Fordwich Town Council

Fordwich Town Council

Welcome to Fordwich

Fordwich Town News

FTN December 2020


FTN October 2020


Where we are today.

Fordwich is, as it has been almost since time immemorial, a small rural town, set on the river Stour just 2 miles down stream from Canterbury. The cluster of houses, church, Town Hall and two pubs represent a glimpse of the continuity and antiquity of English History. Woodland to the North, South and East and meadows and woodland to the West along with the River Stour itself give the setting.

It is not a place without problems. The road network which owes its origins to either the Romans or even the pre-Roman settlers, has become a rat run for people circumnavigating their way around Canterbury to the Isle of Thanet. Roads that have never had to deal with more than cart, horse or pedestrian are being lined with cars that far out number the space available.

Since Town Council meetings resumed by Zoom in May and society has begun to creep out of Lock-down four potential situations have risen; 1.  The change of use of the Old Timberyard on Moat Lane from light industrial to residential – with permission to build up to six houses. 2. The Council has been approached by developers for their opinion of a development of up to 45 houses on a 3.6 hectare site out of the 21 hectare of the Old Nursery or Plantation – the entrance being off the bottom of Well Lane.. 3. The riverbank, the river itself and the area around the Bretts site has seen a great increase in use and abuse. 4. The Bretts estate, we have heard, is planning on closure and there is the possibility of more housing being planned in that area. 5. Slightly further afield in Sturry the A28 bypass as proposed will open the door to up to 1000 houses. 6. Westbere Council is seeking to have the Two Fields site- just across the railway line from Bretts designated as a ‘Village Green’.

The Fordwich Town Council considers that the time is now right to bring these matters to the attention of the population of Fordwich and to seek as wide a range of opinions as possible.

Having met with the developers of the of the Old Nursery site the Town Councillors discussed the matter and agreed to oppose any development on the site on the following grounds;

  1. it was not in the Canterbury City Council Local Plan dated 2017.
  2. When the site first came on to the market in 2019 the Council was told that any development on that site would not receive the Council’s backing because it is not in the Local plan and is in a Conservation area.
  3. the practical problems of developing the site – access, drainage etc. would make it unfeasible.
  4. A development of 45 houses so far off any connection to sustainable transport – bus services and trains – would bring up to 90 more cars onto the road and work contrary to Canterbury City Council’s Climate Change Emergency planning guidelines.
  5. The significant potential for negative ecological impact, given that for over 15 years, the site has become a natural wildlife haven for flora and fauna as well as insects, reptiles, animals and birds.

Fordwich Town’s next steps:

  1. The Town Council wished to bring these challenges to the attention of the Town’s population. What do you think ?
  2. The Town Council’s view is that we should be doing two things:
  1. Researching and preparing our arguments to oppose any planning application for housing on the Old Nursery site. The Town Council needs to provide some feedback to the developers by mid-September and so we wish to hear from residents
  2. Thinking about what the Town should be like in 10 or 20 years time, and particularly how to enhance the strengths and manage the current and growing challenges, particularly of land use, traffic flows, parking, litter and antisocial behaviour.

To these ends, we would welcome your thought and ideas, and particularly from any residents of the Town with some skills and/or experience in ecology, transport, development, fund raising, etc

Please respond via email to: or letter to; Christmas House, High Street, Fordwich CT2 0DX

Date of the Town’s First Meeting to consider the potential development and the future of Fordwich. Wednesday Sept 9th 7.30pm in St Mary’s, following Social Distancing regulations.


 Contacting the police

In an emergency phone 999

If it less immediately important phone 101

If it is a local matter contact:


PCSO Robin Todd                         

 Councillor Contacts:

Philip Lewis:                   

Adrian McCarthy:          

Roger Green:                  

Geoff Connolly              

Sue Thompson


A 24-hour helpline has been set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication.

You can contact the Kent Together helpline at  or by calling on 03000 41 92 92. It is a 24-hour service.

Kent County Council also has a page on its website answering frequently asked questions and the very latest Coronavirus information on its service updates page.


I hope just about everyone has received the note offering and requesting help during this peculiar time. It says if you want help, or can offer help please contact Chris on :07522 480284 Or email:

Seniors Helping Seniors has been able to maintain services throughout this extraordinary period.

We have local experienced carers covering Fordwich to help with elderly care in peoples’ homes.

The hourly fee £24.60 includes VAT and paying above the Living Wage to our amazing carers.

·  This information may also be useful for people seeking work/to use their care experience to help others during the crisis.

More info here or call me on my mobile 07802 229050 with any questions




Welcome to Fordwich

We are taking a break over the winter months and look forward to welcoming you again in the spring.

