Hythe is a Cinque port just west of Folkestone, and I had to include some photos of it  because I lived there for a while too. We were the first owners of 14 Romney Way, Pennypot Estate, it was our first owned home, and I was very surprised to see that the garage out back is still standing 40 years later.  It was the first thing my ex-husband had ever built in his life!
Here is a picture that was taken between Folkestone and Hythe.
It is entitled 'The Toast Rack, 5 miles by the Sea, Sandgate, Seabrook & Hythe'
Doesn't it look like fun to ride on?
I guess it does look a lot like a toast rack too!
If you would like to read more about this tramway, check out this link:

I mentioned the School of Musketry further up, and here it is.  A very ancient establishment.  It later became the Small Arms School, but is now no longer there.
The School of Musketry again in 1912
And again, but this time, showing the barracks
Here is an engraving of Hythe by the wonderful artist J.M.W. Turner.  He has also featured some men from the School of Musketry.
(I have a Turner print of Folkestone from The Sea over my fireplace, I love his work! That one depicts one of Folkestone's oldest professions - smuggling)
This is The Parade, Hythe with more tents pitched on the beach.  I believe you could pay for these by the day or by the week.  I don't think you could just go down there and pitch your own tent without some kind of charge.
This is St. Leonard's Church, Hythe.  Home of the skull filled crypt

I enlarged the photo, and even looked at it through a magnifying glass, but still couldn't read that tombstone!
This is a really interesting photograph dated around 1860 of Fort Sutherland in Hythe.

You can see the Martello towers stretching way into the distance right along the coast.  The fort had 8 cannons and housed a hundred men.  There were two other forts in Hythe.  Fort Twiss and Fort Moncrieff.
2 General views but no date for either.  You can see the subtle differences in the two photos.
I don't know exactly how old the Red Lion is, but as you can see, it has been around for a good many years.  This 1920  photo was entitled 'One of the Trams at Hythe'.
Same beach looking in the opposite direction - but this time we are in 1965.
Another view of the Royal Military Canal.  This was taken in 1933.
ROYAL MILITARY CANAL
The Royal Military Canal was built between 1804 and 1807.
It was constructed as a defence against Napoleon when it was feared that an invasion by the Imperial Army was imminent.
The Canal was designed as a series of measured staggers at 800 feet apart (within cannon range) to defend each section.
Hitler, too, had to take account of this formidable obstacle in planning his invasion of Britain.
The Canal runs from Seabrook in Kent to Pett Level in East Sussex.

This statement and the photo on the left was taken from Frontline Hythe http://www.hythe-kent.com/heritage/index.htm

This picture is copyright © 2000 Hythe Town Council
Here we have a very old engraving of Hythe.  I have no idea of the date, or of the accuracy of the picture depicted.
To show you that Folkestone hasn't always had a monopoly on the South-East coast fishing industry.  Here are some boats waiting to go out from Hythe.
This 1890 picture is of the same street, but a different part, they sure didn't need any double yellow lines in those days did they?
Tony again writes to say that in the 50's and he believes into the 60's parking in the High Street was limited to one side of the road on even numbered days - and the other side on odd numbered days.
Another pretty old picture showing the Guildhall, and on the immediate right is the Smuggler's Retreat.
Here is another one of the High Street in the 1900's showing the Town Hall.  Isn't it amazing that this building has now been there for over 200 years?  Or has it been rebuilt at some point?  It has looked exactly the same in every photo I have seen of it.
Before we leave the shopping area, here are the employees of the Hythe branch of the International Stores.  I believe their trademark at the time was that all employees wore a long white apron which was frayed at the bottom
Is this a photo of the interior of the same church?  I am not sure.
The military have always had a presence in Hythe.  Even now, they use the ranges in West Hythe for military exercises.

In 1853 the School of Musketry was formed, shown here in 1910.  It later became the Small Arms School, which finally closed down in 1968.

The street names in Hythe still reflect the military past.  The street pictured here is Military Road, and around the corner is Barrack Hill, where the barracks were located. (Picture above)
This was the officers' mess, photo taken sometime between 1910 and 1920.
The Avenue, in 1906 located on the North side of the canal
The Parade.  It looked like a womens' day out didn't it?
Here we have the Twiss Bridge.  Do you know why Twiss is such a prominent name in Hythe?  It probably arose from the fact there used to be a Fort Twiss, which was named for Brigadier-General Twiss, who was a key player in getting the Martello Towers built all along the south-east coast.
Ooh look at this one!  A much older photograph of the Venetian Fete.  I wonder who the woman in the box was supposed to be?  Just look at the crowds and crowds of people lining the canal bank.
And to prove Alan's point, here is a photo showing the memorial and bandstand.  This one was taken in 1929.
If you have your own memories of Hythe, please be sure to share them with us by leaving a message in the guestbook below
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It's time we had some photographs that fit into the 'Now' category.

