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Historic Manors & Estates in Margate
Dent de lion, or Dandelyon
The manor of "Dentdelion", or "Dandelyon", 1-1/2 miles west of the town, was an ancient manor house belonging to a family of its own name; retains a fine castellated gateway, of about the time of Henry IV, and was long used as a tea garden.1
"Grove House", "Dandelion", or "Dent de Lion", in the Parsh of St. John, Margate, is the residence of William Charles Lever Keene, Esq. barrister at law, and Justice of the Peace for the Cinque Ports, and the property of J. P. Powell, Esq. of Quex Park. It is a good house, and very pleasantly situated; and possesses a degree of interest as having been the residence, during the latter part of his life, of that gallant officer Sir Thomas Staines, K.C.B.. Here are a few pictures by the old masters, among which we observed, more particularly worthy of notice, a landscape, by Both; Holy Family, by Caracci; Group of Reptiles and Insects, by Otho Marcellus: Landscape, by Teniers; Warrior's Head, by Salvator Rosa; Boar Hunt, by Hondius; and, a River View, by Van Goyen. Mr. Keene has also two suits of ancient armour, and several clubs and other weapons used in warefare by the native tribes of Africa and America.
Nothing remains of the old mansion of Dent de Lion but the gate house, which stands at some little distance from Mr. Keene's residence, and forms the entrance to the farm. It is built with alternate courses of brick and flints, embattled, and has a small square tower at each angle. Over the archway is a shield of the arms of Dent de Lion. In 1703, there was discovered, under one side of the gate, a room capable of containing eight or ten men, and under the opposite side a well prise.
Dent de Lion was the seat of the ancient family of that name, who flourished here in the time of Edward I. and who were called at different later periods Danndelion, Daundelyoun, and Daundeleon. John Dandelyon, the last male heir of the line, died in 1445, and this estate then passed in marriage with his only daughter to the family of Pettit. Subsequently, it was purchased by Henry Fox Lord Holland, who transferred it to his second son the Hon. Chas. J. Fox, and he shortly afterwards conveyed it to John Powell, Esq. with whose descendants it has since remained.2
Harts-Down House, in the Parish of St. John, Margate, is the residence of Chas. T. Hatfield, Esq. The situation is very pleasant, and the grounds are well laid out. It is distant from Margate about one mile south-west, from Ramsgate four miles north-west, from Canterbury 16 miles, and from London 71 miles.2
At Union Crescent, Margate, is the residence of Mrs. Turner Brown.2
At Fort Crescent, Margate, is the residence of the Rev. Francis Barrow, M. A., a Magistrate for the County and for the Cinque Ports, and Chaplain to the Most Noble the Marquis of Huntley.2
Salmeston or Salmanston Grange3
A very early manor with possible Norman remains visible in a small vaulted passage on the ground floor of the house and having a chapel. The chapel contained a small crypt which could be entered by way of an exterior door along the east wall. The Chapel was consecrated by Archbishop Reynolds on the Nones of November 1326 and empowering Peter "Episcopus Corlaniensis" to dedicate the newly built chapel in the manor of Salmeston, Thanet where another chapel had been anciently dedicated. This dedication of the chapel took place eight years following an attack upon the buildings of the manor house by disquieted tenants of Minster Manor during December 1318. Fire had been set to the gates causing the resident Augustinians, William Biholte and William de Middleton, to remain with the servants, shut up in the grange for fifteen days. The attempt to burn the house failed, but the trees and farming implements, property of St. Augustine's Abbey, were destroyed. At one point in the seventeenth century the chapel had fallen into disuse and was converted into a barn. The Hall of the manor containing adjacent chambers was erected by Thomas Icham, Sacristan of St. Augustine's circa 1389. The Hall had been two stories in height and had been about sixty feet long, by twenty-five feet wide.
In the Middle Ages, the Abbots of St. Augustine's seem to have been frequently at Salmanston. Many of the Abbey charters are dated from this place. Here also the Abbots received the homage of their superior tenants. On April 18th, 1448 (26 Hen. VI) came William Sandyr, and did homage to George, Abbot of St. Augustine's, for half a fee in Westgate, which had come into his possession as the heir of his deceased brother John Sandyr.
