St Nicholas-at-Wade is both a village and a civil parish in the Thanet District of Kent.
The village name derives from its location on the western border of the Isle of Thanet which was originally separated from the Kent mainland. Before the channels of the River Wantsum and River Stour silted up, it would have been possible to ‘wade’ across from this point over a ford. In Roman times the channel was navigable and probably busy, with the Saxon Shore Forts of Regulbium (Reculver) and Rutupiae (Richborough) close by. Remains of Roman shipbuilding yards are said to have been found between St Nicholas-at-Wade and nearby Sarre.
The 13th Century church of St Nicholas, after which the parish is named, was a chapel of ease for St Mary’s Church at Reculver. The first rector recorded was Adam de Brancaster in 1294. Built in flint, the church has some fine 16th century brasses, a carved oak pulpit dated 1615, and the coat of arms of King George III.
The neighbouring village of Sarre, appointed a ‘limb’ of the Cinque Port of Sandwich in the 14th century, was an independant Parish until it combined with St Nicholas at Wade in 1966. Sarre is located at the point where the old ‘Island Road’ from Margate to Canterbury crossed the Wansum Channel, originally by ferry and then from the Middle Ages by bridge. The route of this bridge is followed by a short section of the modern A28 and is still marked on some maps as ‘Sarre Wall’.
The village has a pretty windmill which is only now viewable from the outside.