History Home Page

Welcome to the new website about the History of Romney Marsh, which replaces the website about all aspects of Romney Marsh. The Romney Marsh website was becoming too large, making it increasingly difficult to keep updated. I apologise to all of you that have 'lost' some of their favourite pages but hope that you will find this 'cut down' version covering just the history of Romney Marsh helpful and interesting.
 
The history of Romney Marsh is essentially the story of a great storm, the reclamation of land from the sea, and the ongoing battle to drain it and keep the sea from reclaiming it back. Throughout the centuries all this was happening, life on the Marsh was centred around sheep, smuggling and defending England from invasion.
 

The Port of New Romney AD 1200
The Port of New Romney AD 1200

Romney Marsh is a sparsely populated wetland area in Kent in the SE of England. It covers about 100 square miles. Criss-crossed with numerous waterways, and with some areas lying below sea level, the Marsh has over time sustained a gradual level of reclamation, both through natural causes and by human intervention. 

Romney Marsh is the largest coastal wetland on the south coast of England.  With the English Channel as its eastern boundary, it is formed from several linked marshes: Romney Marsh proper forms the eastern portion, with the 'younger' Walland Marsh forming the majority of the western portion, and Denge Marsh to the south.   

Its rich history derives from its many medieval churches dating from 1100AD, through the great storm of 1287, the raising of sheep and the smuggling of their fleeces to its military heritage from its defence of the country against Napoleon and Hitler.

 

Known as “the fifth quarter of the world” in recognition of its uniqueness, Romney Marsh is truly a land apart. Sheep graze green fields separated by a maze of ditches, the horizon punctuated by church towers. Famed for its emptiness, its sweeping skies and sense of solitude it is truly a unique and special place.

Today the Marsh is a peaceful place mostly devoted to farming, its quiet and flat lanes offering excellent walking and cycling - its churches provide a step back into history - its landscape supporting a variety of special wildlife. And know for Its distinctive coastline from the shingle of Dungeness to the sandy beaches at Dymchurch.