George Hills lives in West Hythe, and frequently sends me photos  of things he comes across while walking his dog.
The canal and the Botolph's Bridge Inn.  The swans gather there in the winter time
Listening dish on the 'Roughs'
Wooden carving of a cricket that George came across while walking along the canal bank.  He said there are a few different ones along there.  The question is, how long will they stay there?  I am sure someone will come along who will decide it would look good in his own garden!
West Hythe the way it looks now.
Sailing boats on the lake at Palmarsh
Thank you George, these photos are really lovely!
And here are those fishermen who sailed those boats in 1921
This is a 1923 photo of the High Street.  Is that snow on the ground?  Something is making tracks isn't it?
Alan confirmed that the Bridge and Road are indeed named after this gentleman.  Now I have to ask, is Peter Twiss mentioned in connection with the Venetian Fete further down by Tony a relative of Brigadier-General Twiss?
This page updated January 29, 2015
This one shows the seafront, with changing tents. Very sensible inventions in my opinion!  Sure beats having to wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes.  Or even worse - having to do a Mr. Bean when you get there, and try to change without anyone seeing anything!
Marine Parade in Hythe.  Look at that woman sitting on the beach - she looks more suitably attired for a funeral than sun bathing!
Here we have Hythe High Street in 1904, the building with the ivy all over the roof is the Smuggler's Retreat public house.  However, it looks here as if it is two businesses.  The sign over the one on the right looks like L. Snashall or something, but that is all I can make out.  On the left, it looks like menu boards outside, so maybe that side is still a pub.
Now this is where I used to go fishing.  The Hythe Canal.  I remember watching the lovely Hythe Venetian Fete here too.  Like a parade on water!  They still have it too, every two years!
Princes Parade, Hythe.  Not a terribly old picture, judging by the length of that woman's dress.  Of course, to me the 50's is not terribly old! :-)
It's hard to believe that sometimes the sea is so rough that it comes up and over that wall, leaving shingle all over the road!  However, I understand it has now been made higher.
I saw this card for sale on the internet, and it was described as 'Sea Wall & ?Jumper!" I do hope she didn't, with the tide that far out, all she would have achieved is a broken leg!!
On one of my trips home, I visited St. Leonard's Church in Hythe where this macabre sight is still open to the public.  This picture doesn't show all of the skulls by any means, there are three more displays just like it.  The pile of bones at the back stretches almost the length of the crypt, although they have been rearranged since this picture was taken by scientists who did lots of tests to try to discover the origin of these people.
There have been many theories over the years.  It was once thought there might have been a plague which caused so many deaths, but it was ruled out, because there are too many bones for the size of Hythe at that time.
It was then considered that they might have been the result of a battle.  But as the collection includes many women and children, that idea was ruled out.
They then came to the conclusion that it is nothing more sinister than the fact that the graveyard ran out of room, so they removed the larger bones to allow further burials.  The pile has only the bones from legs and arms, with a few skulls visible in this photo for effect.

It is a very interesting place to go, if you are up to the steep uphill climb to get there!
The Canadians at Hythe.  During the first world war, I would guess from the mode of dress.
(So, there was a connection between my two countries, even in those days! :-)
This card says 'The Tram & Bus Terminus'  Wasn't there a lot of road space in those days?  All the roads in Hythe seem so narrow now.  However, I think the roads are the same size, it's just the traffic that is different.
Same place, different era.  Now it is known as Red Lion Square after the pub on the left that is in both photos.  We can see exactly why the road looks so much more narrow these days, that's because it is!  Not just because of the pavements, but because of all the road markings and keep left islands  Even the Sandgate toastrack would have trouble getting through these days!
This is what Alan Taylor told me about this pub:

