The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 11. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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Hop trade and plantations
Happily for Canterbury, it has felt but little, if any injury from the frequent decays of its manufactures; it has found another, and that a permanent and much greater resource of wealth, in the cultivation of hops, the plantations of which cover many hundred acres of land contiguous to it. (fn. 1) In them, the labouring poor, both men and women, find a constant employment throughout the year; as the aged and infirm do in the manufacturing of the bagging, in which the hops are put. The lands are continued in a superior state of cultivation, and their annual value raised higher than those for corn or any other produce; the woods of the neighbouring country for many miles round, here find a sale for their growth of poles, at a very advantageous price, the planters themselves, which are almost every inhabitant of the town and neighbourhood, find resources from the lucrative produce of these grounds; and the return of money from London, at the latter end of the year, upon the sale of the hops is so great, that it is felt by all ranks of people, and diffuses a universal plenty and prosperity, not only to the city itself, but to the neighbourhood around it. This traffic of the hop trade is so much the predominant pursuit of every individual, that it is no wonder it should have the general preserence here to all others; so that, except the manufacture above mentioned, a small one of worsted, and the article of brawn, which last is not inconsiderable, there is no other trade but what the inhabitants carry forward, for the supply of the necessaries of life, and the mutual support and accommodation of one another.