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Kent Online Parish Clerks

white cliffs of Dover
photo of St. Mary Parish Church of Minster in Thanet, Kent, England
St. Mary, Parish Church
by kind courtesy of Alan Makey and the Kent FHS
(Click photo for larger view)

Thanet, Minster Parish

     A View of the Parish

Sattelite image of Minster, Thanet, Kent, England
Click on map to view full size on Google Maps.
1881 Ordnance survey map of Minster Thanet with link to modern ordnance survey map
Click here for larger image of this 1881 survey.
Click map for modern Ordnance survey map.
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of Ordnance Survey, © Crown copyright.
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Statistical Summary

Acres:  5,570 acres of land and 600 of water
OS co-ordinates:  TR309647
Latitude:  51:20.0935N
Longitude:  1:18.8837E

Parish Church:  St. Mary
Registers commence:  ~1560
Other Denominations:
  Wesleyan chapel
  Monday - St. Nicholas at Wade
  Wednesday - Ramsgate
  Thursday - Sarre
  Friday - Minster
  Saturday - Monkton, Margate &

  Palm Monday - Minster
  30 May - Acol
  13 July - Minster
  22 July - Monkton
  10 Aug - St. Lawrence
  8 Sep - St. Nicholas at Wade
  14 Oct - Sarre

Newspapers:  weekly at Ramsgate
Electoral Place:  Ramsgate
  Petty Sessions and County Courts -
  Margate and Ramsgate

Jails:  at St. Clement's, Sandwich
  Royal National at Westgate
  Post office
  Railway station with telephone

Registration District:  Thanet
Poor Law Union:  Thanet 1835-1930
Workhouse:  Minster, Thanet Diocese:  Canterbury
Archdeaconry:  Canterbury
Deanery:  Westbere
   pre-1859 - Archdeaconry Court of        Canterbury
   post-1858 - Principal Probate Registry
Lathe:  St. Augustine
Hundred:  Ringslow
Houses:  2511
Parishes within 6 mile radius:
  Acol, Ash (Sandwich), Birchington Chislet, Elmstone, Margate, Monkton, Preston (Ash and Wingham), Minster, Reculver, Sandwich (Sts Clement, Mary and Peter), Sarre, St Nicholas at Wade, Stonar, Stourmouth, Thanet St Lawrence, Thanet St. Peter .
Greenwood map of Minster as it existed in 1821
Greenwood's Map of 1821. Click map for larger image.

Domesday Reference:
   Tanet: St. Augustine's Abbey. Church, salt house, 2 fisheries, mill. Church still stands. Benedictine nuns live in the 12th-century grange, Minster Abbey.

Principal landholder:
   St. Augustine's Abbey

Thanet, St. Peter

Minster (Thanet), a village, a parish, and a sub-district in Thanet district, Kent.  The village stands in the Isle of Thanet, on the Canterbury and Minster branch of the Southeastern railway, at the junction of the line to Deal, 1 mile north of the river Stour, and 4 west of Minster;  was once a market town;  and has a railway station with telephone, a post office under Minster, and a fair on Palm Monday.

The parish contains also Brook and Wayborough;  and comprises 5,570 acres of land and 600 of water.  Real property in 1860, £13,516.  Population in 1851, 1,502;  in 1861, 1,588.  Houses, 251.  The property is not much divided.

The manor belongs to the Marquis of Conyngham, and gives him the title of Baron.

A nunnery was founded here, in 670, by Domneva, niece of Egbert, King of Kent;  was placed under his daughter Mildred as abbess over 70 nuns;  was repeatedly plundered and sacked by the Danes, particularly in 980 and 1011, ceased, at the latter date, to be occupied as a nunnery;  and passed, with its property, to the monks of Canterbury.  See the Founding of St. Mildred's Abbey, below.