On 2 May, 1597, the Archbishop of Canterbury let Salmeston Rectory, (so called as the Rectorial Tithes of St. John Baptist's parish were frequently received here), on lease to Henry Finch of Canterbury, at an annual rent of £38 10s 1d., but the advowson and timber were exempted from the lease. In addition to the rent the lessee was to give yearly to each of 24 poor persons of Thanet 9 loaves, and 18 herrings; to distribute annually 12 blankets to the poor; to give twice a week, during the three months intervening between the Feasts of the Invention of the Cross and of St. John the Baptist, on Mondays and Fridays to each and every poor person of Thanet coming to Salmstone a dish of peas; to deliver annually to the Vicars of St. John's, St. Peter's and St. Laurence 2 bushels of wheat a piece, and to pay to the Vicar of Minster 20s per annum (Domestic State Papers, Elizabeth, vol. cclxxvii., No. 101).
The record of a survey conducted by the Parliamentary Commissioners of this manor contains a full description of this place. The record is preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, in "Parliamentary Surveys", vol. ii. 157. On the 27th of May 1647 the "Rectorie of Salmestone Grange" was composed of:
(i) a mansion house of stone, tiled, containing 12 rooms (six above and six below stairs);
(ii) an old chapel, then used as a barn, built of stone and tiled;
(iii) a fothering yard, on the east side of the house, fenced partly with mud walls, and partly housed; wherein stood two fair barns; one of them was tiled and contained 8 bays with 2 coves, the other barn was thatched and had 4 bays with 2 coves;
(iv) one stable and hen house, thatched, together with a well-house and fother house upon the said yard;
(v) one granary, tiled;
(vi) one Pound, in the east end of the said yard, called the Bishop's Pound, with mud walls, wherein the parishes of St. Peter's, St. John's and Birchington, upon occasion of trespass, impound their cattle;
(vii) 48 acres of glebe, partly chalk, partly loam, abutting upon land belong to the heirs of Mr. Richard Norwood, and of John Tomlyn, towards the east.
(viii) Also the Tithes.
This property was in the occupation of Sir Edward Scott, Knight of the Bath, and Robert Scott, Esq., by lease from George, Archbishop of Canterbury, dated 17th June 1629, at a yearly rent of £38 10s 1d. The Commissioners estimated that the full worth of this property was £520 per annum. In Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, No. 45, a poor engraving (plate xii. fig. 2, p. 171) shows the whole of the buildings of the manor as seen from the south west.
North Down Hall
North Down Hall, in the parish of St. John, Margate, the residence of Thos. Blackburn, Jun. Esq. is situated near North Down House, on the south. It stands in a sheltered situation, so much below the general level of the country hereabouts, as not to be seen but on a very near approach. Its distance, bearing, etc. is the same as of North Down House.2
North Down House
North Down House, in the parish of St. John's, Margate, is the seat of Major Sir John Whale, by whom it was considerably enlarged and improved about 18 years ago. Sir John Whale entered the service in 1780, was Captain for many years in the Life Guards, and after the Battle of Waterloo he was promoted to a Majority in the 16th Lancers.
North Down House is situated one mile and a half south-east from Margate, three miles and half from Ramsgate, and about 72 miles from London. Amongst the paintings are a Clelia crossing the Tiber, by Balen; The Buring of Cupid's Arrows, by Guido; and, Duke of Richmond in the time of Charles the First, (artist unknown).2
Photograph to the left, below, is the tomb and the photograph to the right, below, is the memorial erected to the memory of George Sanger, Circus Owner.
Lord George Sanger, the most successful circus entrepreneur of the nineteenth century, had begun his career during 1870 when he entered into a partnership with Thomas Dalby Reeve, the then Mayor of Margate. The land purchased by the men was known as the "Hall by the Sea". Additional low-lying land behind the "Hall" was subsequently purchased. During 1875, following the death of Reeve, Sanger became sole proprietor of the property, which Sanger continued to use as a headquarters for his circus empire, housing lions, elephants and various other exotic animals. Sometime after 1893, the park gained some notoriety as the venue for the murder of a prostitute by the local circus strong man and from that time declined in popularity. By 1905 the menagerie had gone. Sanger died in 1911 during a scuffle arising from the attempted murder of a friend, although it is speculated by some that Sanger himself may have been the intended target. In 1919, eight years after Sanger died, the Hall by the Sea became Dreamland after being purchased by John Henry Iles for £40,000.
1John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).
2C. Greenwood, comp. Epitome of County History, vol. 1, County of Kent. (London, England: privately printed, 1838).
3Archaeologia Cantiana, vol. xii. Thanet: Salmeston, pp 360-365. (London, England: MITCHELL & HUGHES, WARDOUR STREET, OXFORD STREET, 1878.)
Additional material supplied and written by Susan D. Young.