Isle of Thanet
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The Isle of Thanet () is a
peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes defined as a piece of land bordered by water on three of its sides. Peninsulas exist on all ...

peninsula
forming the easternmost part of
Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west, and Essex to the north across the estuary of the River ...

Kent
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...

England
. While in the past it was separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel, it is no longer an island. Archaeological remains testify to its settlement in ancient times. Today, it is a tourist destination, and has an active agricultural base.


Etymology

The island of Thanet is mentioned as ''Tonetic'' (c. AD 150; the TON- of this form was misread as TOΛI-, hence it appears as ''Toliatis'' in the surviving manuscripts of
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-gre, wikt:Πτολεμαῖος, Πτολεμαῖος, ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific Treatise, treatis ...
); ''Tanat's'' (3rd C AD,
Solinus Solinus may refer to: * Gaius Julius Solinus Gaius Julius Solinus was a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in ...
); ''Tanatos'' (AD 731); ''Tenid'' in 679BEAUREPAIRE and ''Tenet'' (e.g. charters of AD 679, 689 and thereafter); and the Old Welsh forms ''Tanet'' and ''Danet'', found in the ''
Historia Brittonum ''The History of the Britons'' ( la, Historia Brittonum) is a purported history of the indigenous British (Britons (historical), Brittonic) people that was written around 828 and survives in numerous recensions that date from after the 11th centu ...
'' (c. AD 829/30) and
Armes Prydein ''Armes Prydein'' (, ''The Prophecy of Britain'') is an early 10th-century Wales, Welsh prophetic poem from the ''Book of Taliesin''. In a rousing style characteristic of Welsh heroic poetry, it describes a future where all of Britons (historical ...
(c. AD 930). Standard reference works for English place-names (such as
Eilert Ekwall Bror Oscar Eilert Ekwall (born 8 January 1877 in Vallsjö (now in Sävsjö, Jönköpings län), Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal na ...
's ''Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names'') state the name ''Tanet'' is known to be Brythonic in origin. Commonly the original meaning of Thanet is thought to be "fire" or "bright island" (''tân'' means fire in
Modern Welsh The history of the Welsh language (Welsh language, Welsh: ''Hanes yr iaith Gymraeg'') spans over 1400 years, encompassing the stages of the language known as Primitive Welsh, Old Welsh, Middle Welsh, and Welsh language, Modern Welsh. Origins Wel ...
and ''tan'' in Breton), and this has led to speculation the island was home to an ancient beacon or lighthouse. Another theory states that ''Tanet'' is a common European toponymic creation of Celtic origin, based on the Celtic word ''*tanno-'' meaning "holm oak" (compare Breton ''tann'' "sort of oak", Cornish ''glastannen'' "holm oak") and the Celtic suffix ''*-etu'', to mean a collection of trees. Thanet would mean "place of the holm oaks", such as the Northern French Thenney (Eure, ''Thaneth'' ab. 1050); Tennie (Sarthe, ''Tanida'' 9th century) or the Italian Tanedo (Lombardy, ''Tanetum'', Tite-Live). The 7th-century Archbishop
Isidore of Seville Isidore of Seville ( la, Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 – 4 April 636) was a Spanish people, Spanish scholar, theologian, and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seville, archbishop of Seville. He is widely regarded, in the words of 19th-cen ...
recorded an apocryphal folk-etymology in which the island's name is fancifully connected with the Greek word for death (), stating that Thanet, "an island of the ocean separated from Britain by a narrow channel ... called ''Tanatos'' from the death of serpents; for while it has none of its own, soil taken from it to any place whatsoever kills snakes there." The ''
Historia Brittonum ''The History of the Britons'' ( la, Historia Brittonum) is a purported history of the indigenous British (Britons (historical), Brittonic) people that was written around 828 and survives in numerous recensions that date from after the 11th centu ...
'', written in the 9th century, states that "''Tanet''" was the name used for the island by the legendary
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyder, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Germanic people, Germanic tribes who settled in Great Britain after the end of Roman rule in Britain, departure of the Roman Empire, Romans. According to Bede ...
Hengist and Horsa Hengist and Horsa are Germanic peoples, Germanic brothers said to have led the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in their invasion of Great Britain, Britain in the 5th century. Tradition lists Hengist as the first of the Jutish kings of Kingdom of Kent ...

