Concept

Sturry

Summary
Sturry is a village on the Great Stour river situated northeast of Canterbury in Kent. Its large civil parish incorporates several hamlets and, until April 2019, the former mining village of Hersden. Sturry lies at the old Roman junction of the road from the city to Thanet and Reculver, at the point where a fort was built to protect the crossing of the river. Sturry railway station was opened in 1848 and the line was electrified in 1962, by the South Eastern Railway; it is on the line between Canterbury West and Ramsgate. The station was until the 1860s the stagecoach point for Herne and Herne Bay. The parish boundaries are the same now as they were in 1086 as recorded in the Domesday Book. Human habitation in Sturry is thought to have started around 430,000 years ago, as dated flint implements - namely knives and arrow-tips - show. Other signs of early human activities include a collection of axes and pottery shards from the Bronze Age and more pottery from the Sturry Hill gravel-pits, and a burial-ground near Stonerocks Farm showed that there was an Iron Age settlement of Belgic Celts (who gave Canterbury its pre-Roman name of Durovernum) from the end of the 2nd century BC. All this evidence indicates that human habitation of some kind existed on the north bank of the River Stour, on Sturry's site, for hundreds and thousands of years. When the Romans arrived, they built Island Road (the A28) to connect Canterbury, the local tribal capital, with the ferry to the Isle of Thanet, with a branch to their fort at Reculver. The most important era for Sturry, determining its future shape, size, function and name, was that part of the early 5th century when the beleaguered Romano-Britons brought in Frisians and Jutes as mercenaries to help them fight against invading Picts and Scots, and rewarded them with land. Some of them settled near Sturry: their cemetery was found at Hersden. Some time after, Kent was re-organised into lathes, or districts. Sturry was the first; Stour-gau, meaning district or lathe on the Stour.
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