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Milton by Sittingbourne / Milton-Next-Sittingbourne

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"MILTON-NEXT-SITTINGBOURNE, a parish and market town in the hundred of Milton, lathe of Scray, county Kent, 9 miles E.S.E. of Chatham, and 7 W. of Faversham, to which it is a subport. The Strood, Chatham, and Faversham section of the London, Chatham, and Dover railway has an intermediate station between this town and Sittingbourne, from which place there is a branch line to Sheerness, in the Isle of Sheppey. The town, which is of great antiquity, is built on the declivity of a hill sloping down abruptly to a navigable creek of the river Swale, which separates it from Sittingbourne, and leads up to Crown Quay. ... The town and palace were burnt in 1052 by Earl Godwin, in a dispute with Edward the Confessor. In Domesday Survey the town appears to have been rebuilt, and at that time had six mills and 27 salt pans. ... The native oysters, which formerly belonged to the Abbey of Faversham, are leased from the Herberts by the free dredgers, and employ a whole fleet of smacks and hoys. A considerable export trade is carried on from Crown Quay in corn, wool, bricks, and stones for the repair of the London streets. Near the quay are several oil and cement mills, and at Chalkwell, in this parish, is an extensive tanyard. The town, which is a busy but straggling place, contained in 1861 a population of 2,683, having increased 307 since 1851. It is united for political purposes with the more important town of Sittingbourne on the opposite side of the creek, but is governed by its own portreeve and two high constables, annually chosen at the court leet, said to have been instituted by King Alfred. ... The town contains several public buildings, as the courthouse, an ancient timbered edifice nearly in the centre of the town, a small town gaol, a market-house and shambles, union workhouse for the Poor-law Union of Milton, which is conterminous with the hundred, and shipping quays. ...The rectorial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £800 11s. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £400, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a large structure, with an embattled tower at the W. end. It contains a piscina, two stone seats, three brasses, the earliest bearing date 1470, and tombs of the Nortons and others. There are two Dissenting chapels and a free school. It is the seat of a superintendent registry for the hundred of Milton, but is comprised partly within the Sittingbourne and partly within the Rochester new County Court districts. Saturday is market day. An annual fair is held on the 24th July, chiefly for cattle."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

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