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A house standing outside the churchyard in Hythe, Kent.

Some information from Wikipedea:

Hythe is a small coastal market town on the edge of Romney Marsh, in the District of Shepway (derived from Sheep Way) on the south coast of Kent. The word Hythe or Hithe is an Old English word meaning Haven or Landing Place.

The town has medieval and Georgian buildings, as well as a Saxon/Norman church on the hill and a seafront promenade. Hythe was once defended by two castles, Saltwood and Lympne. The town hall, a former guildhall, was built in 1794, its fireplace designed by the Adam brothers.

Hythe's market once took place in Market Square (now Red Lion Square) close to where there is now a Farmers' Market every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Hythe has gardening, horse riding, bowling, tennis, cricket, football, squash and sailing clubs. Lord Deedes was patron of Hythe Civic Society, and the hounds of The East Kent Hunt are kennelled in nearby Elham.

Hythe is one of the Cinque Ports, but although it is beside a broad bay on the English Channel, silting removed its harbour hundreds of years ago. Hythe was once the central Cinque Port, between Hastings and New Romney to the west and Dover and Sandwich to the east.

According to [Edward] Hasted, a French fleet approached Hythe in 1293 and landed 200 men, but "the townsmen came upon them and slew every one of them: upon which the rest of the fleet hoisted sail and made no further attempt".

In 1348 the black death afflicted Hythe, and in 1400 the plague further reduced the population.

The large 11th-century church of Saint Leonard's stands on the hill above the town; the tower at its eastern end was destroyed by an earth tremor in 1739 and restored in 1750.

The chancel, from 1220, covers a processional ossuary (a bone store, more commonly found on the continent) lined with 2,000 skulls and 8,000 thigh bones. They date from the medieval period, probably having been stored after removal, to make way for new graves. This was common in England, but the bones were usually dispersed, and this is thus a rare collection.

Lionel Lukin, credited with inventing the lifeboat, is buried in the parish churchyard.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10646 W: 63 N: 29872] (130967)
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