KENT - PLACES OF INTEREST | KENT - POINTS OF INTEREST | KENT - PEOPLE OF INTEREST
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
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Lympne straddles the B2067 road from Hythe, Kent to Aldington, Hamstreet and Tenterden. The nearest railway station is at Westenhanger. Lympne is also well-known for John Aspinal's Port Lympne Zoo, which occupies the ridge of hills upon which the village stands. Nearby Newingreen is reputedly the site of England's first motel on the A20.
The Royal Military Canal runs across the northern edge of the marsh, to Winchelsea. Running under Stade Street, the canal, intended to repel invasion during the Napoleonic wars of 1804 to 1815, gives central Hythe its character. Now shaded by trees, the canal, 30 feet (10m) wide passes into the marsh from the middle of the town. The canal begins at Seabrook and runs through Hythe and across Romney Marsh to Winchelsea. Its 26-mile length can be walked.
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After the Romans left, the port silted up and the once major town declined to become a very minor village indeed. SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI (as the Romans would probably have said if they had known about it). However, in AD 892 the channel was still open and a great Danish force of 250 ships sailed into the river Limen and rowed up to The Weald, stopping only to overcome very inadequate opposition at Appledore and make that their own base for a sustained campaign.
Today's memorials to the great days of Lympne include the Shepway (shipway) cross on top of Lympne Hill and lower down the remains of the old Roman fort, now called Stutfall castle, which lie in tumbled ruins where centuries of landslides on the old shoreline cliff face have left them.
Lympne Castle and church are still there and no doubt both played their part in secreting smuggled goods brought up under cover of darkness from the Romney Marsh beaches below. Once, when an old pew was removed from the chancel inside the church, a chamber was uncovered which was at once identified as a hiding place for tubs of Hollands or other un-Customed wares.
The castle today owes much to the restoration carried out by Sir Robert Lorimer, the Scottish architect, at the beginning of the 20th century. He restored it from threatened ruination and made it into the single large house that it is today.
Visitors to the castle can climb up to the concrete room which was built as an observation post during WW2, and also go up to the ramparts and enjoy the view over the Marsh. The ramparts are supposed to be haunted by the spirit of a Roman soldier which cannot bring itself to desert his look-out post, and their are other ghosts reputed to be associated with the old castle, too.
More popular than either the castle of the church is lovely old Port Lympne, where the late John Aspinal's open house for the thousands of visitors to the mansion, its fifteen acres of terraced gardens and three hundred acres of parkland in which he has established his sanctuary for free-ranging exotic wildlife as an extension to his private zoo at Howletts, near Bekesbourne.
The mansion at Port Lympne was begun by Sir Herbert Baker for Sir Philip Sassoon just before the outbreak of WW1, and the gardens which are now rich with mature trees and shrubs and weathered stone and brickwork are as breathtaking as the climb up the hillside wildlife park.
The lathe of Shepway was the Saxon name for south east Kent, roughly corresponding with the modern District of Shepway, comprising Folkestone, Hythe, Romney Marsh and nearby villages as far north as Elham.
Many think this monument marks where the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports held his court for Shepway, and it is referred to as the “Shepway Cross”. In fact the Shepway Cross is a civic war memorial erected in 1923. It was placed on the top of Lympne Hill because that was traditionally the site of the Court of Shepway.
Shepway Cross was paid for and unveiled in August 1923 by Earl Beauchamp, the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, attended the ceremony. The memorial now shows signs of decay. The lettering denoting the monument's true purpose is hardly legible.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.
Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View, old Ordnance Survey maps, Cycle routes and much more.
Lympne Park Wood is the largest remaining example of ash coppice woodland on the ragstone escarpment. It is thought to be of ancient origin with a long history of woodland cover. Most of the wood is ash, field-maple and hazel coppice with oak and ash standards. Wych elm is present in a small area in the south-east corner. Many of the mature elms have been killed by Dutch elm disease but some saplings have survived. The calcareous nature of the soil is shown by the presence of shrubs such as spindle Euonymus europaeus, wayfaring-tree Viburnum lantana and privet Ligustrum vulgare. The ground flora is mostly dominated by brambles Rubus fruticosus but other plants present include stinking iris Iris foetidissima, early-purple orchid Orchis mascula and common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii.
Outcrops of ragstone are frequent on the upper slopes of the escarpment. The vegetation here is dominated by grasses such as fescues Festuca species cock’s- foot Dactylis glomerata, false oat-grass Arrhenatherum elatius and tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum. Grazing helps to minimise a diverse flowering plant community including cowslips Primula veris, carline thistle Carlina vulgaris and hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum officinale which are associated with calcareous soils. Due to the high humidity of the area wood sedge Carex sylvatica and stinking iris, species usually restricted to woods, are able to grow in the open grassland.
Past landslips have produced much scree at the foot of the escarpment and the grassland here is dominated by tor-grass. The marshy ground below the springline has tall herb vegetation including plants such as great horsetail Equisetum telemateia, great willowherb Epilobium hirsutum, ragged-robin Lychnis flos-cuculi and water figwort Scrophularia auriculata. Where's the path? Use the link below.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
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