the French word "cinque" meaning five. The Cinque Ports were part of this
countries defences from the 11th century to at least the 15th. The purpose
of such ports were for the production of warships for the country. The
ships produced were constructed for the state and their makers were given
consideration when paying tallage or ship tax. The ports were under the
charge of a warden, known as the Warden of the Cinque Ports. Although the
significance of the cinque ports is no longer, the title of Warden still
exists on a purely honoury basis.
along the southern coast of England, the initial ports were Dover, Sandwich,
Romney, Hythe and Hastings. These original five Cinque Ports indicated
in red were known as the Head Ports. They were later joined by others such
as those shown in blue, for example - Located and Rye which were known
as Antient Ports. Even though they were officially acknowledged as Cinque
ports from the 11th century, their history dates back to the time of Alfred
the Great whose ship building program, some may consider to be the forerunner
of the Royal Navy. As time went by, the number of cinque ports expanded
to over thirty which would have included just about every south eastern
coastal ship building village.
for New Romney - one of the original Cinque Ports. New Romney is not the
original Cinque Port but Old Romney was the subject of time and tide and
has been obliterated from the map, as it has with Winchelsea. The sign
reads - Cinque Ports - A Maritime England Heritage Town. All the Cinque
Ports have these signs with their respective coat of arms. Although the
coat of arms of each port look similar by having the heads of three lions
on the left joined to the sterns of the ancient ships on the right, each
can be identified by subtle changes of design. Note how this village is
twinned with another town in France, as is just about every other town
and village in England.
Romney high street today
- The Antient Cinque Port that is now inland due to reclamation and tidal
changes. The original entrance to the town known as the Strand Gate still
exists. It became a member port in 1155.
Thomas's Church Winchelsea.
is a town map of Winchelsea. Note the coat of arms that initially seems
identical to that of New Romney. If you look closely, and by comparing
this with the coat of arms in photograph one, you can see how subtle the
estuary looking towards the sea. You can observe in this and the photograph
below how this area was ideal for the construction of military warships
for the country over the centuries. This is in fact the river Rother. It
separates Kent and Sussex for a good few kilometres.
view of Rye estuary and ideal boat building country. Winchelsea and Rye
can be considered twin towns. Being very close to each other, they officially
became a member of the Cinque Ports together in about 1155.
view of the town of Rye, Taken halfway along the road between Rye and The
Rother estuary outlet.
harbour. The English can never be accused of not using a famous battle
or a historic character to go to waste when there is a pub that needs a