18th century seafaring history
export of wool, which was a significant crown revenue, but smuggling or avoiding the payment of taxes for import or export became widespread.
In 1667, the Dutch captured Queenborough but the occupation lasted only a few days. Although the invasion caused widespread panic, they were unable to maintain their offensive.
Thankfully, 300 years later, in 1967, the town was officially handed back to England by the Dutch.
During the 17th century, the town’s population was mainly employed in the local oyster fishery and, thereafter, many generations found survival difficult when the tyrannical Mayor Greet seized control of the town’s oyster beds. His elaborate tomb can be seen in front of the Queenborough churchyard.
The town still reflects something of its original 18th century seafaring history, however.
Lord Nelson is said to have learned much of his seafaring skills in these waters and, legend has it, he shared a house near the small harbour with his mistress, Lady Hamilton.
Most of the town’s buildings from this period are still standing, but the church is the sole surviving feature from medieval times.
Today, the town is still bursting with well-preserved heritage, as well as a range of facilities to welcome visitors.
The harbour offers an all-tide landing and mooring in the Swale, and the Guildhall Museum tells the story of Queenborough and is home to many artefacts.
Head to one of the local pubs for a moment of respite or a bite to eat.