Harbledown Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: N of West Cracroft Island, at W end of Johnstone Strait, Range 1 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°34'18''N, 126°35'36''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92L/10

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 4 September 1947 on C.3584, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 581, 1867 et seq, and as labelled on BC map 2C, 1919, and as identified in the 1909 BC Gazetteer, etc.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Not identified on chart produced from Captain Richards' 1860 survey of these waters. Shoreline surveyed in 1865 by Captain Pender, RN, and likely named at the same time. Presumably refers to the small village near Canterbury, Kent, possibly the home of one of Pender's officers - Blackney, Browning or Blunden.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Father Pandosy, OMI, established St. Michael's Mission here sometime after August 1863, later under the charge of Father Fouquet; closed in 1874 by Bishop D'Herbomez, because of a dire shortage of missionaries and an urgent need for more missions on the mainland. Harbledown Post Office was opened 1 April 1902, William Galley postmaster; there was no dock at the time so mail was transferred midchannel from steamer to rowboat. A school was located here in 1910. Post Office closed 31 May 1923. (November 1990 correspondence, file A.1.40)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Harbledown is about a mile out of Canterbury on the main route to London. The area is a farming area - traditionally hop fields and orchards - quite densely wooded and with the slopes and valleys of downland. The earliest sign of settlement there is at Bigbury, in woodland about a mile from the village, where there remain some undulations in the land that are the eroded ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort. Some metalwork, pottery, chariot equipment and ironwork - including what is said to be an iron slave-chain - have been retrieved by archaeologists. These objects are estimated to be from the 1st century BC/CE. The oldest buildings in the village are in the Hospital of St. Nicholas - now housing for the elderly - a leper hospital established in 1084. Just below this, there is a charming well, in a hollow in the side of the hill, edged with brickwork, that is known as the Black Prince's Well. There are some 18th century cottages and some later buildings too. The Pilgrims' Way - the old route pilgrims took to Canterbury Cathedral - runs through Harbledown. It is mentioned in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "Don't you all know where stands a little town, the one that people call Bob-up-and-down near Blean Woods on the way to Canterbury?" (information provided May 2002 by Dr. R. Todd, Director of Research & Head of Sociology, Trinity and All Saints College, University of Leeds.)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office