TR 309 647
         51.33 N, 1.31 E
      51° 20' N, 1° 18' E
   Village Centre Postcode
           CT12 4AB
      STD Code 01843

Welcome to
Minster in Thanet
Village History
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Village History

The History of
Minster Village

Although now some miles away from the coastline, up until the 11th Century the village of Minster lay right on the estuary to the River Wantsum, making it one of the nearest ports to the continent.Ships used to sail past on their way to London and regularly anchored at what are now arable fields below the Church grounds.

In the year 449 the Jutish Chieftains Hengist and Horsa landed in the parish of Minster and established the first recorded settlement of what was to become the English Race.

The village's name comes from the Saxon word 'Ministre', meaning Church or Monastery. This name was probably the result of the erection of the Nunnery in the 7th Century.

Minster was once again the site of major change in the year 597 when St. Augustine, commissioned by Pope Gregory landed on the shores of Minster and brought Christianity to Britain.

When the River Stour silted up Minster lost its status as a port and some of its importance. However its historical significance remains unchanged and the village is full of reminders of its colourful past.

How did Minster come to have a Hind as the village emblem?

It is widely believed, around 670 AD, whether in truth or legend, that the Hind emblem owes its origin to Egbert, King of Kent and Princess Domneva. The King purportedly asked Domneva which piece of land she wished to take as compensation for the murder of her two brothers. Her answer was that she would take no more than her hind would run around. This the King granted her with pleasure, and the land became the new Minster.

Minster Census

If you would like to see the 1881 Minster Census, please click here to download it in pdf format. (234kb)

Geneaological Assistance

If you would like help tracing your ancestors visit:-
Isle -of-Thanet Mailing List or send email with single word subscribe
in the message subject and body to: Isle-of-Thanet
or email:your friendly Local Geneaologist for further assistance.

Roman Villa at Abbey Farm
Thanet Archaeological Society

The villa which was located by aerial photography in 1979, had a commanding view of the Wantsum Channel and the Saxon Shore Fort of Richborough (Rutupiae). Since the start of the project: the extensive villa; a latrine to the north-west; an impressive bath-house and a fourth building to the south-east have been excavated.

Excavation started in 1996 as a training excavation and has continued most years since then.It had previously been identified by aerial photography and trenching.

Site Location
The site is located on an almost flat hilltop overlooking the village of Minster in Thanet at TR 31356463 and at an elevation of about 16.30 m. O.D. The geology is Thanet sand beds. Nearby in a narrow valley a spring emerges, feeding medieval fish ponds belonging to Minster Abbey.

To the south the site would have had a panoramic view of the Wantsum Channel separating Thanet from mainland Kent, with the Roman seashore only about 500 m. away below the building. The fortress of Rutupiae on its island would have been in direct line of sight as too, on a fine day, the cliffs of France. Northwards behind the building the ground rises to the chalk downland escarpment that marks on the skyline the course of 'Dunstrete', a prehistoric trackway lined with Roman cemeteries and iron working sites.

For more Information, visit these website links: Abbey Farm Villa or Villa Painted Plaster

Minster in Thanet
Original Site Design by James Prince, Ray Owen & Colin Holden

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