All posts by Gavin Atkin

Building the Shannon One Design, with Jimmy Furey

And sailing them (you may want to turn the sound on your computer down for the second one)…

The story of Hampton on Sea, Kent’s lost village



Hampton on Sea pier. From the Wikipedia, photo by Linda Spashett

The North Kent coast has its own lost-in-the-sea village, I learned some days ago.

Hampton-on-Sea is Kent’s equivalent of Suffolk’s Dunwich and I guess South Devon’s astonishing Hallsands – and it’s story is quite surprising.

It began as part of what is now known as the Hampton area of Herne Bay, and grew from a tiny fishing hamlet in 1864, expanded through the oyster trade and was developed as a resort from 1879.

It was then abandoned as a result of coastal erosion and flooding problems (there are powerful tidal currents in the area) in 1916, and the land on which the settlement stood was largely lost by 1921 – what now remains is the stub of the original pier, a pub, the Hampton Inn, and Hampton-on-Sea’s ruined coastal defences, which are visible at low tide.

And then the story becomes a little unusual. For its case was taken up by eccentric resident Edmund Reid, who had previously been the Metropolitan Police head of CID who handled the Jack the Ripper case.

Reid lived at number 4, Eddington Gardens, and named it Reid’s Ranch, and painted castellations and cannon on its side. Inside the house were a parrot and many photographs of his London cases, while in his garden he set up a wooden kiosk that he named the Hampton-on-Sea Hotel, where he sold soft drinks and postcards featuring himself and the disappearing sights Hampton-on-Sea.

By 1915 he was the last remaining resident, and finally abandoned his house in 1916, moved to Herne Bay, married in 1917 and died aged 71 later the same year.

Faversham’s swing bridge needs £125,000


Getting the swing bridge working again is crucial to revitalising the Creek, and to the wonderful work of the Faversham Creek Trust.

Here’s how to chip in: donations form