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The History of Sittingbourne

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According to John Clancy

I have purposely headed this item ‘According to …’ rather than the more usual style ‘By …’ because this is exactly what it is, my understanding and perception of the town’s history as I see it now in 2013. I did not write the history of Sittingbourne. I merely gathered together as many references and as much information as I was able to find and from this, offer my interpretation. Most historians’ views tend to change over time as new facts and information emerges and I am no exception. It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle in which you slowly fit the pieces together until a picture starts to emerge.

Most towns and cities evoke an air of permanence, of having been where they are and radically untouched for centuries or even millennia. You have only to look at the different architectural styles of the individual buildings to see this, but would it surprise you to learn that towns and cities are often fluid, shifting their location according to the dictates of time? If, say, a town developed around its market place, a castle or a religious complex and that institution failed for any of a number of reasons, then it would not make sense for the town to remain there. It would need to find a new source of income and the hub of the town would move accordingly. And so it is with Sittingbourne, not that you would think so from first glance.