Hengist and Horsa
, while its name in
Old Welsh Old Welsh ( cy, Hen Gymraeg) is the stage of the Welsh language from about 800 AD until the early 12th century when it developed into Middle Welsh.Koch, p. 1757. The preceding period, from the time Welsh became distinct from Common Brittonic a ...
was "''Ruoi(c)hin''"; this name may be translated as "gift" (''rhwych'' in
Modern Welsh The history of the Welsh language (Welsh language, Welsh: ''Hanes yr iaith Gymraeg'') spans over 1400 years, encompassing the stages of the language known as Primitive Welsh, Old Welsh, Middle Welsh, and Welsh language, Modern Welsh. Origins Wel ...
).


History

Archaeological evidence shows that the area now known as the Isle of Thanet was one of the major areas of
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistory, prehistoric period during which Rock (geology), stone was widely used to make tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 4,0 ...

Stone Age
settlement. A large hoard of
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
implements has been found at
Minster-in-Thanet Minster, also known as Minster-in-Thanet, is a village and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in the Thanet District, Thanet District of Kent, England. It is the site of Minster in Thanet Priory. The village is west of Ramsgate (which is t ...
; and several
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
settlements have also come to light.
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; ; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey in Caes ...

Julius Caesar
made two attempts to invade Britain, in both 55 and 54 BC. In 2017 archaeologists from the
University of Leicester The University of Leicester ( ) is a public university, public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park, Leicester, Victoria Park. The university's predecessor, Univers ...
excavated a
Roman fort In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin word ''castrum'', plural ''castra'', was a military-related term. In Latin usage, the singular form ''castrum'' meant 'fort', while the plural form ''castra'' meant 'camp'. The singular and ...
covering up to at Ebbsfleet, and dated it to around 55–50 BC. They further linked it to Caesar's invasion of Britain in 54 BC, and suggested that the invading force arrived in nearby
Pegwell Bay Pegwell Bay is a shallow inlet in the English Channel coast astride the estuary of the River Stour, Kent, River Stour north of Sandwich Bay, Kent, Sandwich Bay, between Ramsgate and Sandwich, Kent, Sandwich in Kent. Part of the bay is a nature r ...
. Nearly a century later, in 43 AD,
Claudius Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor, ruling from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Claudius was born to Nero Claudius Drusus, Drusu ...
sent four legions to Britain, where the Romans were to remain for the next 400 years. During that time the port of
Richborough Richborough () is a settlement north of Sandwich, Kent, Sandwich on the east coast of the county of Kent, England. Richborough lies close to the Isle of Thanet. The population of the settlement is included in the civil parish of Ash, Dover, A ...
, on the opposite side of the Wantsum Channel, became one of the chief ports of
Roman Britain Roman Britain was the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under occupation by the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίω ...
. According to the eighth-century ecclesiastical historian
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery of St Paul in the Kingdom o ...
,
Vortigern Vortigern (; owl, Guorthigirn, ; cy, Gwrtheyrn; ang, Wyrtgeorn; Old Breton: ''Gurdiern'', ''Gurthiern''; gle, Foirtchern; la, Vortigernus, , , etc.), also spelled Vortiger, Vortigan, Voertigern and Vortigen, was a 5th-century warlord ...
,
King of the Britons The title King of the Britons ( cy, Brenin y Brythoniaid, la, Rex Britannorum) was used (often retrospectively) to refer to the most powerful ruler among the Celtic Britons, both before and after the period of Roman Britain up until the Norma ...
, was under attack from other tribes and called for assistance. Among those who came were the
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyder, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Germanic people, Germanic tribes who settled in Great Britain after the end of Roman rule in Britain, departure of the Roman Empire, Romans. According to Bede ...
Hengist and Horsa Hengist and Horsa are Germanic peoples, Germanic brothers said to have led the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in their invasion of Great Britain, Britain in the 5th century. Tradition lists Hengist as the first of the Jutish kings of Kingdom of Kent ...