"The tower on the roof of the Smuggler's Retreat was reputedly used to house a lantern to signal to smugglers at sea;  Hythe was heavily involved in the smuggling trade in the 18th century.  The building was demolished in 1908 and three mock Tudor shops were built on the site, and remain in situ.
Not much has changed in this section of the High Street has it?
Here is Hythe High Street once again, but this time the timeframe is 1955  I thought they had moved on from sepia cards by then, but obviously not.
Back to modern, this was taken by George Hills in West Hythe in 2009 of a couple of Cormorants.
Same part of the High Street in the 1900's.  The building with the clock has remained exactly the same.  Now I stand to be corrected, but I believe this building is the Town Hall, formerly the Guildhall, which was built on the site of the covered market place in Hythe High Street in 1794.
Previous meetings had been held in the parvise of the Church of St Leonard's. Meetings of Mayors and Town Councillors (called Jurats) may have been held in the ancient 'Wealden House' almost opposite the Town Hall.
These buildings look so derelict, it's amazing that they stayed up as long as they did.  Now is that a pram emerging from the shop next to the Smuggler's Retreat?  Looking at the rims on those wheels, and the shallow body, I wouldn't be surprised if the poor baby wasn't bumped right out onto the pavement at regular intervals!
Here are the mock Tudor shops that Alan was talking about.
A lot of soldiers in Hythe High Street in this one.  It was dated 1912.  They were possibly from the School of Musketry or Shorncliffe Camp.  The Smugglers Retreat had already been pulled down.
Another more modern one of the same area.  This time everything is spruced up with flower baskets & boxes.
I stand to be corrected on this, but if the School of Musketry was where I think it was, the houses on the right have been built on that site in Military Road.
Here comes the little train!  I have gathered quite a few cards of the engines of the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway, and have decided to give them a page of their own.  However, I will leave this one here.
Here is an aerial shot of Hythe, sent to me by Dave.  The white building you can see is what used to be the School of Musketry.  It  then became the Small Arms School, but has now been demolished, as have the barracks on the hill.
This is the beach and promenade at Hythe.  Two clues that this one is a little later than the two above.  First of all nobody is wearing black, and secondly you can actually see a little bit of leg on those ladies! :-)
A very busy Hythe Beach in 1910.  I thought at first that the child in the foreground was being hauled back with a pair of reins - something you don't see these days, but on second glance, I think mother is hanging onto the little girl's dress.  Notice that the child's hat is bigger than her mother's!
A more modern photo of the beach at Hythe, and look - you can see two Martello Towers.
I love this one, it dates from 1910, and shows the bathing machines which allowed the ladies to step into the sea without being ogled too much by the men, although the man in the foreground looks as if his eyes are firmly fixed on them to catch a glimpse of a sexy ankle or two!  Shame on him, with his wife sitting right there and all! :-)
I wonder how they wheeled them down the beach?  Did they use horses or manpower?  It must have been no easy task because that is shingle, which the tide always leaves in big ridges.
Now when I put this one alongside the one on the left, I noticed there is something very strange about it, posted in 1907, at first I thought it was completely different, but then I started noticing a few things that are exactly the same in each picture, like the two women sitting on the right, the deckchair and a few of the figures and umbrellas behind that.  Some of the figures and objects have been put in or taken out, but basically I think it is the same photograph.  How amazing, and they didn't even have Photoshop in those days!  Maybe they just took it the same day, and that is why things have moved around.
This one is considerably later because that woman has legs!  You can see some Martello Towers in this one, but not as many as you can see in the photos directly above.
At first I wasn't sure if this was the Hythe in Kent, as I didn't recognise the shelter in the distance, so didn't add it to the page.  However, I have since bought the card directly below, so feel more confident that it is indeed Hythe, Kent.  This one is dated 1906.
So now we know that the walk above was Marine Parade
Now was The Promenade another name for Marine Parade?  Or West Parade?  Because I can't find it on the map these days.  I would guess the one on the right to be late 20's or early 30's  The one on the left could be a little later.
I had a very interesting e-mail from Tony Reeve about this photograph.  The white building in the photo used to be a Martello tower, and here is what Tony says:
"The Martello tower was inhabited in the 1940's and 50's - later Ronnie Ward, who was the architect of the new lighthouse at Dungeness, built a glass cube on the roof, where, even in the strongest storm, you could sit and enjoy the view of the sea.  On the floor of this room was linoleum, laid out as a map of the Channel; it was possible to stand on the martello tower marked on this floor at night, and line the lighthouses and lightships on the floor map with the real ones at sea. 
The photo on the right shows this converted Martello Tower today.
Another interesting snippet told to me by Tony:
"My grandmother lived in a house called Lilybet, at the end of the West Parade, just before the 'dump', on the corner of West Parade and Albert Road.  The house had that name as my grandmother was Lisa Sheridan, who was a professional photographer - the business that she and her husband ran was called Studio Lisa.  She held the Royal warrant for informal photographs of the Royal family, and Lilybet was the family name of Princess Elizabeth. 
My grandmother changed the house's name to Limpet in 1953, following the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.  For the first 21 years of my life I spent all school holidays in Hythe, and knew the fishermen well - Mr. Lee, old man Whitey, the Griggs boys and others - and can tell stories of their smuggling and their superstitions.       Thanks for your input Tony, loved your memories!

I wish Tony had a photo of Limpet, because I wasn't sure which house it was.  In my 1958 Kelly's, the house belonged to James Sheridan, and in 1964, a Mrs. Sheridan was listed.  It was listed without a number, just the name of Limpet, and no more houses were listed between that one and Albert Road.  Now, there are houses all the way along to that road, and all are now numbered, no names.  Luckily I had another e-mail from Nigel Griggs, who tells me it was the blue house that once belonged to 'Old Ma Sheridan', as they, as kids used to refer to her.  So her house is still standing, and looking well cared for.  But it's no longer on the end, and there is no dump.

Towards the end of Marine Parade, or The Parade as it was sometimes referred to was a building called Moyle Tower.  I admit I knew nothing of the history of this building, but luckily I have friends who do.  Alan Taylor told me that it was built in 1877-8 for use as a hotel.  However, it was left as an unfinished shell for a number of years.  The Holiday Fellowship moved into the premises in 1923.  The Fellowship ran about forty such Christian Holiday Centres throughout Britain.

