Cliffsend Neighbourhood Plan Area

History

Hengist and Horsa landed near here in 449AD, and St Augustine in 597.

Originally a farming community (there are three 'Cliffsend' Farms) there was rapid development in the 1960's and this has gradually continued to create approximately 800 mixed dwellings making the community today.

Manston airport was a prime target for German bombing during the Second World War, and Pegwell Bay was an obvious invasion site. Various anti-invasion measures were emplaced along the bay, and gun-emplacements in the village. Many "tank-traps" and some pillboxes are exposed along the Sandwich Road, and many more anti-tank barriers are still visible near the Country Park.

On permanent display on the cliff top at Pegwell Bay is a replica of the Viking longship Hugin , which sailed from Denmark to Thanet in 1949 to celebrate the 1500th anniversary of the invasion of Britain, the traditional landing of the two men, and the betrothal of Hengist's daughter, Rowena, to King Vortigen of Kent. The Hugin was offered as a gift to Ramsgate and Broadstairs by the Daily Mail for preservation.

Cross channel hovercraft services from the Pegwell Bay Hoverport began in 1969 and finished in 1982. All the buildings were eventually completely demolished; however, the hovercraft pad, car marshalling area and approach road are all still clearly identifiable.

Manston Airport was a joint RAF base / civilian airport until 1999, when it became purely a commercial enterprise.

The original A299 Canterbury Road and the A256 Sandwich Road (the major routes into Thanet) both pass through the village, but were finally by-passed by the new East Kent Access Roads Project which opened in 2012. The new A299 Hengist Way cuts through the village under the railway via a multi-million pound tunnel.