Sunday, 19 June 2011

HYTHE

Arriving at Hythe, one can be forgiven for experiencing a feeling of deja vu: yet again, we have a former port – one of the principal Cinque Ports – whose old town centre is now some way inland, although in this case only half a mile inland. The Royal Military Canal ends near Hythe and forms a boundary between the old town and the newer largely Victorian part of town, which was developed as a resort area, with a long promenade backing onto a shingle and sand beach. Hythe is the northern terminus of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. There is a 19th century Martello Tower, and to the west of it is a 2-mile-long military firing range.

The crypt of the Church of St Leonard in the old town houses a chilling secret: thousands of skulls and thighbones from the period 1200-1400, thought to have been moved from the graveyard to make room for new corpses, a practice which used to be relatively common. Other more fanciful theories about their origin is that they belonged to soldiers killed in battle, or to victims of the Black Death. These grisly contents have led to the crypt being known as the Bonehouse or Ossuary.

For events in Hythe, see here.

Map of the area.

St Leonard's Church, Hythe, Kentphoto © 2010 Matt Kieffer | more info (via: Wylio)

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