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Cinque Ports of Britain

An amateur travelogue featuring the Cinque Ports of Kent and Sussex featuring castles, shipping, dainty Tudor streets, a cathedral and a ride on a miniature railway.

Amateur film 1959 44 mins Silent

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This ambitious amateur film begins with views of Folkestone town and its port. We see fishermen and the fish market, along with gardens and a Martello Tower. Then we're off to Hythe where we see historic streets and buildings before going on a journey on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. Next we're in Canterbury, along historic streets to the Cathedral before going on to Dover. From Dover Castle we move to the pretty town of Rye before ending back at Folkestone.

Originally formed as a trade and defence confederation, the Cinque Ports are historic towns along the coast of Kent and Sussex. The main towns are Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich. There are also other towns in the Confederation called 'limbs'. Folkestone, which appears in this film, is the 'limb' of Dover. During the reign of Edward I, the Cinque Ports and their limbs, were allowed to import goods without paying duty so long as the ports were prepared to supply the King with men and ships in time of war. Only a few of the original Cinque Ports are able to handle shipping today. The action of the sea and rivers have silted up several of the original ports, so much so that Sandwich is now about 3km inland.