Minster Court, or the Abbey, now the seat of John Swinford, Esq., occupies the site of the old manor house, in which the monks resided who had charge of the property;  retains some portions of the old building, particularly one of the 12th century;  and long had connected with it the spicarium or great barn, 352 feet by 47, which was destroyed by lightning in 1700.

Most of the land is flat, and bears the name of Minster Level;  but part is hilly, and commands very fine view, both landward and seaward.  There are numerous orchards and gardens.

Ebbs-Fleet, or Ipyids-flete, in the southeast, was the landing place of Hengist and Horsa circa 449, on the invitation of Vortigorn.  Roman coins were found about 1640, at Mount Pleasant.

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value, £740, with a habitable glebe house, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The church is large and interesting;  comprises nave, transepts, and choir, with tower and spire;  is early Norman in the west end, late Norman in the nave, and early English in the transepts and the choir;  has a triplet east window, with clustered shafts between the lights, and a Norman door with tympanum within the tower;  and contains 18 miserere stalls, a very ancient iron-bound chest, an arched tomb of Edile de Thorne, and traces of several brasses.  A cross originally surmounted the spire;  but was removed in 1647 by "Blue Dick" the noted Canterbury fanatic.  Lewis, the historian of Thanet, Wharton the author of "Anglia Sacra", and the younger Casaubon were vicars.

The sub-district contains five other parishes.  Acres 17,063.  Population in 1851, 3,836.  Houses, 750.1

Concerning the population figures:  The parish was effected by the operation of the Divided Parishes Acts, but the Registrar-General failed to obtain particulars of every such change.  The changes which escaped notification were, however, probably small in area and with little, if any, population.  Considerable difficulty was experienced both in 1891 and 1901 in tracing the results of changes effected in civil parishes under the provisions of these Acts;  by the Registrar-General's courtesy, however, reference has been permitted to certain records of formerly detached parts of parishes, which has made it possible approximately to ascertain the population in 1921 of parishes as constituted prior to such alterations, though the figures in many instances must be regarded as partly estimates.3

Public Buildings

The workhouse for Thanet district also is here;  and, at the census of 1861, had 411 inmates.1  Union workhouse was in use pre-1851 and still in use as of 1921.3


A Wesleyan Chapel is located here.


A national school is located here.


Charities available to the total of £79.

Founding of St. Mildred's Abbey

The tradition of the founding of St. Mildred's Abbey, (which gave name to this parish,) by Domneva, niece to King Egbert, about the year 670, is briefly this: - Egbert, at the instigation of one of his courtiers, named Thunor or Tymor, having murdered Ethelred and Ethelbright, the sons of his father's elder brother, that he might retain undisturbed possession of the throne, sent, by advice of Archbishop Theodore, to their Domneva, who had taken the vow of chastity, offering in expiation for the crime, according to the custom of the times, to grant " whatever she should ask."

Domneva thereupon requested sufficient land in Tenet, (Thanet,) on which she might build a monastery to the memory of her brothers;  and being asked what quantity she required, replied, "as much as a tame deer could run over at one course;" which on trial embraced about 10,000 acres.

The tract of the deer, according to Thorn, was marked by the broad bank or lynch since called St. Mildred's Lynch.  He was turned loose at Westgate, on the coast, in the Parish of Birchington, and stopped not till he came to the place now called Sheriff's Hope, near Monkton.  During the course of the stag, Thunor, who had ridiculed the lavishness of the King, endeavoured to impede or divert its progress, "at which Heaven being offended", says the above-name chronicler, "the earth suddenly opened, and swallowed him up in his career, and he went down with Dathan and Abiram into hell."  The spot where this happened was called, to perpetuate his punishment, Thunor's Leap, and is now, no doubt, says Lewis, the old chalk pit called Minster chalk pit, which may have been sunk when the abbey was built.

