Facts about Hythe
The town has mediaeval and Georgian buildings, as well as a Saxon/Norman church on the hill and a Victorian seafront promenade. Hythe was once defended by two castles, Saltwood and Lympne. Hythe’s market once took place in Market Square (now Red Lion Square) close to where there is now a farmers’ market every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
Hythe was once defended by two castles, Saltwood and Lympne. Saltwood derives its name from the village in its shadow. During the reign of King Canute, the manor of Saltwood was granted to the priory of Christ Church in Canterbury, but during the 12th century, it became the home of Henry d’Essex, constable of England. Thomas Becket had sought from King Henry II restoration of the castle as an ecclesiastical palace. Henry instead granted the castle to Ranulf de Broc.
That the castle had been returned to Becket, as Archbishop of Canterbury, and remained church property until the reign of Henry VIII, when Hythe and Saltwood were to be sequestrated to the Crown, suggests that some complicity by the baron Rranulf de Broc was possible in the murder of Becket. It was during this time at Saltwood, on 28 December 1170, that four knights plotted Becket’s death the following day. Hugh de Moreville was one of the knights, along with Reginald Fitzurse, William de Tracey and Richard le Breton.