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Historic St.Stephen's Information Board
Continuing with the fascinating information panels displayed on the Historic St.Stephen's Information Board, displayed on St.Stephen's Green.
6. St.Stephen's Green
St Stephen’s Green : cattle from the Beverley Dairy Farm stand around the frozen pond on the Green, c 1910.
At that time, the Green was fenced to prevent any livestock straying onto adjoining property.
The first bungalow, beside the school, was built in the 1930’s, the remainder in the 1950’s, covering the pond.

7. The Victorian School
The Victorian School : Despite the Trustees’ misgivings, Catherine Harnett ran a Dame School from 1824 in Almshouse 3.

In 1848, the Vicar, Revd. John White, paid £772-6s-2d towards a National School. He remained the sole supporter of Master and fabric for thirty-one years. It became a Board school in 1870 and pupils paid 2d weekly.

8. Hales Place
hales place
Hales Place : Sir Edward Hales’ terraced mansion cost so much, that after 1758 he sold lands at St Augustine’s as sites for the hospital, prison and barracks. In 1837, Mary Hales, a Carmelite nun, inherited the estate.

Failing to found either a nunnery, or a monastery here, her charities bankrupted her by 1880. French Jesuits then ran it as a seminary until 1928 when the house was totally demolished.

9. Belvedere Chapel
Belvedere Chapel
Belvedere Chapel: Mary Hales turned this brick and flint belvedere, decorated with knuckle bones, into a chapel, later used for twenty burials by the Jesuits – the youngest a teenage student.
Mary and two other Hales were re-buried here in 1928.
The City Council manage the Grade 2 listed chapel, restored in 1974.

10. The Railway
railwayThe Railway : Ward’s print celebrates the May 1830 opening run of the world’s first passenger railway, the ‘Crab and Winkle’ line, between Canterbury and Whitstable. Two open, single-class carriages were hauled by cable up through Hackington to the world’s first railway tunnel, now under the University of Kent – Stephenson’s ‘Invicta’ locomotive ran for three miles only, between Bogshole and Whitstable. The forty minute journey cost 9d.

 Key to location of numbered historical items around St.Stephen's :
St Stephen's map
The story behind the St.Stephen's history board
The original history board was in 2000. The St Stephen's Residents' Association devised it as a Millennium project. We failed to get a 'millennium' lottery grant after a great deal of work to become eligible, including producing an official constitution for the Association, - I haven't bought a lottery ticket since!! - or any help from CCC. Half of the costs was raised by the generous support of the young people of the Beverlie Social Club and the rest by private donations with the balance contributed by Michael and Jennie Bukht and ourselves. Geoff and Judy Meaden with the help of Danny Rikh devised the graphics and organised the planning consent and production. That board was not stable, began to rot and fell down in 2008 when Serco mowed over it, leaving it facedown on the grass!
unveiling the boardIn 2008, we decided to try again with a more permanent fixture with additional features - still no help from CCC despite the immense wealth of historic detail in St Stephen's. We did however have a grant from KCC thanks to Graham Gibbens, and Martin Vye helped us get a generous grant from Viridor - lots of form filling, but worth it - also, prompted by Elizabeth Hubbard, Shepherd Neame, Barretts, Cloud Nine (now Clippers) and Raj at Porters Chemist and Post Office donated, as well as neighbours and the committee all chipping in.
After we had selected from the myth and history as much as could reasonably be represented, Marjorie Lyle wrote the historical detail - subsequently edited to fit - and the Archeological Trust produced the template - we had collected a number of old pictures and photographs, mainly from Derek Butler and Marten Rogers, and John Kemp did the necessary additional photography. Shelley Signs of Market Drayton, Shropshire constructed it from our template mounted on a tough metal stand. With the permission to re-erect the board acquired, we decided to by-pass Serco (given their record with the three Beverley Meadow signs!) and used our own man to set the posts in deep concrete. Eileen Fullagar, St. Stephen's home grown centenarian, unveiled it on 4th April, 2009. We took the opportunity of increased local interest, at the next AGM, to invite and extend the Association from St. Stephen's Road (both parts) and Close to include Hales Drive, The Terrace, Manwood Avenue, The Crescent, Moorfield , Orchard Close, etc.