Preston in East Kent, a village on a tidal creek off the Wantsum Channel.

Preston and surrounding area shown on part of Mudge’s map 1801 map of Kent, courtesy of the David Rumsey Map Collection.

Preston, East Kent, is shown above on the Ordnance Surevy’s first published map of Kent in 1801, The County of Kent – map by William Mudge 1801, the first map published by the Ordnance Survey.

I think that the area covered by the Wantsum Channel is essentially the marshes that are indicated so clearly on this map. Searching for Kent’s Wantsum Channel on Historic OS Maps.

This leads to an understanding of Preston as a coastal settlement on the shore of a tidal inlet. Analysing the Environment Agency LiDAR data I have shaded the area at an elevation of less than 2.75 m.

part of Mudge’s 1801 map of Kent flooded up to 2.75 m above OD based on EA LiDAR. Jim Dickson.

It is interesting to note the Grove and Stodmarsh are on a spur of higher land that extends out into the Wantsum Channel at this location. The main creek up to Fordwich, and Canterbury is to the north of this spur. The Creek on the Preston side extends up to Wingham and Wickhambreaux.

Overlaying the water onto a current OSM gives the following.

Preston shore on Open Street Map flooded up to 2.75 m above OD based on EA LiDAR. Jim Dickson.

The side roads, the Forstal and Court Lane both become bridleways or footpaths as they enter the marsh; they are no through roads. 600 years ago this would have been a creek.

View across the marsh from Preston in the direction of Stodmarsh. Jim Dickson.

The Church of St Mildred is well worth a visit. I understand it to be largely 13 th century, but built on a Saxon site. A Victorian renovation has added some interesting dorma-style windows.

St Midlred’s Church, Preston. Jim DIckson.

It is worth reading up on the history of St Mildred, one one-time abbess in Minster, Mildrith – Wikipedia. The Kentish Royal Legend – Wikipedia seems to tell the various Game of Thrones type stories of the founders of these settlements in East Kent.


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