Klaus of Germany knew all about it as a youth centre, because he had been a guest there in 1967/8.  As you will see below, the beach in front of it was known as Moyle Tower Beach.  On the right is Moyle Court, which is on the site today.
I loved the way this woman was dressed so much in this one that I had to bring her up bigger to show you!
I am not sure of the date of the photo on the right, but Klaus may recognise it as the common room at Moyle Tower.
An aerial shot showing you exactly where Moyle Tower was located, what a great place for a holiday, right on the beach.  I am sure the people who live in Moyle Court today appreciate their location also.
I bought this as a reprint of an old card, and I think somebody goofed.  I am pretty sure it would have been 1919 not 1819, they didn't have cameras in 1819.
I couldn't find a Beaconsfield Terrace in Hythe when I looked on the map.  But Chris Melcher, Editor of the Hythe Civic Society Newsletter pointed me in the right direction.  It is located in Twiss Road, just along from the Imperial Hotel, and there it is on the far right.  It hasn't really changed that much has it?  A couple of them have had penthouse rooms added, but the whole building has been splendidly maintained.  The detached house next to it in the centre photo is still there.  Unfortunately I could only get a shot of it from the back, but you can see it is the same one, and another building has been added between the two.
This is a very modern view taken from approximately the same place as the one on the left.  The Martello towers are the only things that remain exactly the same.
Here are some of the holidaymakers from the Holiday Fellowship Centre in 1928.
Fishermans Beach
Fishing boats in 1969
OK, question time for those who know Hythe better than I do.  This 1904 card is entitled The Esplanade, and the only Esplanade I can find is the one in Sandgate.  Was there an area in Hythe that was called this at some point?  Is it the area now known as Fisherman's Beach?  I see there are boats and bathing machines on the right, and donkeys on the left, but I am not sure what that large building is that you can see directly ahead.
The Four Winds Restaurant on the corner of Victoria Road and West Parade was probably doing good business when this photo was taken.  However, like so many other businesses, it has now gone, and the Four Winds Apartments have been erected on the site.  When they were first built, they were advertising 3 spacious 3 or 4 bedroom townhouses and two 2 bedroom flats.
Oh HEY! I think I have just answered my own question posed to the left.  In the photo of the 4 Winds Restaurant, I am pretty sure that is the same building in the distance isn't it?  Which means that portion of West Parade was once known as The Esplanade.  Problem solved! :-)
Here is a closer view of those donkeys above, this card was dated 1915, but could have been the same donkeys, they sometimes live well into their 40's.
This is an engraving from the Illustrated London News showing the Prince of Wales opening the Marine Parade and embankment between Hythe and Sandgate in 1881.
Back to the Promenade in 1923
Not the same portion of the street, but you can see quite a contrast between them can't you?  Good grief!  Is that Ken Barlow waiting to cross?
And here is that same angle of the Square about 86 years later.
To be noted on this one is an antique shop and garage on the right.  So despite the obvious horse and cart, I suspect they had a few motor cars too.
The sign above the shop on the extreme left looks like 'Octanic', and has a ladies' boot alongside, so possibly it is a shoe shop.  Next door, or next door but one, it is called 'Gloria'.
This nice clear one dates from 1926, and the fellow leaning on his bike looks as if he is checking out another shoe shop.
This 1906 card was taken approximately the same place as the one immediately above, and can see in this one that the garage belonged to T. Elliott, but at this point it was also a livery stable.  There was also a Military Hall in the same vicinity.  I wonder what they were celebrating with all the bunting out?
Roughly the same area now, with Brandon's Music shop on the left, and T. Elliott's a distant memory on the other side.
This one was taken from the same direction as the two on the left, but just a little further along.  That looks like an interesting shadow on the rooftops of the buildings on the right, but I can't make out what it said.
This card is a lot older than my childhood, but I do remember having Ironmongery stores.  I loved the smell of them inside, and they always seemed to have wooden floors.
Here is The Red Lion Square in 1925
Military Road.  Over on the right is the Ordnance Arms pub, and the charabancs parked on the street are possibly waiting for some men on a pub crawl.  At least they have designated drivers.
This is Mount Street in 1926, and you can see the National Provincial Bank in the High Street ahead. St. Leonard's Church is behind, it looks closer in this card than it actually is.
A modern view of Mount Street, and I am not sure if traffic is allowed down there at all any more, despite the double yellow lines indicating no parking.  The reason I think so, is because those are table & chairs in the road just ahead.  The bank is now The Abbey, and no church towers can be seen above the rooftops!
A comparison of the other end of Mount Street between 1953 and 2011.
Hasn't changed much has it?  They have just added a safety rail to save people tumbling down the steps.
Here is an interesting comparison.  I don't have a date for the one on the right, but the left one dates from 1890.  You can see how they have added the spikes to each corner of the tower (I am sure there is a proper name for those, but I don't know what it is!)  The round turret in the centre has a bigger roof, and there is also something poking up from the left side of the building that wasn't there before.  There also looks to be less graves doesn't there?   Hmmmmm, did they possibly add to the bones in the crypt around that time?  It does look as if the graveyard has been cleaned up in the photo on the right doesn't it?
St. Leonard's Church taken from a different angle.  The date on it as you can see spanned at the time from 1100 to 1908.  However, the card was postmarked 1911, and in fact it is still there today, so was it rebuilt sometime after 1908?
1926
Ah yes, I have climbed up here.  It leads up to St. Leonards Church, home of the crypt full of skulls.  It is very pretty at the top, and the view is magnificent, but very tiring if it comes at the end of a long day of sight seeing like I had had that day.  This photo dates from 1910.
Back to the Red Lion Square.  A photo of some soldiers marching through.  This appears to date from before it was called the Red Lion Square.  It was called Market Square at one point too, but this card just has it as The Square.
Isn't this pretty?  It is called Ladies Walk.  Still there, running from the centre of the town to the seafront.  It was laid out in 1810 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of King George 111.  Due to dutch elm disease, the walk is now less wooded
On the left is Stade Street, featuring the Sutherland House Hotel on the corner of Arthur Road.  A closer view of the hotel is in the centre, but the modern one on the right shows it now as flats.  Dr. Syn's Parlour, that you can see in the left photo is now part of the Stade Court Hotel I believe, and houses have been built on the land between there and Arthur Road.
There, just to prove me right, this one is called Market Square, and I think it is older.