Hengist and Horsa
; Vortigern is said to have rewarded them with the Isle of Thanet in return for their services. As the following extract from the ''
Historia Brittonum ''The History of the Britons'' ( la, Historia Brittonum) is a purported history of the indigenous British (Britons (historical), Brittonic) people that was written around 828 and survives in numerous recensions that date from after the 11th centu ...
'' (first written sometime shortly after 833) testifies: This story, however, is an example of non-historical founding myths, though one constructed with political objectives in mind. In reality, it appears to have been settled by
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyder, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Germanic people, Germanic tribes who settled in Great Britain after the end of Roman rule in Britain, departure of the Roman Empire, Romans. According to Bede ...
under
Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Goths within the Roman Empire in late antiquity, or what is kno ...
authority between 476-517 AD,though they may have been present earlier as
Foederati ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty, known as ''foedus'', with Rome. During the Roman Republic, the term identified the ''socii'', but during the Roman Empire, it was used to describe foreign stat ...
. These were followed by
Ingaevones The Ingaevones were a Germanic peoples, West Germanic cultural group living in the Northern Germania along the North Sea coast in the areas of Jutland, Holstein, and Frisia in classical antiquity. Tribes in this area included the Angles, Frisii ...
in the sixth century. Throughout this time the Isle remained an island. The Wantsum Channel allowed ships to sail between the mainland and the island in calm waters. Gradually this silted up, and the last ship sailed through the Channel in 1672. In 597
Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (early 6th century – probably 26 May 604) was a monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the Christianity in Anglo-Saxon ...
is said, by
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery of St Paul in the Kingdom o ...
, to have landed with 40 men at Ebbsfleet, in the parish of
Minster-in-Thanet Minster, also known as Minster-in-Thanet, is a village and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in the Thanet District, Thanet District of Kent, England. It is the site of Minster in Thanet Priory. The village is west of Ramsgate (which is t ...
, before founding Britain's second
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
monastery in
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour. The Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbish ...
(the first was founded fifty years earlier by
Columba Columba or Colmcille; gd, Calum Cille; gv, Colum Keeilley; non, Kolban or at least partly reinterpreted as (7 December 521 – 9 June 597 AD) was an Gaelic Ireland, Irish abbot and missionary evangelist credited with spreading Christianity ...
on Eileach an Naoimh in the
Hebrides The Hebrides (; gd, Innse Gall, ; non, Suðreyjar, "southern isles") are an archipelago off the west coast of the Scottish mainland. The islands fall into two main groups, based on their proximity to the mainland: the Inner Hebrides, Inner a ...
): a cross marks the spot. Following the raids on the
Isle of Sheppey The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, England, neighbouring the Thames Estuary, centred from central London. It has an area of . The island forms part of the districts of England, local government district of Borough ...
, Thanet became a regular target for
Viking Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and se ...
attacks, its vulnerable coastal monasteries providing convenient targets for the invaders. By 851 and again in 854, the Vikings overwintered in Thanet and continued their raids in spring. Thanet's monasteries were subsequently used by the Danes as feasting halls or general headquarters. In 865, the
Great Heathen Army The Great Heathen Army,; da, Store Hedenske Hær also known as the Viking Great Army,Hadley. "The Winter Camp of the Viking Great Army, AD 872–3, Torksey, Lincolnshire", ''Antiquaries Journal''. 96, pp. 23–67 was a coalition of Scandin ...
encamped in Thanet and was promised by the people of Kent
danegeld Danegeld (; "Danish tax", literally "Dane yield" or tribute) was a tax raised to pay tribute or Protection racket, protection money to the Viking raiders to save a land from being ravaged. It was called the ''geld'' or ''gafol'' in eleventh-ce ...
in exchange for peace. Regardless, the Vikings did not abide by this agreement and proceeded to rampage across eastern Kent. By 1334–1335 Thanet had the highest population density in Kent according to King Edward III's lay subsidy rolls. Margate is mentioned in 1349, in a dispute about the land of Westgate Manor. Thanet acted as a granary for
Calais Calais ( , , traditionally , ) is a port city in the Pas-de-Calais Departments of France, department, of which it is a Subprefectures in France, subprefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's Pref ...
and documents towards the end of that century refer to turreted walls beneath the cliffs needing maintenance.
Coastal erosion Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment and rocks along the coastline due to the action of Wind wave, waves, Ocean current, currents, tides, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, or other impact ...
has long since destroyed these structures.


Governance

Margate was incorporated as a
municipal borough Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002. Broadly similar structures existed in S ...
in 1857 and Ramsgate in 1884. Broadstairs and St Peter's Urban District and the Isle of Thanet Rural District covered the rest of the island from 1894 until 1974. By 1974, however, all these boroughs and districts had been abolished, and since that year the Isle of Thanet has formed the major part of the
District A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or county, counties, several municipality, municipa ...
of Thanet.


