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Herne is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of Westbere.  The church is named for St. Martin with registers commencing 1558 and is junior to that of Reculver parish church.

Herne, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Blean district, Kent.  The village stands 1-1/2 miles south of Herne Bay rail station, and 7 miles northeast of Canterbury;  took its name, or is said to have done so, from the former plenteousness of herons on the adjacent coast;  bears also the name of Herne Street;  is pleasantly surrounded by wood;  was once a market town;  and has now a post office, of the name of Herne Street, under Canterbury, and a fair on East Monday.  The parish contains also the town of Herne Bay, and the hamlets of Beltinge, Haw, Hampton, Thornton, Strood, Huntersfostal, Eddington, Broomfield and Underdown.  Acres, 5,399;  of which 570 are water.  Real property in 1860, £17,639;  of which £30 are in gas works.  Population in 1861, 3,147.  Houses, 588.  Part of the land is under hops.

Blean workhouse is on Herne common;  and, at the census of 1861, had 129 inmates.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £360 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The church is partly early English, partly perpendicular;  consists of nave, aisles, and three chancels, with a square tower;  and contains many tombs and brasses.

There are a church and an Independent chapel at Herne Bay, a Wesleyan Chapel in Herne village, national schools, and charities £28.

Bishop Ridley and the antiquary Duncombe were vicars.  Two female infants, joined together like the Siamese twins, were born here in 1565, and lived only a few days.

The sub-district contains also the parishes of Reculver and Chislett.  Acres 13,887.  Population in 1861, 4,473.  Houses, 879.

Beltinge, a hamlet in Herne parish, 6-1/2 north-north-east of Canterbury.

Hampton, a hamlet in Herne parish, Kent;  on the coast, 3 miles northwest of Herne.

Haw, or How, a hamlet in Herne parish, Kent;  1/2 a mile east of Herne.

Strood, a hamlet in Herne parish, Kent;  5-1/2 miles north-north-east of Canterbury.

Herne Bay, a town and a chapelry in Herne parish, Kent.  The town stands on the coast and on the Kent Coast railway, 4 miles east by north of Whitstable, and 8-1/2 northeast-by-north of Canterbury.  It was, til 1818, or later, only a small hamlet;  it rose suddenly into celebrity as a watering place;  it is laid out on a large scale, and but partially built;  it exhibits a pretentious appearance, but looks incomplete;  it enjoys fine air, with abundance of bathing appliances;  and it has a post office under Canterbury with a savings banks and a money order office, a railway station with telegraph, two fine hotels, several respectable inns, plenty of good lodging-houses, a parade, a pier, a new town hall (used also as a theatre), a clock-tower, assembly rooms, billiard rooms, libraries, reading rooms, a flourishing working menís club, a church, an Independent chapel, and a national school.

The parade extends along the coast for nearly a mile;  and is a fine promenade, about 50 feet wide.  The pier was constructed by Telford, and opened in 1833;  is T-shaped, 3,000 feet long, and 400 at the end;  gives a fine view at the extremity, as if one were quite out at sea;  and once served for the landing and receiving of passengers by the London steamers, but is now rapidly falling into decay.  The clock-tower adjoins the parade, conspicuously fronting the sea;was built in 1837, at a cost of nearly £4,000;  and serves as a land-mark to mariners.  The church was consecrated in 1841, having been built some years before for a dissenting chapel;  is in the pointed style;  and has about 800 sittings.  The Independent chapel is a neat edifice, also in the pointed style;  and contains about 400 sittings.  On the foreshore, off the town and along the adjoining coast, are the grounds of the new oyster company, under the auspices of which important experiments relating to the culture of the oyster were, in 1865, being constantly carried on by Frank Buckland, Esq..  A harbour and other works were being constructed by the company, in 1865, at Hampton, a small hamlet about a mile from the town.  Numerous fragments of Roman pottery have been found in the channel near the town, and are supposed to be vestiges of cargo wrecked during the Roman times in Britain.

The chapelry was constituted in 1841.  Rated property in 1859, £6,459.  Population, 1,503.  Houses, 299.

The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, variable, dependent on seat-rents.  Patrons, the Executors of the late Rev. H. Geary.1

1  John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales.  (London, England:  A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).


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