I couldn't find anything in the left photograph in St. Johns Road now, so am not 100% certain that I have the modern photo taken at the same place.  But it is the same street, and a very nice one it is too!  Beautiful houses on it.  With St. Augustine's Catholic Primary School at the end.
Hythe canal in 1956.  Showing the Town Bridge.  A fellow by the name of Tony Reeve tells me that this photo was taken shortly after the bridge was erected.  Before that, following the war, for many years there was a bailey bridge, borrowed from the army, spanning the gap, as the original bridge was partially destroyed by a bomb during the war.
This one is a little later, and shows you a closeup of the bridge.  On the other side, on Rampart Road, you can see the Wesleyan Church, now known as the Hythe Methodist Church.
And an up to date one of the same bridge, however, it shows more of the Hythe Methodist Church than the bridge.
This one was entitled 'The Boat Stage' on Hythe Canal.  Which could possibly have been the same place as the boating station.  The building looks similar.
Oh my goodness!  I wish I had a date for this one.  Again it is Hythe Canal, and doesn't it look old?  I don't think you see cattle in Kent with horns like that any more do you?
I was curious about this one, because I admit I didn't know where Scanlans Bridge was.  I was very surprised to discover that it is the one just past the Romney Hythe & District Light Railway Station, except it is actually called Scanlons Bridge.  Not only that, but the road that runs between Dymchurch Road and Military Road is also called Scanlons Road.  All the years I lived in Hythe, I only ever thought it was the A259.
This one looks more like Winnipeg than Hythe, but it's not the Red River, it's the Hythe Canal in 1912, frozen solid enough to walk on, with the help of a chair by the looks of the lady in front.
Four years later, and I blew this one up extra large to try to read the signs on the Smugglers Retreat.  On the left, all I could make out was the words Smugglers Retreat, but the boards outside look like the type you see outside newsagents.  The business on the right has changed hands, by this time it looked like a George Wire had taken over, and can't be certain, but the I think I can make out the word Poulterer in the top sign, and below the window, it looks like 'Dried Fish Merchant'.  Oh really?
I know that in the 50's/60's they were located at 43 High Street, but I don't know if this photograph was taken at the same address, or indeed which year it was taken.  However, it looks much older than that.
Is this the location of the International Stores?  I think so, but it looks as if they have done away with the fancy scroll work on the columns on either side.
I think this is the same stretch of canal as the one above, but taken much earlier.
I don't know for sure which bridge is the Musketry Bridge, however, I am guessing it would be located near what used to be the School of Musketry.  The one in the modern photo below runs across the canal between Military Road and Dymchurch Road, so would guess that this might be it.
1913
1936
This is a lovely 1927 photograph of the swans on the canal
And you can still find them on there now, this modern one is courtesy Pat Duke
If you are interested in learning more about this fete which has been going since 1869, I urge you to check out this site:  http://www.venetian-fete.com/mainPage.htm
If you are wondering how the swans are doing these days on the Hythe Canal.  I can assure you they are doing very nicely thank you, and George Hills sent me these beautiful photos of Mr & Mrs Swan with their little cygnets that he took near his home in West Hythe.  Aren't they adorable?
The Hythe Venetian Fete.  I used to love watching this.  Tony also had something to say about this.  "I remember one Venetian Fete in particular, the guest of honour was Peter Twiss, who was the pilot of the first UK airplane to reach the incredible speed of 1,132mph - before that, the official speed record was lttle more than 350mph!
This beautiful nursing home is on Tanners Hill in Hythe.  I am not sure how old it is, the oldest photograph I have seen is from 1965, when it was called Philbeach London Transport Benevolent Home.  These days it is known as the Saltwood Care Centre, and I took the photo below left from their website:
1972
1983
Dining Room
Hair Salon
1965
I don't have a date for this one which shows a tank field gun and war memorial, and wasn't sure where it was located.  Alan Taylor told me that they were in the 'Grove' (gardens which are by the side of the canal).  The tank and field gun have been removed, the war memorial is still there as is a bandstand.
Here is another nice one of the bandstand, also in the 20's with people relaxing in the sunshine.
Here is another nice one of the war memorial, showing a couple of ladies taking a rest on a bench in front of the tank.  I don't believe those large houses you see in the background are there any more.
This one looks to be quite a bit earlier than 1956, but unfortunately we can't see the bailey bridge that would have been there at that time.  It does look like tram tracks in the road though doesn't it?
As you can see, the bandstand used to be located behind the war memorial, which can be accessed from Prospect Road, but I don't think it is there any more.  I stand to be corrected on this, but I believe it is now in a field behind the Sanford House building on Stade Street.  As previously said, the tank and field gun are now gone altogether, where?  Who knows.
This must be when the tank first arrived in town.  I hate myself for this, but someone must have sent this photo to me, and I can't find any notes with it.  I called the photo "WW1 Tank Uncle Bill Policeman Victory Loan" which tells me that it must be one sent by the niece or nephew of the policeman in the photograph.  If it was you, please drop me a line so I can credit the photograph properly.
On the corner of Princes Parade and Twiss Road stands the Hotel Imperial.  the photo above was supplied by Ian, who goes under the nickname of Detmold.  As you can see in the photo on the right, the Imperial, which  is now owned by the Mercure Group seems to be prospering despite the hard times in the tourist industry.  They have added a huge extension on the right, and have added Spa services to their list of things to attract guests.  It dates back to Victorian times, and is managing to keep up with the times by offering wedding and meeting services.  If your room is on this side, you have a fabulous unobstructed view of the sea.
Above left is a birds eye view of the back of the hotel.  Their grounds are extensive, and they offer golf and tennis if outdoor sport is your thing.  If you prefer being pampered indoors, they take care of you there too these days.  Prices start at £75 per night in 2012.  Here is their website:  http://www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-6862-mercure-hythe-imperial-hotel-spa/services.shtml and I'm not even getting paid to plug it!
2008
I was checking in my Ward Lock guide from 1905-06 to see if the Imperial advertised their rates.  They didn't, they only mentioned that they had 120 rooms available.
However, most of the other hotels in the area at the time were ranging from 1/6d to 3/6d per night.  So prices have increased somewhat since then!
Update:  Received an e-mail from Nigel Dowe, Landlord of The Bell Inn, who said this:  "This mill never had sails, its a water mill and the mill race is to the left hand side of the mill as you face it .
The culvert for the mill runs under what was always known as Mill Lane (now for some unknown reason as Bell Inn Lane)and runs underneath the Bell Inn Below the fireplace in the lower bar.  The mill was and still is owned by the Marston family who owned the Imperial and Stade Court Hotels"