Geology

The Isle is formed almost wholly of
chalk Chalk is a soft, white, permeability (Earth sciences), porous, sedimentary rock, sedimentary carbonate rock. It is a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite and originally formed deep under the sea by the compression of microscopic pl ...
, a soft pure white
limestone Limestone (calcium carbonate ) is a type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material Lime_(material), lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different Polymorphis ...
of
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period that lasted from about 145 to 66 mya (unit), million years ago (Mya). It is the third and final period of the Mesozoic Era (geology), Era, as well as the longest. At around 79 million years, it is the long ...
age, specifically the Margate Chalk Member (Santonian to Campanian) traditionally referred to simply as the 'Margate Chalk', and sometimes as the ‘Margate Member’. It is a sub-division of the Newhaven Chalk Formation. Beneath this and outcropping around the margins of the Isle is the Seaford Chalk Formation which contains relatively more flint nodules and seams. It has also been referred to as the ‘Broadstairs Member’. The Seaford Chalk is of Coniacian to
Santonian The Santonian is an age in the geologic timescale The geologic time scale, or geological time scale, (GTS) is a representation of time based on the Geologic record, rock record of Earth. It is a system of chronological dating that uses chr ...
age whilst the Margate Chalk is of Santonian to
Campanian The Campanian is the fifth of six age (geology), ages of the Late Cretaceous epoch (geology), Epoch on the geologic timescale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). In chronostratigraphy, it is the fifth of six stage (stratigraphy ...
age. Both were traditionally referred to the ‘Upper Chalk’ but are now classed as parts of the ‘White Chalk Subgroup’ as part of the broader
Chalk Group The Chalk Group (often just called the Chalk) is the lithostratigraphy, lithostratigraphic unit (a certain number of Stratum, rock strata) which contains the Upper Cretaceous limestone succession in southern and eastern England. The same or simila ...
. Overlying the chalk both within the Wantsum Channel and in patches on the surface of the Isle itself are the 100 m thick
sand Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided mineral particles. Sand has various compositions but is defined by its grain size. Sand grains are smaller than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer to a soil texture, textur ...
s,
silt Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay and composed mostly of broken grains of quartz. Silt may occur as a soil (often mixed with sand or clay) or as sediment mixed in suspension (chemistry), suspension with water. Silt usually ...
s and
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals (hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates, e.g. kaolin, aluminium, Al2Silicon, Si2Oxygen, O5(hydroxide, OH)4). Clays develop plasticity (physics), plasticity when wet, du ...
s of the
Palaeogene The Paleogene ( ; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period that la ...
age Thanet Formation (formerly the Thanet Beds). The area gives its name to the internationally recognised
Thanetian The Thanetian is, in the International Commission on Stratigraphy, ICS Geologic timescale, the latest age (geology), age or uppermost stage (stratigraphy), stratigraphic stage of the Paleocene epoch (geology), Epoch or series (stratigraphy), Serie ...
, descriptive of rocks of this particular part of the
Palaeocene The Paleocene, ( ) or Palaeocene, is a geological epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 66 to 56 mya (unit), million years ago (mya). It is the first epoch of the Paleogene Period (geology), Period in the modern Cenozoic Era (geology), E ...
throughout the world. Brickearth
head A head is the part of an organism which usually includes the ears, brain, forehead, cheeks, chin, eyes, nose, and mouth, each of which aid in various sensory functions such as visual perception, sight, hearing, olfaction, smell, and taste. Some ...
deposits lie within many of the shallow chalk valleys and across some areas of flatter ground within the Isle.


