History of Manston

manston-bwManston is a village and civil parish in the Thanet district of Kent, England. The village is situated one mile north-west of Ramsgate.

The village was originally Mannestone which means ‘farm on top of a hill’ and was recorded in 1254 as Manneston, but obtained its modern spelling in 1381 around the time of the Peasants’ Revolt.

In 1901, the Isle of Thanet Poor Law Union opened a children’s home at Manston. The homes comprised four pairs of houses and could accommodate a total of 120 children. In the 1901 census there were 46 inmates and the Superintendent was Edmund L Martins.

One of the orphans, Frank Sidney Smith, an artist, painted a picture of Manston from memory in later life. This is now hanging in St Catherine’s Church. The children’s homes have now been converted to residential use. The orphanage’s school is now the village hall.

During both World Wars the Manston area became important as an aircraft base Today the former RAF Manston is home to Kent International Airport. The RAF Manston Museum tells the story of the air station.