In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Minster like this:
MINSTER, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Thanet district, Kent. The village stands in the Isle of Thanet, on the Canterbury and Ramsgate branch of the Southeastern railway, at the junction of the line to Deal, 1 mile N of the river Stour, and 4 W of Ramsgate; was once a market-town; and has a railway station with telegraph, a post office under Ramsgate, and a fair on PalmMonday. The parish contains also Brook and Wayborough; and comprises 5,570 acres of land, and 600 of water. Real property, £13,516. ...
Pop. in 1851,1,502; in 1861,1,588. Houses, 251. The property is not much divided. The manor belongs to the Marquis of Conyngham, and gives him the title of Baron. A nunnery was founded here, in 670, by Domneva, niece of Egbert, King of Kent; was placed under his daughter Mildred as abbess over 70 nuns; was repeatedly plundered and sacked by the Danes, particularly in 980 and 1011; ceased, at the latter date, to be occupied as a nunnery; and passed, with its property, to the monks of Canterbury. Minster Court, or the Abbey, now the seat of John Swinford, Esq., occupies the site of the old manorhouse, in which the monks resided who had charge of the property; retains some portions of the old building, particularly one of the 12th century; and long had connected with it the spicarium or great barn, 352 feet by 47, which was destroyed by lightning in 1700. Most of the land is flat, and bears the name of Minster Level; but part is hilly, and commands very fine views, both landward and seaward. There are numerous orchards and gardens. Ebbs-Fleet, in the SE, was the landingplace of Hengist and Horsa. Roman coins were found, about 1640, at Mount Pleasant. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £740. * Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is large and interesting; comprises nave, transept's, and choir, with tower and spire; is early Norman in the W end, late Norman in the nave, and early English in the transepts and the choir; has a triplet E window, with clustered shafts between the lights, and a Norman door with tympanum within the tower; and contains 18 miserere stalls, a very ancient iron-bound chest, an arched tomb of Edile de Thorne, and traces of several brasses. A cross originally surmounted the spire; but was removed in 1647 by "Blue Dick, ''the noted Canterbury fanatic. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a national school, and charities £79. The workhouse for Thanet district also is here; and, at the census of 1861, had 411 inmates. Lewis, the historian of Thanet, Wharton the author of "Anglia Sacra, ''and the younger Casaubon were vicars.The sub-district contains five other parishes. Acres, 17,063. Pop., 3,836. Houses, 750.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Minster has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Canterbury. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Minster and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Minster, in Canterbury and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 18th April 2014
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