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HANDBOOK OF TRAVEL

ROUND THE

SOUTHERN COAST OF ENGLAND.

LETTER I.

STEAM VOYAGE TO MARGATE.- Omission of WHITSTABLE in

the Margate Guide. Pleasing view from the sea. Temp. tation to land. Rutupian oyster-beds. Coal trade to Canterbury and Agricultural produce to London. Branch Rail. Story of the host and his five wives. Miasma and Marshes. The Pudding-Pan Rock, no Roman Pottery.-Herne Bay.RECULVER.

Remains of the Roman Fort and Pharos. Ruins of the Church and Monastery.--MARGATE. Pier and JettyPump. The Old Church. Trinity Church.RAMSGATE. Its Harbour. Loyalty. William III. George IV. Jacob's Ladder. St. George's Church. Old Church of St. Lawrence. — RICHBOROUGH CASTLE.--SANDWICH, the Portus Rutupiensis of the Romans. The earliest of the Cinque Ports. Its three Churches.—DEAL. Churches of St. Leonard and St. George. - Sandown, Deal, and WALMER CASTLES. Hardy race of Boatmen, Pilots, and Hovellers. View of the Downs. The Goodwin Sands - St. Mary's Church, and interesting Monuments, Walmer.—St. MarGARET AT CLIFFE.

Dover, August 10th, 1848.

Provided with a pocket“ Guide to the Isle of Thanet,” an indispensable manual to all who

B

journey by steam eastward, to escape the heat and dirt of the great city, we seated ourselves on board the “ Royal William," and the ringing of the bell soon gave notice to put the wheels in motion, and send us adrift. A fine day, a not too-overcrowded boat, and a couple of pleasant chance companions, by no means a drawback to our pleasure, all tended to put us in good humour with ourselves, and every body else.

Our new acquaintance were two intelligent foreigners, coasting it round to Folkstone, on their return to Boulogne. Finding us two idlers like themselves, we speedily formed a little party, and on comparing notes were mutually gratified on learning, that, but for our absence from the friendly gathering at C on Thursday last, we should have made the acquaintance of M. Berard and his cousin a week ago.

It was now that our “Margate Guide" stood us in great stead, pointing out readily every thing remarkable on the banks of the River, from London Bridge to the Margate Roads, and to that invaluable record I shall refer you, for all that we saw worthy of note; for of personal adventure there was nothing to put down.

We had passed Sheerness, and had entered upon the East Swale, just as the sun was gilding a pretty little town on its eastern shore. Our“ Guide" was here at fault, for there was nothing in the book that told of such a gay scene, and Herne Bay, which follows Sheerness in the list, was still some six miles ahead. Our intelligent Captain was necessarily applied to, and Whitstable, famous for its oysters, was

before us.

WHITSTABLE IN KENT.

on this day, “ the first of oysters,” was a tempting scene, standing out gaily, with its bright flags and pennons, in beautiful relief from the low marshy soil by which it is surrounded. Finding we should be able to gratify our curiosity, and by means of a branch railroad still to reach Margate before night, we landed and ordered an early dinner at the inn. Whilst this was preparing we wandered up to the church,* seated, on an eminence,

about half a mile from the town; but pretty and tempting as the view had appeared from the sea, now once fairly landed, there was indeed but little to compensate us for the additional toil we had added to our day's journey. The “Guide” was right to omit this long and densely inhabited street, for, though in the month of August,—true it has been a wet summer,—there was a dampness in the atmosphere, that made us by no means

* In the chancel is an inscription to Edw. Goneston, Clerk, and Margaret, his wife: also Thos. Carlell, Gent. son of William Carlell, Gent. by said Margaret, daughter of Richard Gaunt, Gent. 1680. There is a brass to Joane, daughter of John Meadman, whose first husband was Christopher Goulson, and her second was Thos. Gould, 1629.

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