Place:Dunkirk, Kent, England

TypeExtra parochial area, Civil parish
Coordinates51.283°N 0.983°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoWestgate Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Faversham Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1894-1934
Swale Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1934-1974
Swale District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Dunkirk is a village and civil parish between Faversham and Canterbury in Kent, England. It lies on the Canterbury Road between Boughton under Blean and Harbledown. This was the main Roman road from the Kentish ports to London, also known as Watling Street. The population of Dunkirk parish in the UK census of 2011 was 1,187.

In 1800, according to Edward Hasted (see below), the village was once part of the king's ancient forest of Blean in the 'hundred of Westgate'.

Dunkirk's main claim to fame is that in 1838 it was the scene of the last armed rising on British soil, the Battle of Bossenden Wood to the north of the village. Eleven men died when a band of farm labourers led by a convicted lunatic were intercepted by a detachment of soldiers.

Dunkirk was originally an ancient parish in the Westgate Hundred. Between 1894 and 1974 it was part of the Faversham Rural District. In 1934 the Faversham Rural District was abolished and its parishes became part of the larger Swale Rural District. It is now part of the non-metropolitan Swale District. It was greatly reduced in size in 1934 when sections of the parish were transferred to Whitstable, Harbledown and St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean parishes.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Dunkirk from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"DUNKIRK, an extra-parochial ville, which is also a chapelry, in Faversham [registration] district, Kent; 1¾ mile NE of Selling [railway] station, and 2½ W by N of Canterbury. Post town: Boughton, under Faversham. Acres: 4,620. Real property: £4,150. Population: 721. Houses: 146. The land formerly was part of Blean forest; and a large portion of it now belongs to the dean and chapter of Canterbury.
"The name Dunkirk was first given to it, about the middle of last century, by a body of squatters, who took free or forcible possession of the land, and who became notable for smuggling practices. Many of the persons implicated in the extraordinary outbreak of 1838, connected with Sir William Courtenay or Thoms, were inhabitants of Dunkirk. The living is a [perpetual] curacy in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £113. Patron: the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is a flint structure, with a tower; and was built after the outbreak of 1838."

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 Dunkirk, 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.