"SALTWOOD, a parish in the hundred of Hayne, lathe of Shepway, county Kent, half a mile N. of Hythe, its post town, and 2¼ miles S.E. of Westhanger railway station. The village, which is small, is situated near the coast, commanding a prospect of the sea, which is supposed to have formerly come up to this place. The parish comprises the hamlets of Saltwood-Green and Pedlinge. It is celebrated for its ruined castle, situated near the village, and formerly the seat of the archbishops of Canterbury. It was first built by the son of Hengist, the Saxon, in 448, and restored by Hugo de Montfort. In the reign of Henry II. it became the rendezvous of Becket's murderers, and was exchanged by Cranmer with Henry VIII., who gave it to the Clintons. The ruins, consisting of the walls, towers, gateway, Archbishop Courtenay's keep, hall, and chapel, convey some idea of its former magnificence. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury, value £784, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, is an ancient edifice, with a square tower containing five bells. The church was principally built in the reign of Edward III., but has had a stained window inserted, and been thoroughly restored. It contains a piscina, and three brasses of J. Vernew, the earliest bearing date 1350. The parochial charities produce about £31 a year. There are National and infant schools. Sandling Park and Brockhill House are the principal residences."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]