The monastery, after having been several times pillaged by the Danes, was in 978 entirely burnt by them, together with the nuns, the clergy, and many people who had fled hither for sanctuary.  Leofrane, the Abbess, only survived, and she was carried away prisoner.  It acquired the title of St. Mildred from the daughter and successor of Domneva, a woman of remarkable sanctity, and of "suche godlyke virtue, (says Lambarde,) that when landing at Ippedsflete, on her return from Fraunce, the very stone whereon she first stepped received the impression of her foote, and retained it for ever."4

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

2Edward Hasted, ed. and comp.  The town and parish of Minster, Thanet: Town and manors, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 (1798), pp. 260-307.

3William Page, 1861-1934, ed.  The Victoria County History of Kent, vol. 3, p. 359.(London, England: The St. Catherine Press, Stamford Street, Waterloo, S.E., 1932).

4C. Greenwood, comp.  Epitome of County History, vol. 1, County of Kent. (London, England: privately printed, 1838).

Thanet, St. Peter's Bibliography

-- various. 'Archaeologia Cantiana'. Publisher: Kent, England: Kent Archaeological Society, various dates.  [Note:  The following volumes can be found on  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (1876), 11, 12, 13 (1880), 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 34, 35, vol. 1907 supplement.]

  • General references to Thanet, St. Peter: vol. , pp.
  • Currently in revision

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office--Edward II, Vol. 1. 1307-1313'Each volume has own index. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Public Record Office. 'Inquisitions and assessments relating to feudal aids : with other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office, A. D. 1284-1431', Vol. 3. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Great Britain, Exchequer. 'The book of fees commonly called testa de nevill, pt. 3'. The Book of fees contains information about the holdings of feudal tenants. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hall, Hubert, 1857-1944. 'The Red book of the Exchequer - Liber rubeus de Scaccario, Vol. 3'. The Red book of the Exchequer was a register intended to preserve important documents comprising charters, statutes of the realm, public acts (Placita), private deeds and ordinances, correspondence. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Glencross, Reginald Morshead. 'Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Vol. 1. 1559-1571'. Publisher: Genealogical Society of Utah d.b.a Historical Books on FamilySearch;

Hasted, Edward. 'The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent; Containing the antient and present state of it, civil and ecclesiastical; collected from public records, and other authorities: illustrated with maps, views, antiquities, etc. The second edition, improved, corrected, and continued to the present time'. 12 volumes. Publisher: Canterbury: Printed by W. Bristow, 1797-1801. URL: British History Online

Hussey, Arthur. 'Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, mentioned in Domesday book, and those of more recent date'. Publisher: London J.R. Smith,(1852).

Letters, Dr. Samantha. 'Kent', Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 (2005).  URL: British History Online.

Page, William, 1861-1934, ed.. 'The Victoria history of the county of Kent'. Publisher: London: Constable (1908).  URL: British History Online

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I, File 39', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 2: Edward I. Published:(1906), pp. 315-323.  URL: British History Online.

Sharp, J. E. E. S., ed.. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 45', Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Volume 1: Henry III. Published:(1904), pp. 296-302.  URL: British History Online.

Location of Records

The following list of records is not intended to be exhaustive.  There are many records that are awaiting discovery in archive offices throughout Kent and England.  This list is intended only to set out those records that are available via at least two relatively easy-to-access avenues.  If you have used or discover a record that would be of benefit to other researchers, that is not on this list, please send me an email with the details of the archive - name, address and archival call number.

Census | Church of England | Non-Conformist | Parish chest | Workhouse and Poor Law | Land | Assizes and Sessions | School



Date The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue,
Kew, Richmond,
also available at:
Kent History & Library Centre, James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ, Phone:+44 300 041 3131, Email:
LDS Family History Centre
(Find a centre near you)
and indexed online at:
6 June 1841 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 Currently under revision  
30 Mar 1851 census name index & images Currently under revision  
7 Apr 1861 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1871 Currently under revision  
3 Apr 1881 Currently under revision  
5 Apr 1891 Currently under revision  
31 Mar 1901 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 Currently under revision  
2 Apr 1911 RG 78/139 - Census Enumerator's Summary Books online only at commerical subscription sites none