Entrance Fee: Adults £2.00 (Children under 14 Free)

NB: Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Town Hall is located on the banks of the River Stour and is a short ten-minute walk from Sturry Railway Station and the local bus stop.

The Town Hall usually opens its doors to visitors at Easter and then every Sunday from the beginning of May till the end of September and additionally every Wednesday during August. We are also open for Heritage Open Days when entrance is free for all. The Town Hall will also be open for special occasions.

Special group visits are welcome and can be arranged at any time of the year.

For more information regarding Weddings, Civil Partnerships and Ceremonies, please refer to the weddings page on this website.

Kent is very fortunate to have another medieval hall to visit, the court hall in Milton Regis near Sittingbourne. This stunning hall hosts a museum an exhibition area and is lovingly cared for by highly knowledgeable and friendly volunteers keen to welcome you. For more information and opening times please click here.

A brief history of Fordwich Town Hall

The Town Hall was built circa 1544AD during the reign of King Henry VIII and is a Grade II* listed building. On the ground floor is the Town Jail, used until 1855 when three men were imprisoned for poaching the famous “Fordwich Trout”, a much-prized fish at the time. The Undercroft served as the Jailer’s quarters and was located next to the Crane House. Its crane, still visible today, was used to unload ships bringing goods of all kinds as Fordwich served as the port of Canterbury since Roman times.

The upstairs Courtroom, now also accessible via a lift in the rear garden, was used to try all criminal cases until 1886 by a body of twelve Jurats and a Judge, normally the Mayor of the Town. There is a “The Pleading Bar” where the prisoner would stand and a tiny “Jury Room” where the Jurats retired to consider their verdict on the accused. On the table, built in 1580 at a cost of 8s.0d, are the handcuffs and the baton belonging to the Town Constable as well as a “Branding Iron” used on serious criminals.

Worthy of note is the 800-year old “Muniment Chest” where all the important documents and charters were kept and could only be opened when three people were present. On the main beam hangs the “Ducking Stool” first used in 1465 for women who were accused of gossip or for being scolds. The stool was suspended on the crane, swung over the river and then “ducked” into the water! Also, on the main beam stand two Town Drums, one decorated with Coat of Arms of the Cinque Ports, of which we were members since 1050, and the other with the Coat of Arms of the Mayor of Fordwich depicting a trout on a silver platter. These were sounded to call the townsfolk to hear a proclamation or to warn them of impending danger.

Fordwich has had a Mayor since 1292. Two lists can be seen in the north-east corner of the room. One from 1292 to 1884 when Fordwich briefly lost its Town status. The other is from 1976 to the present day.

Fordwich is classified as a Town, the smallest in the country, and its ancient Town Hall is the oldest and smallest still in use from its inception to the present day and is used by the Town Council and other organisations for meetings.

The Town Hall is open to the public during Spring and Summer (April until end of September) and can be visited by paying a small entrance fee. It can also be hired for meetings and for Wedding ceremonies. For details please contact sarah.fordwichevents@gmail.






Welcome to Fordwich

Although the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Fordwich is no longer a place that offers regular worship it is nevertheless a revered place of contemplation for townsfolk and visitors alike. Please feel very welcome as you enjoy the surroundings and church.

Please also look out in the diary section of this website for forthcoming events including theatre productions, concerts and if you want to experience something truly unique – champing!

For more information about spending a cosy night at St Mary’s church please click here.


Welcome to Fordwich

The Association was founded in 1995, exists to encourage enjoyable contacts between people in our twinned communities on both sides of the Channel.  Why not join us in having some fun?

If you would like more information on the Twinning Association, please visit our website.

You can contact us by calling 01227 710413 or 07757 291 146on  or mail us on

Joining in our activities can mean meeting old friends, making new ones and developing “entente cordiale” between Sturry,Fordwich and villages. It is great fun. You do not have to be able to speak French but will certainly enjoy the” bonhomie”.

Please see events for further details or visit our website.

Twinning newsletter February 2019 2

Welcome to Fordwich

The Old School Room is situated a stone throw away from the Town Hall at School Lane and have been lovingly restored over the past few years.

Formerly a place where Fordwich children would receive their education it is today used as a meeting place for towns people to enjoy.

The Hall is available for hire at very reasonable rates. Please use the form at the bottom of this page for all enquiries.

Please see the calendar for events.

We have an appeal for an amplifier and speaker for a community venture- The ‘French’ Film evening, which happens in the School Room on the last Monday of each month. This grew out of the Twinning Association, but now stands independently.  People are constantly upgrading their technology and might be happy to give elements knowing that they would be going to a community venture rather than just to be recycled.

Welcome to Fordwich

Welcome to Fordwich

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