Friday, January 06, 2006

Late Medieval Thanet

Reading through David Oliver’s book, “Late Medieval Thanet & The Cinque Ports”, one can’t avoid being struck by the changes that have take place on the isle of “Tenet”, a once heavily fortified and wooded place, even up to the 1700s, which played it’s part in fighting the French during the 100 Years War and even suffered raids in return.

A tough place to live from the records, it’s interesting to note that in 1381, all the seamen in Margate were arrested on suspicion of aiding the Peasants Revolt, which illustrates that the inhabitants of the island were regarded as a troublesome independent-minded lot, living in one of the most attractive and easily reached targets of opportunity for pirates on the English coast.

Printed by the Martell Press in Ramsgate, it’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in our local history. The two illustrations here are the Norman tower at Minster Abbey and the 1414 map of the island by Thomas of Elmham, which is also in the photo archive of old pictures of Thanet as a larger JPEG file for download.

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