Nigel also kindly sent me a newspaper clipping which explains about this culvert, and what it was used for in the smuggling days, and about a dastardly double murder which took place there, the bodies were bricked up in the chimney of the pub.  Read all about it on the Pubs page.

Thank you very much Nigel!
Another hotel that looks better now than it did in the 70's is The Stade Court Hotel, now owned by Best Western, on the corner of Stade Street and West Parade.  As I had quoted prices at the Imperial, I thought I would look up the Stade Court to see where their's start, but got frustrated.  They insisted I enter dates, so put next January, as I thought that would be the cheapest, but it came back and told me that Hythe was very busy at that time of year, and they were sold out!  OK then.
The Mount Restaurant above is now A Cut Above hairdressers below, in Mount Street.
'This is none other but the house of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven'  This is what it reads over the archway in this 1905 photograph of the inside of St. Michaels & All Angels Mission Church which is still located at the junction of Stade Street and Portland Road.  I couldn't get a modern photo of the inside, but here are a couple of the outside.
St Michael's Church is situated in the most convenient and accessible spot. Erected on a triangular site at the junction of Stade Street and Portland Road and adjacent to the Town Bridge, it cannot escape the notice of the passer-by. Lovingly referred to as the 'tin tabernacle' (or 'Tin Tab') because of its timber frame and corrugated iron construction, it is one of the few survivors of 'temporary' or prefabricated buildings erected at the end of the Victorian era.

At this time Hythe was developing fast; many hundreds of houses were built on the sea side of the Royal Military Canal – Victoria Road, Albert Road, Ormonde Road, Park Road – to which working class families were attracted to move because of their modest cost (most of them were let on weekly tenancies rather than purchases). The Church saw a need to provide services for this influx and, for a time, 'mission type' services were held in the school. The vicar cherished his idea of building a place of worship for those who were unable to attend St Leonard's, and this was made possible by two generous gifts: an offer to pay for the building by a former vicar, the Reverend F.T. Scott, and the provision of a site liberally presented by the Watts family.

In 1893 matters moved swiftly. An appeal for funds to furnish the church met with generous response. The 'iron' church, as it was referred to in those days, was ordered and erected within months. Described as a 'pretty building', it was intended to seat about 280 people. A Mr Andrews promised an altar to be made from oak grown on his own land, and this is still in use. However, the original wooden pews have been replaced by more comfortable chairs, the gas lighting has been replaced by electricity; gone also are the coke stove and the nice two-manual organ (now in St Peter's Church, Canterbury). They also now have a carpeted floor!

The opening of the church took place on Tuesday 19 September 1893 when the Archdeacon of Maidstone dedicated it to St Michael and All Angels. Since then it has been lovingly used and was restored for its centenary, celebrated in 1993 with special services, a flower festival, tea parties, etc. Throughout its 106-year history, regular Sunday and weekday services, as well as Sunday School classes for children, have provided opportunity for thousands of worshippers who would not find it possible to get to St Leonard's. St Michael's is also in regular use as a venue for secular events such as talks and meetings; indeed it is almost a second 'church hall' within the parish. The building, though not pretentious, always surprises visitors by its homely yet dignified interior. It stands witness to the generosity of many people, the faith of those who use it, and, to those who pass by, that the Church is alive and relevant to the community of Hythe.

Tin tabernacles were a cheap alternative to churches, built by the Victorians to cope with swelling congregations at home and abroad. The churches were ordered as flat-packs; companies all over the country were able to provide the kit. (See www.tintabernacles.co.uk for more information.)
Modern photo of the War Memorial
While on the subject of churches, here are a few old photos taken from the interiors.  We have the Catholic Church high altar above, and I think all three on the right are from St. Leonard's.
For the sports buffs, old photos of golf, cricket, tennis and bowls.  Would anybody like to send me some 'now' pictures please?
How's this for a view?  In the distance is Hythe, and you can see right across the Romney Marshes.
I could be wrong, but I think The Grove is where you can find a lot of these sports, I am pretty sure they have a tennis club plus a cricket & squash club there anyway.  I don't know if they did back in 1911 when this photo was taken.
This is a 1904 picture of Ursuline College, Hythe.  I can't find anything on a college of this name now, but there is one at Westgate-on-Sea, so am wondering if this one relocated there?
Another little mystery.  Both of these photos date from the 50's, one is called Wakefield Walk and the other Wakefield Gardens, that I suspect were part of each other.  I have searched online, and in the books I have, but cannot find any reference to these gardens.  All I can find on a current map is Wakefield Way, which has some newer looking houses.  Were these built on these gardens?  If not, what happened to them?  Answered - see right!
This 2000 pic of the Hythe boundary stone was supplied by Detmold
This is West Hythe, a very long time ago.  I doubt that the house is still standing, but you never know.  If it is, I would love a photograph of it today.
Many of you will recognise this Grade 11 listed property called Grove House, located facing Prospect Road between Mount Street and Marine Walk Street.  If you are interested in the history of this house and its surroundings, I really recommend you read this page.  You will learn a lot!  http://www.countryhomehythe.com/history.html


