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material. At Stone Lees the remains of a beach are visible, but it extends nearly to Stonar, and (where absent) it is evidently owing to the encroachments of the winding mouth of the river. Nearer Stonar the beach may be seen to have been cut through at every bend of the river.

If my reasons are cogent, and I believe they are, they prove firstly, that the most probable place where St. Augustine landed was at Stonar; secondly, that if it were near Minster the way thither must have been round between Stonar and Sandwich; thirdly, it could not possibly have been near where the present monument is erected to commemorate the event; and fourthly, the map which appeared in Battely's Antiquitates Rutupine, and has been copied into Hasted, gives a most erroneous notion of the state of the Rutupian port.


1. Copy of Battely's and Hasted's Maps, with red dots shewing where Roman remains have been met with.

2. Map of Thanet and neighbouring parts of Kent, from Ordnance Map of 1892, with parts of the Stonar beach restored from the fragmentary portion, with the Ordnance datum levels, and shewing the river and sea banks in red ink.




VERY different is the history of Minster Church from that of Cranbrook, where the Society met in 1895. As I then endeavoured to shew, Cranbrook Church could only claim a possible existence from the middle of the twelfth century (say 750 years ago), whereas this Minster carries us back over nearly twice that period. At the time when the Denes of the Weald were still night by night echoing the growl of the wolf and the grunt of the wild boar, as they roamed over what then was a "desart and a waste," here the walls of a Nunnery choir were already resounding with the voices of high-born ladies in chant and psalm.

The very name of its Royal Foundress and Patron Saint carries us back to the days of the Saxon Heptarchy. In that rude age, when life and property were alike of precarious tenure, when a royal or a noble widow became an object of desire to any unscrupulous baron, their only security seemed to lie in consigning themselves to the protection of the Church, and dedicating themselves to the service of God. Out of this state of society arose the prevailing custom of religious endowment and self-dedication, in which that age abounded. Thus it came that Ethelberga, the daughter of Ethelbert and Bertha, Augustine's royal converts, on the death of her husband Edwin of Northumbria, made for herself a sanctuary at Lyminge, an example soon after followed

* Paper read during the Archæological Congress of 1896.

by that goodly sisterhood, the three daughters of Anna, King of East Anglia; first of whom, Ethelfrida, and then Wyhtburga, giving preference in filial love to their father's kingdom, founded monasteries; the one at Ely, with which her name is indelibly connected, the other at Dereham, in Norfolk; while Sexburga,* on the death of her husband Ercombyrt, also King of Kent, and grandson of Ethelbert, devoted her widowhood and her wealth to promote the glory and the worship of God, by founding, on a site which her son Egbert had given her, a Monastery, or Nunnery, where devout ladies might find with her refuge from the snares and the perils of that turbulent and licentious age.† The date generally assigned to the pious dedication of this building was about 675. Here Sexburga became the first Prioress; but four years after, on the death of her sister Ethelfrida, she moved from Sheppey to take her place at

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Egbert (or Ecbert), King of Kent A.D. 664; ob. A.D. 675.

+ The character of this royal widow is thus drawn by Johannes Bromton (Decem Scriptores, p. 741): "Ista insignis regina ita crebro instinctu virum suum regem Ercombertum excitabat quod omnia idola quæ sub prioribus regibus adhuc erant residua ab universo regno suo cum omni ritu paganissimo funditus exterminavit, et monasteria ampliavit." Two lives of this eminent Abbess are preserved among the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum (Caligula A, viii., f. 93 and 104), from the former of which this short extract may be taken: "Nemo illa inter delicias concinencior: nemo in Regis fastu humilior: nec spiritu pauperior: unde tanto nec est in suprema arce sublimior quanto fuit in terrena Deo subjectior." After which follows a further description of the graces of her form being as conspicuous as those of her mind.





shore-drift been directed more and more westward and northward, as we find in each subsequent map. Moreover we find outside this ancient beach that the bay that existed had been in some places so far silted-up that the mud-flats had been covered with grass. It seems that from time to time extra high tides and storms had in places swept over the beach, and at or about the mouth of the river there had been considerable removal of ancient beach and mud-flat so as to endanger the level or marsh-land from Canterbury to the sea. Such appears to have been the great inundation in A.D. 1364. It appears probable that soon after this artificial walls were erected to exclude the sea near the place called Hippelesflete, and beyond, and a bank called the boarded groin may have been erected. It was this place that Lewis first pointed out as the position of Ebbsfleet.

Seeing that either the name of Ebbsflete, or Hippelsflete, is recorded as existing on the properties of the monks of St. Augustine at Stonar, between the latter place and Cliffsend, I have endeavoured to trace out the connection of this flete with the Wantsum Estuary. I may premise that the wall described as the Ebbsfleet wall in Thanet is described in the books of the Commissioners of Sewers as in the Stone Lees valley, a name at once suggestive of the beach which I And I have mentioned as formerly connected with Stonar. learn from Mr. K. H. Wilkie, who has kindly furnished me with the data from the Book of Sewers, that when the most distant target was put down some years ago at the Cliffsend rifle range, in digging for a foundation beach-stones were found twelve feet beneath the mud of the Bay. The position of the stones exactly coincides with an imaginary line connecting the present Stonar beach with the cliffs at Cliffsend, where I had traced the ancient beach, and inside this line the beach seems to have been swept away in part, especially near where the "boarded groin" was erected. In the Commission of Sewers' Books, 1605, "we find Ebbsfleet wall next the cliffs of Thanet, called the groyne, in very dangerous condition to be repaired as heretofore by the Stone Lees Valley." In 1652 we find in the same books: "New sluice made through the groyne; no longer to be scotted to Minster." So it seems

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