Geography

The Isle of Thanet first came into being when sea levels rose after the last glacial period, around 5000 BC. The
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
encroached on the land which is now the estuary of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and th ...
, and southwards to reach the higher land of the
North Downs The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Iri ...
, leaving behind an island composed of chalk in its wake. Eventually the sea broke through river valleys in the North Downs to the south (Middle Chalk) and finally today's
English Channel The English Channel, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" ( Cotentinais) or ( Jèrriais), ( Guernésiais), "The Channel"; br, Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; cy, Môr Udd, "Lord's Sea"; kw, Mor Bretannek, "British Sea"; nl, Het Ka ...
was opened up. The proto- River Stour then formed part of the intervening water, with a new tributary, the River Wantsum, completing it; it became known as the Wantsum Channel. The Wantsum Channel gradually narrowed as pebble beaches built up at the southern end of the strait, blocking silt coming down the Stour.
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery of St Paul in the Kingdom o ...
, in the 8th century, said that the Channel was then three
furlong A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and United States customary units equal to one eighth of a mile, equivalent to 660 feet, 220 yards, 40 rods, 10 chains or approximately 201 metre The metre (British English, Br ...
s wide (). A map of 1414 showed a ferry crossing at Sarre. The first bridge over the channel was built there in 1485. Until the mid 18th century there was a ferry between
Sandwich A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. The sandwich began as a po ...
and the island; in 1755 a wooden drawbridge was built, and the ferry was closed. Today the Isle is an island no longer and the erstwhile channel is now flat marshland criss-crossed by drainage ditches. Meanwhile, the exposed chalk cliffs are gradually being worn down by the sea, particularly at the
North Foreland North Foreland is a chalk headland on the Kent coast of southeast England, specifically in Broadstairs. With the rest of Broadstairs and part of Ramsgate it is the eastern side of Kent's largest peninsula, the Isle of Thanet. It presents a bo ...
. Much else of the coast is a built-up area. The Wantsum area is still liable to flooding: during the
North Sea flood of 1953 The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm surge that struck the Netherlands, north-west Belgium, England and Scotland. Most sea defences facing the surge were overwhelmed, causing extensive flooding. The storm and flo ...
Thanet was cut off for a few days, but the sea defences have been strengthened since then. The soil and equable climate of the Isle have always encouraged arable farming. Today there are still farms inland, but the coast is nearly all covered in settlements, most of which have come into being in the 19th and 20th centuries. As the popularity of the
seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accreditation based on the satisfaction of certain requirements, suc ...
grew, so did that of the Isle of Thanet. At first the holidaymakers came by boat from London; after the coming of the railways in the mid-1840s, that became the preferred mode of transport. The population grew, as the following population statistics show:


Landmarks

The principal landmarks on the Isle are the North Foreland, and all the bays around the coastline, the principal ones of which are Minnis Bay, Palm Bay,
Botany Bay Botany Bay (Dharawal language, Dharawal: ''Kamay''), an open oceanic embayment, is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, south of the Sydney central business district. Its source is the confluence of the Georges River at Taren Point ...
, Joss Bay, and Pegwell Bay: the latter being part of the estuary of the River Stour. In 2007, seven of those beaches met stringent quality standards and were awarded as
Blue Flag beach The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE, which is a not-for-profit non-gov ...
es: Minnis Bay, Botany Bay (Broadstairs), Margate Main Sands, St Mildreds Bay (Westgate), Stone Bay (Broadstairs), West Bay (Westgate), and Westbrook Bay. In 2008, this had risen to 10 beaches.


Transport

The rail connections are via the
Chatham Main Line The Chatham Main Line is a railway line in England that links London Victoria station, London VictoriaQuail Map 5 – England South ages 2–13Sept 2002 (Retrieved 14 December 2011) and Dover Priory railway station, Dover Priory / Ramsgate ...
through Margate to Ramsgate, and the Ashford to Ramsgate (via Canterbury West) Line. A high-speed rail link from London to Thanet began in December 2009, and forms part of the UK's first true high-speed commuter service, according to the South Eastern Railway Company. The Thanet Loop bus service connects Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs. Main road links are the A28, which brings traffic from Canterbury and Ashford; and the A299, north coast route. The Thanet Coastal Path skirts the coast. There is an airport at Manston, formerly
RAF Manston Royal Air Force Manston or more simply RAF Manston is a former Royal Air Force Royal Air Force station, station located in the north-east of Kent, at on the Isle of Thanet from 1916 until 1996. The site was split between a commercial airport K ...
, but since renamed by its commercial operators as Manston Airport. The airport is no longer in operation. Ferry services (predominantly freight and car with passengers) were operated by Transeuropa Ferries to
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, by ...
from the
Port of Ramsgate The Port of Ramsgate (also known as Port Ramsgate, Ramsgate Harbour, and Royal Harbour, Ramsgate) is a harbour A harbor (American English), harbour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling ...
but ceased in 2013. A tramway was once operated by the Isle of Thanet Electric Tramways and Lighting Company from Westbrook to Ramsgate from 1901 to 1937. The tramway had a narrow gauge of .


Cultural references

* The Isle of Thanet is mentioned in the 1977
Ian Dury Ian Robins Dury (12 May 1942 27 March 2000) was a British singer, songwriter and actor who rose to fame during the late 1970s, during the punk rock, punk and new wave music, new wave era of rock music. He was the lead singer and lyricist of The ...
song " Billericay Dickie": "I'd rendezvous with Janet, quite near the Isle of Thanet, she looked more like a gannet, she wasn't half a prannet". * It is also mentioned in the 2002 song "She's in Broadstairs" by Half Man Half Biscuit on their album '' Cammell Laird Social Club'': "I'm on another planet, She's on the Isle of Thanet".


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Isle Of Thanet Thanet Thanet History of Kent Ancient Greek geography of Britain