If you clicked on the link under Grove House, you will have read about the Hythe Institute.  George Hills of Palmarsh sent me the above photograph which I had never seen before, this started me on an investigation which led me to the picture of Grove House on the left.  So we now know that it was located to the left of Grove House, and was built by Alfred Bull in 1892 for the working classes to meet.  It was demolished in 1960, but a remembrance plaque remains.
Thank you George, this was a really exciting find.
This one was also sent by George, who said he found them in his mother's belongings.  This one is entitled 'Motor Coach leaving Hythe for Folkestone', it was dated 1911, and it was questioning whether it was taken at the Red Lion Square.  I am not certain, but imagine there is a good chance it was, as I have seen photos before of coaches parked there, facing in the direction of Folkestone.  Do you think the soldier in this one was being a nice guy and cranking the engine into life for the driver?
Another one of George's that I hadn't seen before.  This time the soldiers are coming out the gates of the School of Musketry to go on Church Parade.  Don't those little girls watching look adorable?
What a shame this one isn't coloured.  Detmold donated this lovely photograph of Ladies Walk.  I understand it is still there, and goes from the town down to the seafront.
Looking for help on this one.  it was entitled Cave's Restaurant, Hythe.  I am not too sure if it belongs here, or if it might have been located in Hythe, Hampshire.  Can anyone help on this please?
Back in 1907 when this photo was taken, churches really did sell postcards, so if you could manage to get one into your scene, sales were assured.
I don't know the date of this one showing a Martello Tower right on the beach, but would guess late 40's early 50's
I would guess that this one has been cleared away by now.  Hythe is listed as still having Martello Tower Nos. 9, 13, 14, 15 and 19.  So would hazard a guess that this one might have been numbered either 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 20 or 21, as these are all the numbers missing between Sandgate and Dymchurch.
Another view of the Crypt at St. Leonard's Church.  If you are curious as to what the notice is about, it reads as follows:
'Visitors are requested to respect the dead, and not write on the bones.'
Was that really so big a problem that they had to put up a notice about it?  Vandals have been around for ever it seems.
The Hythe Ranges, which run for several miles between Dymchurch Road and the sea have been off limits to the general public for a very long time, and are still in use today.  The Military use them for training purposes, and the reason they are off limits to the public is that you could easily get yourself shot or blown up!  This photo dates from 1890.
If you are wondering why there are so few photos of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, it's because they now have their own page!  Click the photo of Black Prince to the right to go there!
George Hills has just e-mailed me to let me know that it is indeed the site of the School of Musketry, and is now Halliday Court, a residence for the elderly.  He also tells me that the tree you see in the centre has now been cut down because a branch fell on a resident, and severely injured her.  The tree was over 200 years old!
My question on the left about Wakefield Walk and gardens has been answered by Tam Hogben who wrote to say Wakefield Walk is definitely still there, and directed me HERE
where it is mentioned.  It's funny it isn't on the Google map, but following those directions, I would guess it to be opposite Tower Gardens.

Thank you Tam
On the left, this didn't look too much like a mill even in the older photograph, but expect at one time, the building in the distance had sails.  I think I am right in saying that the photograph on the right is the way it looks now, which is beautiful I think you will agree.  Someone is obviously giving it some tender loving care.
My question about The Esplanade has been answered by Chris Melchers, and this is his explanation:  "The names Parade, Marine Parade, Promenade and Esplanade are used almost indiscriminately but the correct usage now is: Marine Parade – from The Imperial to Stade Court Hotel and West Parade from there to Fishermans Beach."  That's cleared that up, thanks very much Chris.

Chris Melcher of the Hythe Civic Society Newsletter also came up with some information on Moyle Tower.  This is what he says:  "Moyle Tower was, (as told to the society by an elderly resident, recorded in the 1970’s) owned originally by a wealthy family named “Porter” and the grounds included land as far inland as Tower gardens which was tended by 3 gardeners and was used  by the “Excelsior Town Band” for concerts. The North side of the building included a ballroom with stained glass windows where young children of the town were given Christmas Parties. The Porter’s were regarded as great benefactors to the town but we haven’t yet traced any descendants."

Thank you Chris, you can see the stained glass windows in the centre image above.


Chris Melcher confirmed this by telling me that Wakefield Walk runs from Twiss Road to Ladies Walk, which runs from South Road up to the Cricket Ground.   He also told me that Lord Wakefield was the founder of the “Castrol” oil company which became a major part of B.P. and he was also a big benefactor of the town.  I didn't know that, thank you Chris!



