In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Minster in Sheppey like this:
MINSTER-IN-SHEPPEY, a village, a parish, and a sub-district in Sheppey district, Kent. The village stands on the N coast of the Isle of Sheppey, opposite the Nore, 3 miles E by N of Queenborough r. station; and has a post office, of the name of Minster, under Sittingbourne. The parish contains also the town of Sheerness, and is studded with hamlets and habitations..Acres, 11,035; of which 2,845 are water. Real property, £37,668; of which £250 are in fisheries. Pop. in 1851, 1 1,082; in 1861,15,964. ...
Houses, 2,231. The increase of pop. arose mainly from the establishment of a steamengine factory, and other works, in the royal dockyard of Sheerness; and so many as 12,015 of the pop. in 1861 were in the town of Sheerness, -1,532 on board vessels, 1,005 in Sheerness barracks, and 73 in the military hospital. A nunnery was founded at Minster, in 675, by Sexburga, widow of Ercombert, king of Jent; was endowed with lands for the maintenance of 77 nuns; underwent desolation by the Danes; was restored, for a colony of Benedictine nuns, in 1130, by Archbishop Corboil; had, at the dissolution, a prioress and 10 nuns; went then to Sir Thomas Cheney; and is now represented only by the church, and by the gate-house, the latter of comparatively late architecture. The general surface is a rich expanse of corn and pasture land, with considerable aggregate of market-gardens; and the coast is bounded by high cliffs, has several coast-guard stations, and commands very fine views, both landward and over the estuary of the Thames. An oyster fishery extends in front along a bank called Cheney Rock; and is very productive and celebrated. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £169.* Patron, James Whitchurch, Esq. The church is that of the ancient nunnery; consists of nave, aisles, chapel, and chancel, with a turreted tower; includes Norman portions; and contains the tomb of a Knight Templar, said to be that of Sir Robert de Shurland, and several other tombs and brasses. The p. cnracy of Sheerness is a separate benefice. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Roman Catholics, national schools at both Minster and Sheerness, and an endowed school with £19 a year. The workhouse of Sheppey district also is here; and, at the census of 1861, had 107 inmates.The sub-district contains likewise the parish of Queenborough. Acres, 11,535. Pop., 16,937. Houses, 2,388.
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 in Sheppey has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Swale. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Minster in Sheppey and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Minster in Sheppey, in Swale and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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