CANTERBURY HISTORICAL 

& ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY (CHAS)

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Canterbury enjoyed county status, separate from Kent, from the 1500s onwards.  With the coming of county boroughs and setting up of County Councils in 1888, Canterbury was again, amazingly, granted separate county status.  At the time its population of around 25,000 was just half the target threshold of 50,000, and half that of the second smallest county borough.  The reorganisation of 1972 removed this privilege, but the boundaries of Canterbury County survive partially in the form of marker stones.  The seven county stones shown in the photos are located:

 

  • beside the Great Stour near the A2 road bridge (Image 1)

  • facing St Stephen's Fields near the Canterbury West foot tunnel (Hackington Place) (Image 2)

  • between St Stephen's Fields and Hanover Place (Image 3)

  • in Cherry Garden Road (Image 4)

  • in a copse just south of Thannington (Image 5)

  • in an orchard near Merton's Farm in Nackington (Image 6)

  • on the golf course of Canterbury Golf Club off Stodmarsh Road (Image 7)

  • many more are marked on the OS Explorer maps (2½ inches to the mile) but sadly most seem to have been lost - including one at the junction of London Road and Summer Hill, and another in the city cemetery.

 

 

In addition, several markers survive showing boundaries between city parishes, particularly important in their day as these bodies were responsible for the relief of sick and destitute born within each parish (Images 8 to 12):

 

  • The Pound Lane marker, at head height on the corner of a private house not far from the car park entrance, denotes the boundary between Westgate and St Peter's parishes.  Having rescued the stone and prepared a slot for it in the brickwork, workmen have then mounted it upside down!

  • The Radigund bridge stone was already unreadable in Victorian times (it was marked as such on early large scale OS maps), but the OS benchmark arrow survives.  It marked the meeting point of three parishes: St Alphege, St Mary Northgate and St Peter's.

  • The Watling Street example, a small shield, lies on the earlier boundary between the city parishes of St Mary Bredin and St Margaret's.

  • A second Mary Bredin shield is in Cossington Street, above a 'P' parish stone

  • A third Mary Bredin boundary marker, a stone, can be found in St John's Lane

 

There must be more of both county and parish boundary stones out there - do let us know if you find them.

DL

 

DL

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