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Sandwich is a historic town in Kentmarker, south-east Englandmarker. It was one of the Cinque Ports and still has many original medieval buildings. While once a major port, it is now two miles from the sea, its historic centre preserved..

The town is served by Sandwich railway stationmarker. It was formerly also served by Sandwich Road railway station on the East Kent Light Railway.


St. Peter's Church
The Port of Sandwich is no stranger to odd events in English history; it was in 1255 that the first captive Elephant was landed in England (see: History of elephants in Europe). The prize beast arrived at Sandwich quayside, delivered as a gift to the English monarch Henry III, from the French king, and was then taken on foot to the king's zoo at the Tower of Londonmarker. The journey through Kent is reported to have proceeded without incident, except when a bull in a field adjacent to the roadside took umbrage to the great beast passing and attacked it. In one move the animal was thrown by the elephant and killed outright.

Before Sandwich became a Cinque Port, the ancient Saxon town of Stonar, located on the bank of the Wantsum estuary, but on the opposite side of the mouth of the River Stour, was already well established. It remained a place of considerable importance until it disappeared almost without trace in the 14th century. The ruins of the major Roman fort of Richboroughmarker are close by.

On 21 May 1216, Prince Louis of France landed at Sandwich in support of the baron's war against King John.

On 28 August 1457, after four years of uneasy peace in England the king presided over a wasting realm, with feudal barons lording over the population of the north and the west of the realm. The French took advantage of the situation by sending a raiding party to Kent, burning much of Sandwich to the ground. A force of 4,000 men from Honfleurmarker, under the command of Marshal de Breze came ashore to pillage the town, in the process murdering the mayor, John Drury. It thereafter became an established tradition, which survives to this day, that the Mayor of Sandwich wears a black robe in mourning for this ignoble deed.

Sandwich was later to gain significantly from the skills brought to the town by many Dutch settlers, who were granted the right to settle by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. These settlers, brought with them techniques of market gardening, and were responsible for growing the first English celery. The Huguenot refugees also brought over Dutch architectural techniques, that are now as much a part of Kent as the thatched cottage. In addition techniques of silk manufacture were imported, enhancing the Kent cloth industry.

In 1759, Thomas Paine had his home and shop in a house in New Street, Sandwich.


White Mill
has had at least eight windmills over the centuries. The earliest reference to a mill being dated 1608.

White Mill
The White Millmarker is the only survivor. It was built in 1760 and worked by wind until 1929, then by engine until 1957. Today it has been restored and is a heritage and folk museum.

Black Mill
This was a smock mill which burnt down circa 1910..

Post mill
A post mill stood near the Black Mill, and was worked in conjunction with it.

Millwall mills
A smock mill on the Millwall was also known as the Town Mill. It was burnt down. Another mill of unknown type is known to have stood on the Millwall.

A sixth windmill stood to the north west of Sandwich, and west of the railway. It formed a group of three with the Black Mill and its neighbour.

New Cut
Two windmills were marked by Hasted at the New Cut on the Stour estuary. They were most likely pumping mills associated with the saltworks there in the late eighteenth century.

Sandwich today

A map of Sandwich from 1945
The local economy has benefited from significant investment by Pfizer, a US pharmaceuticals company, which has built a research and development centre near Sandwich, employing over 3,000 people. Laboratory experiments at the site have aroused negative comment by animal rights activists. Several important drugs including Viagra, Pfizer's treatment for erectile dysfunction and Maraviroc, a drug used for treatment of HIV, were discovered here.

Sandwich has two world-class golf courses, Royal St George's which hosts The Open Championship approximately every 10 years and Prince'smarker which hosted The Open Championship in 1932 and is currently an Open Championship Final Qualifying course. The Open Championship returns to Sandwich in 2011.

There is Monk's Wall nature reservemarker and a bird observatory at Sandwich Baymarker.

Within the immediate area of Sandwich there are 4 schools, Sandwich Infants for children aged 4 to 8, Sandwich Juniors for children form the ages of 8 to 11, and Sir Roger Manwood's Schoolmarker,for 11-18 and Sandwich technology school again,11-18.

Sandwich and sandwiches

The town's connection with the snack of the same name is that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich allegedly invented it; see his entry for further details.

Sandwich Festival

The town of Sandwich has an annual festival period towards the end of August where a number of events are staged. During Sandwich festivals of the past there have been European markets, motorcycle meets, raft racing in the river, street parties, various concerts (both classical and modern pop/rock) and a number of smaller events. The festival usually lasts for 1–2 weeks.

Local media


Sandwich has two paid for newspapers, the Deal and Sandwich Express (published by Kent Regional News and Media) and the East Kent Mercury (published by the KM Group). Free newspapers for the town include the Dover Extra, part of the KM Group; and yoursandwich, part of KOS Media.


The local radio station for Sandwich is KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country, although the town has has good coverage of KMFM Thanet. Sandwich is also served by the county-wide stations Heart, Gold and BBC Radio Kent.

Road signs

There is a nearby hamlet to the south called Ham. A fingerpost some miles away in the village of Worth points towards both Ham and Sandwich, thus reading:

See also


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