BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO WHITSTABLE: A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY DESTINATION
A haven in the South East, Whitstable has a contemporary atmosphere within a characterful and eccentric coastal setting. 60 miles east of London (80mins by train from Victoria), and 6 miles north of the Cathedral city of Canterbury, Whitstable is most famous for its Oysters but recent years has seen its contemporary arts scene and restaurants/pubs gather just as much attention. Regardless of whether it’s a glorious sunny day or crisp winter one, Whitstable’s miles of beaches, pretty weatherboard cottages, fabulous sunsets and cosmopolitan atmosphere, make it difficult to beat!
Whitstable has varied history which makes the town even more interesting. During the Palaeolithic era, the Iron Age and the Bronze Age Whitstable area was inhabited. During the roman times oysters were harvested and even to date Whitstable is famous for its oysters, in fact Whitstable’s maritime heritage is celebrated with annual Oyster Festival. The town was first named as Witenestaple, which means “meeting place of white post”, that refers to a local landmark. The area had three manors namely Northwood, Seasalter and Swalecliffe. Northwood manor was managed by a nobleman on behalf of The King, but the other manors were owned by the churches of that time. By 1226 the name had evolved to Whitstaple.
Later in order to prevent coastal flooding a seawall was built in 1325 and by 14th century salt works were opened. Whitstaple manor which is owned by a religious foundation was formed in 1413 by combination of the three manors of the town. In 1574 the owner of the manor received a royal patent for fishing oysters also Tankerton was included into manor. Again by 1610 the town was named as Whitstable. By the 18th century a toll road to the cathedral city of Canterbury was built and also transportation of goods and passengers had also established.
The world’s first steam hauled railway passenger service was opened by C&WR that is the initials of the Canterbury and Whitstable’s railway service and later first season tickets was also issued initiatively. Later when the railway company was owned by the south eastern railway then steam locomotives came into use which was able to operate along the length of the rail line. In 1860 a direct rail route connecting London to Whitstable was established which was a great benefit for the people of the town. Unfortunately not all of Whitstable’s History is Rosey there were some bad events some of which had ruined numerous historical buildings including the destruction of nearly 70 buildings due to the fire which was generated from a shop at the harbour and also after the World War 2 the harbour was left in disarray about to decay. However later in 1956 it was purchased by the District Council and was repaired in order to rejuvenate the town’s economy. One of the recent developments of the town is the Horsebridge project which was finalised in 2005 where new shops, houses art gallery community centre and town square were constructed.