1870 – Gazette of England and Wales

Published in 1870, this gazette, which covered England and Wales, gives us a few facts about Whitstable, its parishes, railway and industries at that time. This is all useful from a family history point of view.



WHITSTABLE , a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred, in Kent.

The town stands on the coast, at the terminus of the Canterbury and Whitstable railway, and on the Kent Coast line of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, 6 miles NNW of Canterbury: is long and straggling: carries on a great oyster fishery, and a considerable coal-trade; and has a post-office under Canterbury, a railway station with telegraph, a large coast guard station, an ancient church, a Primitive Methodist chapel, endowed schools, and a fair on the Thursday before Whitsunday.

The parish includes part of Harwich hamlet; and comprises 3,610 acres of land and 465 of water. Real property, £12,732; of which £50 are in gas-works.

Population in 1851, 2,746; in 1861, 3,675. Houses, 730. The increase of population arose from extension of the shipping-trade.

The property is much subdivided. Tankerton Castle is the seat of W. Ellis, Esq.

Salt-works and copperas-works are on the shore. Ancient remains are on a sea-bank in Tankerton bay; and Roman pottery has been found in dredging for oysters.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value £160. Patron, the Archbishop.

The sub-district includes Seasalter and Swalecliff; is in Blean district; and comprises 8,543 acres. Population in 1851, 4,162; in 1861, 5,221. Houses, 1,031.

The hundred is in St. Augustine lathe, and comprises 6,335 acres. Population in 1851, 3,406. Houses, 636.


We see that the Salt and Copperas industries were still in evidence at this time. The parish of Harwich is mentioned, being the area east of Canterbury Road.

The population figures are a little confusing as it is difficult to know what figure includes, or ignores, Seasalter and Swalecliffe.

The increase in population is noted as being a result of the growth of the shipping trade. This is consistent with other findings that show the upsurge in the town after the building of the railway line to Canterbury in 1830 and the Harbour that was completed soon afterwards.