"WHITSTABLE, a parish, seaport, and market-town in the hundred of the same name, county Kent, 6 miles N.W. of Canterbury, to which it is the harbour, and 7 N.E. of Faversham, to which it is a subport. It has stations on the Ramsgate and Deal branch of the South-Eastern, and on the Kent Coast branch of the London, Chatham, and Dover railways. It is situated on Whitstable Bay, near the entrance to the East Swale, opposite to the Isle of Sheppey. It is chiefly famed for its oyster fishery. It formed part of Seasalter borough at the time of the Domesday survey, when it had 8 fisheries, which, being appendant to the manor, were considered a royalty of fishery or oyster dredging, and now belong to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and are under the control and management of the incorporated Company of Dredgers. The town has a bustling and thriving aspect, owing chiefly to its fishery, and the number of colliers frequenting the bay for the supply of Canterbury and the surrounding district with coal. The population; which is partly in Whitstable and partly in Seasalter parishes, in 1861 was 4,188, but that of the parish 3,673. The parish includes the hamlets of Church Street, Whitstable Street, and part of Harwick. On the shore are several salt works, and near Tankerton are establishments for the manufacture of copperas, or green vitriol. There are weirs in the bay, which is a coastguard station. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Canterbury, value £160, in the gift of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is on a hill in the hamlet of Church Street. The Wesleyans and Independents have chapels. The Whitstable and Seasalter Trust schools are situated near the new church in the adjoining parish of Seasalter. In Tankerton Bay, about a mile out at sea, is a bank called the Street Stones, where are ancient remains, and on the Whitstable Flats, opposite, Roman tiles and coins have been found, by the dredgers, together with the bones of the extinct elephant. Fairs are held on the Thursday before Whitsunday, on Midsummer-day at Church Street, and on St. James's day on Greensted Green, in Whitstable Street."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]