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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.386522, 0.544338

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San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Gillingham, town and port, unitary authority of Medway, geographic and historic county of Kent, southeastern England. It is on the River Medway and is one of the three main communities (along with Chatham and Rochester) that are often called the “Medway Towns.”

Before the establishment of the royal dockyard at nearby Chatham, a portion of the town (known as Grench) was a dependency of Hastings, one of the Cinque Ports.

Gillingham was incorporated in 1903 and in 1921 was extended to include Rainham.

Many of the inhabitants were employed in the royal dockyard (the greater part of which lay within the borough) until it closed in 1984.

For a picture see

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Before and after the Norman Conquest, Gillingham was a possession of the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the 12th Century, the Archbishop built a Palace, with the precinct covering around 20 acres. St. Mary's church - situated in the precinct – acted as the Palace's chapel.

Henry VIII suppressed the Palace in the 16th century.

St. Mary Magdalene's Parish Church was connected with the Navy through the centuries, and for many years the tower acted as a navigational aid for ships sailing the Medway estuary by flying a White Ensign by day and shone a light on the tower by night. In WWII navigational aids improved, so the church ceased the practice.

St. Mary Magdalene is a Norman church built in the 13th century, with the addition of the tower in the 15th century. Further additions and extensions occurred during the 14th century. In 1700, Philip Wightman cast and hung a ring of five bells, ...

By the 14th Century, Gillingham received permission to hold an annual fair and weekly market.

Highlights of the Kent Time Line:
602 Canterbury Cathedral founded
604 Diocese of Rochester created
1066 William defeats Harold at Hastings
1066 Dover castle built
1087 Timber walls at Rochester Castle replaced by stone
1127 Rochester Castle keep built
1155 – 6 Two charters giving rights to the Cinque Ports
1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket murdered at Canterbury
1180 Keep and curtain walls built at Dover Castle
1348 – 9 Black Death, possibly half the population of Kent dies
1392 The first stone bridge at Rochester
1539 – 44 Construction of Henry VIII castles (Chatham)
1549 Mast Pond Gillingham
1550 All ships laid up at Gillingham
1559 Upnor castle built
1567 Anchorage renamed Chatham
1570 Chatham Dockyard at Sunne Hard
1635 First demand for the ‘Ship Money’
1642 Start of the First Civil War
1643 Royalist Rising in West Kent.
1644 County Committee based at Aylesford
1646 County Committee based at Maidstone
1647 Christmas cancelled. Riots in Canterbury
1648 Royalist Rising in Kent. Battle of Maidstone
1649 Execution of Charles I
1660 The Restoration Charles II lands at Dover
1665 Navy dockyard laid out at Sheerness
1667 Dutch fleet in the Medway and Thames
1698 Shepherd Neame Brewery opened

For more, including lots of articles, see

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


  • Oct