Ringwould - population history

Ringwould parish near Dover in Kent, contains two villages: Ringwould, a mile or so inland from the English Channel, and Kingsdown by the coast.

In the 19th century occupations were predominantly agricultural or maritime in nature; about 60% of families in 1831. The census in that year gives a breakdown of the occupations of 134 males 20 years of age or older:

Farmers employing labour 7
Farmers not employing labour 4
Farm labourers or servants 59
Trades or craftsmen 22
Fishing 41

Both farming and fishing declined in the last quarter of the century, which no doubt accounts for the quite sharp fall in the population in the 70s and 80s.

Although the overall population peaked around 1871, the number of women was highest that year (456), whereas the male number increased until about 1881 (439), but fell farther by 1901. In that year the total number for men and women (648) was barely higher than that for 1841 (637). By 1911 the population had grown again, mainly in Kingsdown.

The information on housing suggests that there may have been some speculative building in the 1860s. However the 1901 figures show 21 houses in occupation and 12 uninhabited - probably the 1871-1891 figures for uninhabited houses overstate the situation. The increase in uninhabited houses between 1901 and 1911 took place in Kingsdown with the building of second homes.

The parish area did not change during this period. The addition of a water area of 110 acres for 1851-1881 is curious, apparently a tidal zone on the beach was included. The small reduction from 1891 is probably due to more accurate surveying.

Research: Ian Williams