The present area in the south east of England, straddling the borders of East Sussex and Kent, is known as Romney Marsh. It is in fact made up of three marshes the other two being Walland and Denge. The great storm of 1247 changed the coastline completely so that towns that were harbours on the coast were now landlocked. Silt from the floods filled in and covered what had been sea and the separate marshes became one and new harbours were built on the newly formed coast.
It was the century prior to this storm that saw the building of most of these historic medieval churches. The villages that are part of this Trust are:
Brenzett – St. Eanswith, Brookland – St. Augustine, Burwash – All Saints, Dymchurch – SS Peter & Paul, East Guldeford – St. Mary, Fairfield – St. Thomas Becket, Ivychurch – St. George, Lydd – All Saints, Newchurch – SS Peter & Paul, New Romney – St. Nicholas, Old Romney – St. Clement, St. Mary in the Marsh – St. Mary the Virgin, Snargate – St. Dunstan, Snave – St. Augustine
The church of St. Nicholas in New Romney was built in 1086 by Bishop Odo who was the brother-in-law of William the Conqueror.
For more information about the Trust please go to: www.rmhct.org.uk
The CINQUE PORTS
There were many invasions that took place along this part of the coast including Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Jutes, Normans and others leading up to the Second WW. England was at her most vulnerable along this stretch of the coast so that in 1155 King Henry II granted five ports a Royal Charter in exchange for ships and men to be ready at any time. They are to this day Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich. Later Winchelsea and Rye were added.
The area grew wealthy from the production of wool from what became a recognized breed of sheep – The Romney. It was so successful that in 1872 they were exported to Australia.