Thursday, 23 June 2011

SANDWICH BAY AND PEGWELL BAY

Sandwich Bay is named after the charming little medieval town of Sandwich which is some distance inland up the river Stour. The river used to be a lot wider before it became silted up, allowing Sandwich to operate as a major port, in fact it was one of the Cinque Ports. The dunes here form the venue for a number of golf courses and a Bird Observatory Trust. Recent sightings at the Trust include Spoonbill, Hooded Crow, a Garganey and Sand Martins.

Birdwatchers can find further diversions in Pegwell Bay, which lies at the mouth of the River Stour, in the form of large numbers of migratory waders and wildfowl. There is a painting of the bay in the Tate Gallery by William Dyce, painted around 1858. On the cliffs above Pegwell Bay there is a replica of a Viking longboat. The longboat, called Hugin, was brought over from Denmark in 1949 to commemorate the 1,500th anniversary of the Viking invasion of Britain. The Vikings arrived in the country following the departure of the Romans in 410, bringing murder and mayhem with them, the actual landing place being Ebbsfleet, near Pegwell. Two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, came over ostensibly to fight for the Kent warlord Vortigern, but ended up conquering large parts of England with the help of reinforcements from home. In 455 the Kingdom of Kent was founded by Hengist.

Pegwell Bayphoto © 2010 Andrew James | more info (via: Wylio)

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