Church Records, Church of England

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Register   Currently under revision  
Bishop's transcripts   Currently under revision  
CMB transcripts   Currently under revision  
Parish Registers, transcribed by Thomas Colyer-Fergusson   Currently under revision  

Church Records, Non-Conformist

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Particular Baptist Chapel, Nonconformist Return   Currently under revision  
Methodist Church Registers   Currently under revision  

Parish chest records

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Parish Council Minutes   Currently under revision  
Removal orders   Currently under revision  
Settlement Examinations, Minute book   Currently under revision  
Overseers' Accounts   Currently under revision  
Return of Churchwardens, constables and defaulters     
Tithe Apportionment Files      
Poor Rate books   Currently under revision  

Workhouse and Poor Law Records

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Admission & Discharge books   This section currently under revision  
Guardians' Minutes      
Births   Currently under revision  
Deaths   Currently under revision  
Religious creed registers   Currently under revision  
Apprentice Register      
Registers of lunatics      
Letters books      
Vaccination registers 1899-1930 Currently under revision  

Land Records

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Land tax assessments 1780-1831 Currently under revision  
Rates and Duties - Houses, Windows, Lights   Currently under revision  
Manorial Court rolls   Currently under revision  
War Damage Files 1939-1962 Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent, no.: Finding Aid at CKS-DRb/RW 123 None

Assizes and Sessions Records
(poor laws, jail terms, oaths, and other municipal and public records)

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
Hearth tax   Currently under revision  
Victuallers Recognizances   Currently under revision  
Churchwarden's Presentments   Currently under revision  
Parish rate books   Currently under revision  

School Records

Record Type Dates Archives
Corresponding LDS Family History Library film numbers
(Find a centre near you)
    Currently under revision  


Coming Soon

Church Registers


Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Workhouse Records
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories


Total Population3

1801    -   707
1811    -   824
1821    -   920
1831    -   911
1841    -   1380
1851    -   1502
1861    -   1588
1871    -   1853
1881    -   2067
1891    -   2348
1901    -   2632
1911    -   2379 (estimated)
1921    -   2915 (estimated)

Thanet, St. Peter Distance to

London 62.4 mi.
Canterbury 11.7 mi.
Ashford 24.0 mi.
Bromley 56.6 mi.
Chatham 34.2 mi.
Cranbrook 38.1 mi.
Dartford 49.3 mi.
Deptford 59.5 mi.
Dover 14.9 mi.
Faversham 18.8 mi.
Folkestone 19.0 mi.
Gravesend 41.4 mi.
Greenwich 57.6 mi.
Hythe 21.4 mi.
Maidstone 34.7 mi.
Margate 4.0 mi.
Milton Regis 25.5 mi.
Queenborough 25.2 mi.
Minster 4.4 mi.
Rochester 36.7 mi.
Sandwich 4.5 mi.
Sheerness 25.6 mi.
Tenterden 33.3 mi.
Tunbridge Wells 48.1 mi.
Woolwich 55.3 mi.


Municipal & Public Records

  • Mayors
  • Town Clerks
  • Recorders
  • Chamberlains
  • M.P.s
  • Jurats, Aldermen and Common Councilmen
  • Electoral Register
  • Freeholders
  • Freemen Index
  • Freeman's Roll
  • Masters Index
  • Pubs, Taverns, Inns, Alehouses
  • Victuallers

Wills & Estate Records

  • AD index 1448-1857
  • CC index 1448-1857
  • PCC 1338-1858
  • PPR 1858-1925
  • Depositions

Court Records

  • Gaol Returns
  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Summons for Pavement Repairs
  • Tithe Apportionment c1830s
  • Protestation Rolls c1641-1643
  • Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy 1662
  • Oaths of Allegiance c1720s

Military Records

Land Records
& Maps

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax
  • Hearth Tax
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

  • Apprenticeships
  • Immigration
  • School Records
  • Notable Events
  • Nefarious Activities

Village Resources