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Acol (formerly Acholt) is a hamlet and civil parish about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Birchington in Kent, England. It is one of the smallest communities in Kent, and over the years large parts of the parish have been transferred to other neighbouring communities. Acol is close to the Western end of the runway at Manston Airport.
Acol, Kent Wikipedia
The aftermath of the Napoleonic War was a cruel time for small farmers and farm workers. Starvation wages, low prices and crippling taxes drove many to desperation and caused social upheavals on the land. At first sight, Cobbett was most impressed.
In reality, the condition for labourers throughout Kent at the time were deteriorating to the point where unrest brought about the start of the Swing Riots in 1833-4. At the same time, many labourers left Kent, often with the grateful assistance of their parish councils who did not want to keep supporting them, to take up new lives in the colonies in North America and particularly Australia and New Zealand.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mildred was designed by the architect C.N. Beazley and built in 1879.
Close by Acol is the famous chalk pit where Exciseman Gill and Smuggler Bill met their deaths as told in the well-known poem, The Smuggler's Leap by Richard Harris Barham. Exciseman Gill sold his soul for a demon horse that had the ability to catch Smuggler Bill. In the swirling mist on that night in Thanet, just as Exciseman Gill caught up to the Smuggler, he drove his horse off the top of the chalk pit as did the Riding Officer. The bodies of the two men and only one horse were found later and are still said to haunt the area.