The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.399205, 0.834960


The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, in the Thames Estuary, some 46 miles (74 km) to the east of London. It has an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). Sheppey is derived from the ancient Saxon “Sceapige”, meaning isle of sheep, and even today the extensive marshes which make up a considerable proportion of the island provide grazing for large flocks of sheep.

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San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Isle of Sheppey, called by the Saxons as SCEAPIGE ‘Sheep Island’ is 9 miles long and 4 miles wide, situated in the Thames Estuary at the mouth of the Medway.

It’s 42 miles from central London, separated from the rest of the county of Kent by a narrow arm of the sea, called the Swale.

Sheppey, once mainly known for sheep-rearing as its name implies, falls into two regions – the northern half, built up and developed, which includes the towns of Sheerness, Minster, Queenborough and Leysdown, and the southern part, mainly consisting of marshes and the occasional tiny hamlet.

The history of the Isle of Sheppey dates back to the Bronze Age, through to the Iron Age and the Romans until they left around 400 AD.

Around 675 the Anglo Saxon queen, Seaxburga founded a monastery for 77 nuns and built Minster Abbey.

Between 1360 and 1370, Holy Trinity Church was built as part of a new model town set out for Edward III by the King's master mason who constructed Queenborough Castle between 1360 and 1368 overlooking the Swale at the same time

Throughout history, Kings and Queens visited including Henry VIII and his daughter Queen Elizabeth.

Queenborough was at the height of its prosperity in Queen Elizabeth's reign when the town was a major shipping port of wool. It also had connections with Sir Francis Drake, Adm. Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.

The Kingsferry Bridge was first built in 1860, thus eliminating the need for ferries. Over time, there have been 4 bridges built over the Swale.

Sheerness is a commercial port and main town of the Isle of Sheppey and owes much to its origins to being a Royal Naval dockyard town. Henry VIII, requiring the River Medway as an anchorage for his navy, ordered that the mouth of the river should be protected by a small fort.
Garrison Fort was built in 1545.

SPOILER: Samuel Pepys established the Royal Navy Dockyard there in the 17th century, where warships were stocked and repaired. The area immediately outside the dockyard was occupied by dockyard workers, who built wooden houses and decorated them with Admiralty blue paint illegally acquired from the dockyard.
This area was, and still is, known as Blue Town.

More at https://isleofsheppeyholidayvilla…

It was also near Faversham on the Isle of Sheppey that a fleeing James II was caught by fishermen in December 1688.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Apr