A little more about Prince's Parade
Military, rail, royal and tramway connections...
The Royal Military Canal
The year is 1804. A gang of 'navvies' have been employed to construct a The Royal Military Canal, a structure designed to be a defence against invasion by the French under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte. On 30th October, construction begins at Seabrook, near Sandgate in Kent, the area in which Prince's Parade lies. This 'ditch' was to be dug by hand, a laborious and difficult job but the only option before the invention of powered machines. Initially planned to stretch from Seabrook in the East to the River Rother, near Rye in East Sussex, a distance of 19 miles the canal was later extended to a distance of 28 miles as a more comprehensive defence. In total, 22 1/2 miles was dug out by hand.
Today, the Royal Military Canal is a designate Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and it's importance is clearly identified by Historic England:
"The Royal Military Canal was an important element in the Napoleonic defences of south-east England and is the only military canal in the country. It is a unique defensive work that bears significant testament to a period when modern Britain faced the most serious threat of invasion prior to the major conflicts of the 20th century." More information here.
The canal is the jewel in the crown of Prince's Parade and creates a unique atmosphere along with the sea which is just a stones throw away. The setting of the canal is important for visitors to be able to appreciate the significance of the canal as a defensive structure. It is on this basis that Historic England objected to the council's plans to develop the area in 2017. More information here.
Sandgate railway station was officially opened on the 9th October 1874 and was a terminus station on the branch line from Sandling Junction. The land at Prince's Parade, just a short distance from the station was also owned by the South Eastern Railway who had hopes of extending the line to Folkestone and thus form a new route to the continent.
More information to follow - please check back soon.