The name Harfleet (swift runner) was brought into England in the wake of the Norman invasion in the form of HARFOTR.
Now a medieval hall house of timber framed construction with three floors, two of which overhang Strand Street. The house once formed the frontage to the quayside and was originally owned by the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury.
Please Click the photos below to enlarge
Sandwich. A study of the town and port from its origins to 1600. Written by Helen Clarke, Sarah Pearson, Mavis Mate and Keith Parfitt.
Walks through Historic Sandwich. Written by Helen Clarke.
Both published by Oxbow Books www.oxbowbooks.com
1170 St Thomas Beckett landed at Sandwich and stayed at the site of 39 Strand Street before travelling to Canterbury where he was later murdered.
1250 The under croft at the rear of the house formed part of a much larger Norman house which occupied the site of both 39 and 41 Strand Street.
The limestone used is the same as in Canterbury Cathedral and is from Caen in Normandy. Graffiti can still be seen dating from 1700.
It is the only under croft in Sandwich that has a fireplace and is thought to have been the site of Sandwich Mint.
The coins minted in Sandwich during Norman times can be seen at the British Museum. The house, which had a private quay on the waterfront, is thought to have been owned by a wealthy wool merchant.
1255 The first captive elephant was landed at the quayside for delivery to Henry 111
1287 The disastrous storm greatly widened the quayside from the Norman line allowing the house to be built forward. The timbers in the building above the under croft have been dated 1300 and were erected in two stages, followed by the hall and street range in 1334.
1606 The plaque in the courtyard was erected by Francis Boughton, whose daughter Rachel went on to be one of the first settlers in Bermuda.
FB was enrolled as a Freeman in 1592 and was both Treasurer and Councillor in Sandwich up to 1613. His carved initials can bee seen in the under croft. FB made major alterations to the house adding an upper floor in the hall with the great chimney breast, fire places and the installation of the ‘Armada’ window which is Jacobean and from a galleon.
The window bears the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Septvans alias Harfleet and the Solleys. The wagon entrance to the street was sealed at this time.
1608 William Harfleet, Major of Sandwich and wool merchant
1622 Richard Norwood at age 32, married Rachel, daughter of Francis Boughton of Sandwich.
Richard Norwood was an Englishman who turned out to be Bermuda’s outstanding genius of the seventeenth century. He distinguished himself as a mariner, navigator, and diver and later proved his genius as a mathematician, textbook writer, schoolmaster and historian, as well as surveyor and map-maker.
Richard and Rachel had four children, all born in England.
Isaac Newton noted Norwood's work in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathmatica.
1660 Wool exports were forbidden, and two years later the death penalty was introduced for smuggling wool.
A ‘smugglers hide’ made of red brick was discovered in later years at the rear of the house, under the paving, measuring some 8 x 12 feet. There are two similar in Folkestone and one in Canterbury.
1920 No. 39 was ‘The Chintz Tea Rooms’ and No. 41 was ‘The Alma’ then later Barclays Bank.
1927 The two properties were renamed ‘The Pilgrims’ by Lady Pearson when she used it as a hotel, club, restaurant and antique shop.
1985 – 1990 The house remained empty and run down, the window had sustained damage.
2008 Gary Thatcher continus to love and cherish.