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Lympne

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"LYMPNE, a parish partly within the liberty of Romney Marsh, but chiefly in the hundred of Street, lathe of Shepway, county Kent, 3 miles W. of Hythe, its post town, and 7 S.E. of Ashford. The Westenhanger station on the Dover line of railway is about 1½ mile N.E. of the village. It is situated within a short distance of the sea-coast, on the Ashford road and Royal Military canal. The parish includes the hamlet of Court-at-Street, situated in Romney Marsh. The soil is partly loamy and partly rocky. The great military road called Slane Street ran hither from the Roman station Durovernum. The village, which is very ancient, is supposed to be the dimity of Ptolemy, and the Portus Limanus of the Romans, from its situation at the mouth of the ancient river Limene, now the Rother, a branch of which ran below it. A nunnery was founded here in 633 by Ethelburga, daughter of King Ethelbert, which subsequently came an abbey, but was given after the Danish invasion to the archbishops of Canterbury. In Domesday survey it is set down as Limes. Here are the ruins of Stutfall Castle, a place of prodigious strength, built by the Romans, with walls of brick and flint inclosing a space of from ten to twelve acres. It was here that Elizabeth Barton, called the "Holy Maid of Bent," carried on her pretended miracles. A court used formerly to be held at Shepway Cross, in this parish, for the purpose of swearing in the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, styled the Leminarcha. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £468, and the vicarial for one of £239. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value with that of West Hythe annexed, £273, in the patronage of the Archdeacon of Canterbury. The church, dedicated to St. Stephen, is an ancient structure with a Norman tower, standing on an elevated spot, and commanding an extensive view over the sea. The register commences in 1618. There are charities for the poor, chiefly derived from property bequeathed by John Finch, Esq., producing about £120 per annum. There are National schools. Numerous Roman remains, consisting of coins, pottery, &c., have been found in the vicinity of the castle."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

Churches

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Description and Travel

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Gazetteers

"COURT-AT-STREET, a hamlet in the parish of Lympne, hundred of Street, lathe of Shepway, in the county of Kent, 5 miles from Hythe. It takes its name from the Via Strata, which ran from Canterbury and Studfall Castle. It was here that the impostor, Elizabeth Barton, alias the "Holy Maid of Kent," among other extraordinary things, pretended to Swallow pins. The ruins of a chapel, known as the Chapel of Our Lady at Court-at-Street, are still visible. This chapel is said to have been visited by the Canterbury pilgrims in the time of Thomas-a-Becket."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

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Historical Geography

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