Fordwich The Ancient Port Of Canterbury
The Ancient Port
Roman times and up until the Middle Ages, Thanet was an
was described in the Domesday Book as a “Small Burgh”, one of only seven
The Mayor was elected in the Church together with twelve Jurats and other officers, on the first Monday after the Feast of St. Andrew. Should he refuse the office when elected the Mayor was fined or else had his house pulled down to the ground by the populace. The first known Mayor was John Maynard in 1292 and the Town remained incorporated until 1886, when the Town property was passed into the hands of a body of Trustees.
Fordwich became a corporate limb of the Cinque Port of Sandwich in about 1050, before the Norman conquest, and as such helped to provide ships and men to fight for the Crown as required. In return the Town was allowed self government and freed from many national taxes. Later the provision of ships was changed to the payment of money, and Fordwich still to this day pays its Ship money of forty old pence to its Head Port of Sandwich at a ceremony held annually in the Guildhall.
Town owned the Quay and the Crane and derived income from duty on imported
goods and the hire of the crane. The stone for Canterbury Cathedral, from
possesses two maces, one of silver made in 1665 and the other of silver gilt
dated 1720. It also has a Custumal, in common with other
Fordwich is now but a small picturesque village on the river, but for one day in the year, it relives its past glory when dignitaries from neighbouring towns process to the Church for the Civic Service and afterwards partake of some Fordwich hospitality.