This section of our website provides links to some of our history and heritage – in a beautiful part of Folkestone.
Our Local History: The Story of St Eanswythe
The history of The Bayle is bound up with periods of great signiﬁcance in British History: from the prehistoric hippo in Folkestone Museum – whose pelvis was found where the top of Bail Steps is now! – through Bronze age and Roman settlements, to the Napoleonic Wars, we’ve seen it all here!
One of the most extraordinary ﬁgures in our history is the young St Eanswythe, patron saint of our local church, which is the only church in the country to hold the relics of the saint which the church is named after – an exciting discovery in 2020, resulting from studies including carbon dating.
Although exact dates are the subject of a degree of uncertainty, this study would indicate that her birth was somewhere around c635-640 and her death c 660-663.
Her relics were moved to the current church site in 1138 (the current chancel – the eastern section). This building was destroyed by ﬁre c 1216 when presumably the relics were removed and re-interred in the new building from c 1217 – making the current period the 800th anniversary of construction.
The Priory itself was dissolved in 1535/6 and the relics were hidden in the north wall of the chancel and disappeared from public view – being rediscovered in 1885 – 135 years ago.
To ﬁnd our more about this work, click here to see the Finding Eanswythe website – it’s fascinating!
Local history information panels in The Bayle.
We hope you will enjoy browsing some of the articles in this section: the series of information panels shown below can be found on a series of public information plaques installed in and around The Bayle as part of a project initiated by The Bayle Residents Association.