Chris Melcher also told me he believes this photo is Wakefield Walk, not Ladies' Walk.
Just received the photo on the right, taken June 2014 by Lewis of Hythe, who tells me it is the same tower as the one immediately above.  So it is still hanging in there, but looks like a pretty dangerous place to venture these days.  They certainly were well built though weren't they?  Thank you very much Lewis.
The photo below makes this statement wrong, as it is still there!
I received this message in the Guestbook from Courtney on Dec 8, 2014:

"I believe the crumbling Martello tower you have towards the bottom of the Hythe Page may in fact be Martello number 17, as the more recent tower you have displayed underneath is in fact martello tower 19, which is seen in the photo I have posted still standing. I'm not sure when the photo was taken though however :)"

Courtney followed up this message with another on on January 14th 2015:

"Just an update after doing some more research:
A report from the Times Newspaper in 1899 reads that "the tower near the redoubt at Dymchurch been split into 2 by the action of the sea sucking away the shingle from the base". Remains of tower 17 and adjacent tower 16 were visible into the 1970's event though they started to collapse in 1899 and the Autumn of 1938. Between towers 18 and 19 used to also stand a 6 gun battery fort known as Fort Moncrief, however this was claimed by the sea in 1873. I have also managed to find an aerial view of Martello tower 19 dating back to 1947, found on this website: [www.britainfromabove.org.uk] "

Thanks very much for the information Courtney, it is very helpful.  By the way, did you see the photo of Fort Sutherland further up this page?  It was there at the same time as Fort Moncrief, and housed 8 guns.  Here is the photo mentioned above that Courtney posted.
I came across this fabulous photo on Facebook, and received permission from the owner, Joe Bleach to add it to this site.  I was excited to see it, because I had no idea that the Tram Terminus was still standing, and discovered by looking on Google (middle picture) that it was previously hidden by another building, which has now been demolished.  As you can see in the photo on the far right, when it was operational and very busy, the roof has been changed, but you can see the sign.  If you click on that photo you can see it enlarged.  It looks to me as if it might have had a clock inside that curved piece above the sign at one time.  Thank you Joe, it's a fabulous addition to the page.
This small picture was sent to me by John James, it was taken from a 1902 newspaper, and depicts the 1877 flooding from the sea over the houses in South Road and The Parade.
I would guess these two photos of the High Street were taken around the same time, as the same butchers shop is on the left.  Anybody know what it was called?  I can make out ??ell & Short.  There are several military men in the left picture who could have come from either the School of Musketry or Shorncliffe Camp.  The right card was dated 1926.
Another nice one of Stade Street, showing some lovely old cars, plus a motor cycle and sidecar.
Further to the Hythe Institute mentioned further up, Kenny Brignall was kind enough to take this photo of the foundation stone for me.  It says 'The Original Foundation Stone of the Hythe Institute Demolished for road widening in 1968.
Here we have another picture of the Institute.  What a magnificent building it was!
Lifeboat crew at Hythe with their self righting pulling lifeboat shortly after returning from a service in 1891 to a Glasgow ship which was driven ashore.  The lifebboat was named The 'Mayer de Rothschild' in accordance with the RNLI's regular practice of giving lifeboats the name of the donor.
I have a lot more pictures of old Hythe, but they will have to wait for another day.
History of Botolphs Bridge

Taken from the Botolph's Bridge Inn website

The Legend of Botolphs Bridge
(As related by Duncan Forbes in his book “Hythe Haven “pub 1981)

The English monk St Botolph lived in the seventh century, and many popular tales have been told about him, since there is very little known historical fact. His monastery is thought to have been in Boston, Lincolnshire, which has derived its name from “Botolph’s Town”.  But our legend about the saint concerns his dead body and Botolph’s Bridge.                                                            

Go to the bridge across the canal cut at West Hythe, which is not the same as the original bridge before that canal was constructed, and look at the Inn sign there, which illustrates the story. There is a boat, with a coffin, like an ark, being carried on to it by two tonsured monks. Two more monks are following them from the bank, and a shaft of light is seen shining down on them all out of a dark sky.

The legend is that the body of St Botolph was being borne to some place where it would be kept safe from desecration by the heathen Danes. There was water to cross, and the night was pitching black. Then suddenly a shaft of light, which was not the moon, shone down from heaven to guide the escort as they went abroad.  But where the body now lies, no one knows.

The bridge by the Inn spans a stretch of water that is now a branch of the Royal Military canal, draining into the sea through the sluice beside the Grand Redoubt built during the Napoleonic wars. But in the past it carried travellers to the shore across one of the many creeks of the marsh. It was called Boter’s, Butter’s or Butler’s Bridge on the old maps, whether Butler is derived from Botolph, or whether there really is  a man in charge of the drinks there, as there is today, or whether, as is more likely, the name comes from that of a well-known local family, I do not know .

What I do know is that, with the sheep meadows around you, the placid water nearby, the Roman ruins, looking like old, decayed teeth sprouting out the hillside, and the more modern castle with its Second World War reinforced concrete watchtower on the skyline, there is no more pleasant place to stop and take a glass.
2009
Located at Botolph's Bridge Rd and Lower Wall Rd, West Hythe
I received an e-mail from Kevin Farrell of Warrington, Cheshire who says:  "The Livery Stable belonged to my great Grandfather Thomas Elliott who also owned the Swan Hotel nearby.  My grandfather Thomas Robert Elliott was born in the hotel in 1884.  The livery stable became a garage."

Kevin also corrected me on the poster on the wall, it is headed Military Mail, not Military Hall.  Thank you very much Kevin.
Modern photo of 'Lilybet'/'Limpet' once belonging to Royal photographer Lisa Sheridan with thanks to Stephen Burgess, who took this photo, and told me that he knew the house well as a child, and in fact his cat Bartle left home and decided to move in with Lisa Sheridan!  He and Nigel Griggs used to play on the waste ground known as the dump.
Did you know that Lisa and James originally had the surname of Ginsburg?  After their daughter Dinah, who was using the stage name of Sheridan, became famous, her parents changed their name to hers.
Dinah Sheridan who died in 2012 at age 92