The Right Royal Whitstable Oyster Breeders

Captain Dougal Spanker Famous Pirate and notorious Oyster Thief ImageForum

Famous Whitstable edible Oyster delicacy ImageA Big Oyster Story!

A taste of history, this is the oyster Whitstable is famous for, mentioned by Dickens and included in Mrs. Beaton's recipes, now available delivered to your door.
Fished from the historic Whitstable oyster beds which have a history stretching back beyond the Romans, where the the Whitstable Native Oyster still grows wild. A one time common place oyster, but now due to various environmental and economic influences, a comparatively scarce species.

Taking an average of five years to maturity, these oysters are slowly making a come back. Fished by our own boat and landed in Whitstable Harbour, they are available from September through to the end of April, offering you the opportunity to sample their unique flavour.

See "More about oysters".


Whitstable provides a natural home for oysters - the best ones are found in the shallow seas close to the shore, where salt and fresh waters mix. The microscopic algae that are food for the oyster flourish in this mixture, especially in the summer when the water warms.

The fringes of the Thames estuary, between North Foreland and Orfordness, are the home of the famous Native oysters. The most succulent of these Native oysters was dredged from the flats off Whitstable and Seasalter. After a period of decline, oysters are back in Whitstable - grown here and available for sale and on the menu in restaurants.

The museum tells the story of this oyster industry using photographs, film, exhibits and models.

To find out more visit the Museum.

Buy Farming Oysters. Gary "sax" will provide you with all the priceless info you need!

Some Whitstable History

Whitstable Harbour Oyster Farms Image

Archaeological finds indicate that the Whitstable area was inhabited during the Palaeolithic era, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Oysters were harvested in the area in Roman times, and charters indicate that there were Saxon settlements where salt production and coastal trade occurred. The town was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, under the name Witenestaple, meaning "the meeting place of the white post", which referred to a local landmark. At that time, Witenestaple was an administrative area which stretched from the coast to the village of Blean, 3kilometres (2mi) north of Canterbury. The area contained three manors at Seasalter, Northwood and Swalecliffe. The Seasalter and Swalecliffe manors were owned by the church, and the manor at Northwood was run by noblemen on behalf of the king. Fisheries were located at the Seasalter manor, saltworks were at the Northwood manor, and pigs were farmed at the forest in Blean. By 1226, the name of the area had evolved into Whitstaple. Around 1300, saltworks were opened at the Seasalter manor, and, in 1325, a sea wall was built there to prevent coastal flooding.

More from the shell ticklers at the forum next time...