by smugglers to hide their contraband.

Development as a seaside resort

By 1824 steamboats were becoming more common, having begun to make over from the hoys and sailing packets about 1814. These made trade with London much faster. The familiar sailing hoys took anything up to 72 hours to reach Margate from London, whereas the new steamships were capable of making at least nine voyages in this time. Mixed feelings must have been strongly expressed by the Thanet boatmen in general, as the unrivalled speed of the steam packet was outmanoeuvring all other classes of vessel, but it brought a new prosperity to Thanet. In the middle of the 19th century, the professional classes began to move in. By 1850, the population had reached about 3,000, doubling over the previous 50 years. Due to the fresh sea air, many convalescent homes for children opened towards the end of the 19th century.[1]

Railways

Although numerous holidaymakers were attracted to Broadstairs and to other Thanet seaside towns during the Victorian era, it was not directly served by the railways until 1863. This was a time of great expansion for railways in the South East; in 1860 Victoria Station had been completed, followed by Charing Cross and Cannon Street. Rail access to Broadstairs had previously relied heavily upon coach links to other railway stations in the district or region; with firms such as Bradstowe Coachmasters, operated by William Sackett and John Derby, principally involved. Their coaches connected Broadstairs to Whitstable station where a railway service had begun as early as 1830 (one of the first in England, with its pioneering Stephenson's engine Invicta). By 1851, the region's network was still more complete, being supplemented by the London to south coast route, including the coastal link from Chichester to Ramsgate, the cross-country service between London and Dover and the Mid-Kent line that linked Redhill, Tonbridge and Ashford to London's first Eurostar terminal at Waterloo (opened in 1848). Broadstairs station (unlike neighbouring Margate) is a 10 minute walk from the beach. Although rebuilt in the 1920s, electricity was not installed at the station until well into the 1970s, and the buildings and platforms remained illuminated by gaslight until then.

Since 2009 Southeastern have been operating a high speed train service between London St Pancras and Ashford International which runs on to Broadstairs cutting about 40 minutes from what was once a two-hour journey to other termini in London.

1840-1900

In 1841, 44 mariners were recorded as resident in Broadstairs; nine of these being specified as fishermen, and of course the residual boat-building activity that remained after the Culmer White yard closed in 1824 (under pressure from the steamships), still continued (though there were only four shipwrights recorded in the census: Solomon Holbourn and Joseph Jarman among them). Others may have been at sea on census day: Steamer Point, as the pier head at Broadstairs was then known, would have been fairly busy with shipping movements since consignments of coal and other produce would have been traded along the coast and there would have been regular work on the steam packet to and from Ramsgate. By the 1840s, the smuggling had ceased.[1]

Present

By 1910, the population had reached about 10,000. A "guide book" of the 1930s by A.H. Simison (the photographic chemist) entitled Ramsgate (The Kent Coast at its best) Pictorially Presented, describes Broadstairs town as having approached modernisation and urban development "always with a consistent policy of retaining those characteristics for which it has for so long been renowned". The town has retained a great many aspects of historical interest, besides its maritime history. Amongst these is its notable religious history, evoked by places such as the Shrine of Our Lady, Bradstowe.

Today Broadstairs is a magnet for visitors year after year and has been likened to a "Cornish fishing town".

Lifeboats

Lifeboats arrived in Broadstairs in 1851. News of the loss of the Irish packet with 250 lives, on the sands off Margate on 6 April 1850, may have been the prompt that led old Thomas White to present one of his lifeboats to his home town of Broadstairs that summer. The lifeboat saw its first use on 6 March 1851, when the brig Mary White became trapped on the Goodwin Sands during a severe gale blowing from the north. A ballad was written to celebrate the occasion, "Song of the Mary White".

Solomon Holbourn, coxswain of the Mary White of Broadstairs had an aunt, Sophia who married at Folkestone in 1813 to William Stevenson. His eldest son William became a mariner and boatman, and married an Elizabeth Wellard in 1839 at St Peter's, Broadstairs. One of their children, born in 1848, was named after his father, William, but in his adult life was better known as Bill "Floaty" Stevenson, and as a member of the Frances Forbes Barton lifeboat crew. The "Frances Forbes Barton" was originally, in 1897, the legacy of a Miss Webster to the boatmen of Broadstairs. It is recorded as having remained at that station until 1912, when it was moved to the Walmer station when the Broadstairs one closed, during which time it had been taken out on 77 launches and saved 115 lives, by far the most effective of the RNLI craft stationed there.

Broadstairs' lifeboats were further supported by a fund established in the 1860s by Sir Charles Reed FSA.

Broadstairs maritime history

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Broadstairs.

St. Peter's

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

St. Peters is an area of Broadstairs, a town on the Isle of Thanet in Kent. Historically a village, it was outgrown by the long dominant settlement of the two, Broadstairs, after 1841. Originally the borough or manor of the church of St. Peter-in-Thanet (the second daughter church of Minster in Thanet, established 1070, although the first written record of its present name is 1124), it was said to be the largest parish east of London, at least until Broadstairs became a separate parish on 27 September 1850. The two settlements were formally merged administratively in 1895.

Westwood

Westwood is a village and retail estate in Broadstairs, situated 2 km south of Margate, located in the Thanet District of Kent, England.

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Broadstairs and St Peter's. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Broadstairs. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at St Peters, Kent. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.