May 20 – A trip to Ramsgate and Sandwich

King Ethelbert, Queen Bertha and St Augustine

Hello from 1066 Medieval Mosaic

We headed off towards Ramsgate again today and on the way, I noticed an interestingly named geocache called ‘Angry? St Augustine’. Given the number of times St Augustine has appeared in our lives in the last few days we thought we should go and have a look. It was a small fenced off area with a stone cross dedicated to St Augustine, out in the countryside. It is great to come to this place. We have been to St Augustines Church in Ramsgate and St Augustines Abbey in Cambridge and have been learning about him and his mission. King Ethelberht and Queen Bertha are my favourite ancient King and Queen and it gives you pause for thought to think that we might be standing right where they stood too 1500 years ago. This 19th century cross of Saxon design marks what is traditionally thought to have been the site of St Augustine’s landing on the shores of England in AD 597.

This 19th century cross of Saxon design marks what is traditionally thought to have been the site of St Augustine’s landing on the shores of England in AD 597.  According to local legend, under this oak in AD 597 the first meeting was held between King Æthelberht and the monk Augustine, newly arrived from Rome. Augustine had recently landed on the Isle of Thanet, having been sent by Pope Gregory to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity and thereby re-establish the faith in a country in which it had faded with the fall of the Roman Empire. Tradition holds that Ethelberht was converted to Christianity and Augustine baptised him on Whit Sunday in AD 597.

We walked down the Jacobs Ladder steps at Ramsgate to visit the Sailors Church and we picked up a couple of geocaches including the one I got soaked looking for yesterday. It is fine today, thank goodness. I had not been looking in quite the right place as the dates at the church and the dates on the internet are not the same so I ended up with different results for the multi. We visited the information centre and were very interested to see that their Ramsgate brochure marks geocaches on it. That is the first time we have ever seen it. They told about the Viking ship so off we went to have a look. It was an impressive sight and amazing that it had actually sailed in 1946 and was presented by Prince Georg of Denmark in 1955. My Dad remembers seeing it sometime prior to 1968. The cache here caused a few problems as it was so well camouflaged. We ended up finding both the alternative and the main cache.

They told about the Viking ship so off we went to have a look. It was an impressive sight and amazing that it had actually sailed in 1946 and was presented by Prince Georg of Denmark in 1955. My Dad remembers seeing it sometime prior to 1968. The cache here caused a few problems as it was so well camouflaged. We ended up finding both the alternative and the main cache.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugin_(longship)

In the early evening, we found five more caches around Sandwich including an earth cache about the cliff wall at Ramsgate which I found quite difficult for some reason but still interesting. We arrived at St Mary’s church just as a 70th birthday was finishing so we were able to enter and look at the church which is now maintained by the Church Conservation Trust. In it we found a headstone for Solomon Hougham (said Huffam). My great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Amy Wall nee Hougham. I later realised many of the family with this surname were from Sandwich and Ash so we will return sometime to see if we can find burials of more of them. The Hougham family take our family tree right back to William the Conqueror and beyond.

http://hougham-huffam.org/

https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/HOUGHAM

We also called into Woodnesborough on our way home to get yet another church micro. The multi gave us a bit of trouble and we were unable to find one of the headstones. Eventually, I guessed and substituted a number and somewhat to our surprise this approach worked.