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Historical Town Trail
Visitors are recommended to follow the trail, starting at the Guildhall and using the map to match numbers with locations. There is an information board at each point on the trail telling its own story. The map can be downloaded as a PDF or collected in Sandwich at several locations
PDF of map and leaflet in Englich, French Dutch and German - 91497TownTrailLfltLR
1. Sandwich Guildhall, built in 1579 and open for guided tours by appointment. John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich is said to have invented the modern sandwich in 1762 at the gaming table. He asked for meat to be served between slices of bread to avoid interrupting gameplay.
2. Moat Sole – St Thomas’ Hospital named in honour of St Thomas Becket. In 1392 it accommodated 12 poor persons.
3. The Butts – used in medieval times as an archery practice field – believe to be the site where Henry V’s archers practiced before sailing for their famous victory at Agincourt 1415.
4. Gallows Field – One the towns place of execution. Felons were hanged and witches were drowned. Last hangings took place in 1790s.
5. Strand Street – Probably contains more half timbered houses than any other street in England.
6. St. Mary’s Church – Built by the Normams on the site of a Saxon nunnery, the church was destroyed during the French raids of 1217 and 1457.
7. Kings Lodging – Dating from 1400 this is probably the finest period house in the town. Henry VIII lodged here, as Elizabeth 1 probably did during her visit in 1572.
8. Sandwich Weavers – A beautiful building formerly used as a home and workshop by 16thcentury Dutch refugees.
9. St Peter’s Church – The medieval practice of ringing the Curfew bell at 8pm is still carried on from here.
10. St. Peter’s Street – Formerly called Jail Street the medieval gaol buildings can still be seen.
11. The Barbican & Toll Bridge – the tradition of collecting a toll dated back to King Canute who first granted a charter of the Monks of Christchurch in Canterbury to operate a ferry across the river and ended in 1977.
12. The Quay – From here in medieval times, kings and their armies embarked for the wars in France.
13. The Bulwark – Sandwich has a remarkable history of violent raids and invasions. The town was entirely walled in 1385 by order of Richard II.
14. St Clements Church – Saxon in origin Town Mayors were elected here by Common Consent until 1683. Any mayor refusing the honour had his house demolished.
15. King Street – Dutch and Flemish Protestants fleeing Catholic oppression by the Spanish settled here and built and renovated many houses in their distinctive style.
16. Ropewalk – Once used for ships rope-making which required a long, straight stretch for ‘walking out’.
17. St Bartholomew’s – One of the oldest establish hostels for travellers and pilgrims, dating back to 1190.