History

The Parish takes its name from the Saxon word “Minstre” for the nunnery founded about the year 664, on the site of earlier settlements. References to the Parish date from 1070.

Minster-on-Sea, historically the largest parish on the Isle of Sheppey, now extends to almost half of the Island, lying in the centre with both North and South Coasts. In recent years, the village of Minster-on-Sea has seen significant residential development, making it now the largest populated settlement on the Island.

The Island’s coast became a popular destination for visitors from London following the building of the railway and first bridge in 1860 and following the 1914-18 War, caravans and chalets became an important feature in the landscape. There is evidence of people living in Minster as far back as the Iron Age at least. Built on the “back end” of the cliffs, Minster overlooks the safe landing areas around Sheerness and Queenborough. Wards Hill, Warden, Warden Point indicate the significance of the island as a lookout point from Roman to recent times.

The Thames Estuary is an important sea route for London which would have been vulnerable had the island been occupied by hostile forces. Minster provided an ideal vantage overlooking the seaways that access the Thames and Medway rivers. Indeed, the Swale itself, being the strip of water that divides the Isle of Sheppey from the North Kent coast, was also an ideal location for defence. From the early 1800s the Island was the first line of defence for London and contained many forts, a dockyard and an RAF airfield.

The first civil parish council meeting was held on 4th December 1894 at Minster School, the administration continued until 1965 when the Parish Council was incorporated into the Queenborough in Sheppey Borough Council. In 1991 there was a petition to reinstate Minster-on-Sea Parish Council, which was reformed in 2001 with eleven members.

Today Minster’s democratically elected members work hard to represents the interests of the community.