Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Queenborough

Queenborough was celebrating something yesterday but I didn't like to show my ignorance- and proclaim my outsider status- by asking what it was. The high street had been closed to traffic and people were selling bric-a-brac on makeshift stall outside their houses; we bought two second-hand soft toys and a dolls house. There was a flower festival inside the church, And people were walking around the streets in 17th century costume, interacting with the public. My best guess is they were celebrating (if that's the right word) the anniversary of the Dutch raid on the Medway in 1667. I'm saying that because a lot of the buildings were flying tricolours and they weren't the French one.

We hadn't gone because of the celebration (whatever it was) but because we like going places we've never been before. Queenborough had a prosperous past as a port at the juncture of three rivers- Thames, Medway and Swale- and was the site of a magnificent round castle, built by Edward III for Queen Philippa and raised to the ground- so nothing visible remains- by Oliver Cromwell. The High Street is mainly 18th century and opens - or would if there weren't a nasty concrete sea wall blocking the view- onto the mud flats and waters of the Thames Estuary. We came home and- as we usually do when we've been somewhere we've liked- looked at house prices.

This is Queenborough Hard. The 17th century-type ship is flying the Jolly Roger and the Dutch tricolor. It may be a fixture or it may be part of the celebrations.



Here's Queenborough's early 18th century Guildhall.



And here's the Creek. Remember it was low tide on a very hot day. Edward and Philippa's castle once towered over this view- deterring foreign invaders and local runagates- one of England's great lost buildings. Channel 4's Time Team dug up the foundations in 2005 and were greatly impressed.

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