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St. Peter's Village - a Brief History

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Researched and written by Bob.
All photographs - Bob.

The village of St. Peter's began life as a pagan Jutish settlement.
The main occupation of villagers was farming although, during periods of the 18th and 19th centuries, many supplemented their income by branching out into smuggling - the area is networked by tunnels and caves used for this purpose.
From the middle of the 17th century, the Mockett family formed an important part of village life when Richard Mockett bought St. Peter's Farm next-door to the church, part of this land still survives today as the Village Green.

The Church of St. Peter the Apostle in Thanet (pictured below)
The Vestry governed both the St. Peter's area and that of Broadstairs up until 1856 when Broadstairs became a separate parish.
A stone-built church is known to have existed on this site since 1070 and prior to this, a wooden chapel. During its many years, the current building has undergone various enlargements, alterations, additions and renovations. The castellated tower is believed to be the result of works carried out in the 15th century and the clock-face dates from 1802 although the original internal workings have since been replaced.

The earliest legible gravestone, in what is one of England's longest graveyards, is that of William Norwood who died in May,1623.

St. Peter's Church St. Peter's Church

Today, the church still exercises its entitlement to fly the "White Ensign", a recognition of the church tower's former role as a Royal Navy signalling station during the Napoleonic Wars (pictured right).

To the right of the church is the Church Hall which was built in 1971-2 and was formally opened by the, now late, Prime Minister Edward Heath who was born and bred in St. Peter's.
I myself, as a child, was present at the stone laying ceremony (pictured right).
Church Tower Flagpole

Foundation Stone

Mockett's Wood (pictured below)
Originally planted in the early 1900's by the Mockett family behind their home in Church Street.
This area of woodland is now a public area and can be accessed by one of several entrances, the one easiest to find - behind the Co-op.
"The Friends of Mockett's Wood", a group of volunteers formed in 1994, now manage this woodland.
The Friends of Mockett's Wood Website

Mockett's Wood Mockett's Wood

The Village Sign
A plaque on the sign reads: "Following a speech by His Royal Highness The Duke of York at the Royal Academy in 1920 on the revival of village signs, the Daily Mail organised a Village Signs competition and exhibition. Offering a total of 2200 in prizes. Ten awards were made and the design from which this sign was constructed secured First Prize 1000".
The designer was a Ramsgate resident, Mr. P. Matthews.

The sign was originally erected against the boundary wall, between St. Peter's Church and the Baptist Church but was removed during WWII so as not to assist the enemy if they invaded.
After the war, it first moved across the road, near to the Red Lion public-house and again in the 1970's to the Village Green where it stands today.
St. Peter's Village Sign

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