History of Herne Bay

  • A hundred years ago clocktower3

    One hundred years ago Herne Bay was a buzzing seaside town and the place everyone wanted to visit.  The brand new Kings Hall was about to be opened in July by Queen Victoria's daughter.  There were already three cinemas, The Grand, The Paragon and the Bijou and live entertainment and theatre at th...

  • Murder most foul cartoon by Peter Gander

    On 13 July 1912, George Smith murdered his wife Bessie while she was taking a bath at their home in Herne Bay.  He wanted to get his hands on his wife's inheritance and for a while he almost got away with it.  After the murder George returned the bath to the shop (Adolphus Hill in the High Street)...

  • Diamond Queens IMG_1090

    Queen Elizabeth II will be only the second British monarch to celebrate sixty years on the throne.  The last time we had a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria’s in 1897.  On that occasion, Herne Bay’s celebrations involved the whole town, as this extract from the Kentish Gazette illustrates: ...

  • Herne Bay Historical Records Society historicalrecordssocietylogo

    The Herne Bay Historical Records Society celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.  The Society was formed in 1932 as the Herne Bay Records Society and now it is the principal custodian of the most important archive of papers and photographs relating to the history of Herne Bay, Herne, Hampton and...

  • Duchamp Celebration - Herne Bay, Aug 2013 250px-AAA_reynkay_5747_macelduchamp

    In summer 1913, French artist Marcel Duchamp spent a number of weeks in Herne Bay as a chaperone to his younger sister Yvonne, who was taking a course in English at Lynton College. 1913 was a significant year in Duchamp’s development as an artist and may be said to have marked a turning point in h...

  • A Short History of Herne Bay thomas telford

    A Short History of Herne Bay Until the end of the 18th Century, Herne Bay was no more than a scattering of cottages and inns, and the only people living here were fisherman, smugglers and a few agricultural labourers. There wasn’t even a proper road to the coast from Herne or Canterbury until i...

  • Literary Herne Bay 400px-Reynolds_Miscellany_v1_n1

    During Herne Bay’s years as a popular Victorian seaside destination, a number of authors visited the town and included their memories of Herne Bay in their published work. Some stayed longer than others. George W.M. Reynolds (1814-1879) George Reynolds was a prolific writer of sensationa...

  • The Brides in the Bath bridesinbath thumb

    One hundred years ago this year, Herne Bay was the scene of a notorious Edwardian murder which became national front page news and led to a sensational trial at the Old Bailey. On 13 July 1912, Bessie Williams (above) was found dead in her bath at Number 80 the High Street. (After the street ...

  • The Ship Inn and Smugglers Stories Kent, Herne Bay, The Old Ship Inn and Marine Parade

    The town of Herne Bay began to grow up in the 1830s, after the first pier was built.  Before this time, there wasn’t very much here except a few cottages and inns.  The whole coast had been a paradise for local smuggling gangs as the small inlets and beaches made their trade easy.  Although mos...