"MINSTER, a parish in the Isle of Thanet, hundred of Ringslow, lathe of St. Augustine, county Kent, 4 miles W. of Ramsgate, its post town, and 5 S. by W. of Margate. It is a station on the South-Eastern railway. The parish, which is extensive, is situated on Minster Level, near Ebbesfleet, where Hengist and the Saxons, Warings, and Frisians, first landed in Britain. It was famous as the site of an abbey or nunnery for seventy-seven nuns, founded by Domneva, niece of Egbert, King of Kent, in 670, which was destroyed by the Danes. It was a market town under the abbots of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, to whom the lands were given by Canute the Dane. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. There are numerous orchards and gardens, but the land is chiefly in pasture and arable. One portion of the surface is exceedingly hilly, but the lands are in general level, and the soil principally clay. The navigable river Stour bounds the parish on the S., and vessels or barges formerly came up to the village. Courts leet and baron are held annually. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £733, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a large ancient cruciform structure with a spired tower containing five bells. The interior of the church contains several ancient monuments. When the Danes burnt the abbey they spared the two chapels of St. Mary and SS. Peter and Paul, of which the former was converted into the parochial church, and has since been enlarged. The register dates from 1557. The parochial charities produce about £79 per annum. There are National and infant schools for both sexes. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. The Isle of Thanet poorhouse is situated in this parish. The Abbey is the principal residence. Marquis Conyngham is lord of the manor, and takes from this place the inferior title of baron. A fair is held on Good Friday."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]