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(The Genteel Resort)
Littlestone lies on the coast between Greatstone and St Marys Bay at the end of the
Dymchurch wall, the sea defences built by the Romans . The name is derived from the
fact that the shingle swept up on the beach was smaller than that of Greatstone and
Dungeness to the west .
The river Rother came to the sea at this point until 1287 when a storm blocked the
entrance of the Rother and flooded New Romney , which lies just inland.
A lifeboat was launched from the beach from 1858 until 1928.
The village of Littlestone was started in the 1880's by Sir Robert Perks
at the point where the lifeboat was launched , as a resort for the gentry.
The Grand Hotel and a terrace of houses mark the spot he decided to create
the new resort. He laid out the Littlestone golf course to go with the
resort, but the tourists didn't come in the numbers needed. The 120ft high
red brick watertower was built in 1890 to provide water to the resort, it is
now a landmark to point out the village from far around.
On the 16th July 1927, the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RHDR) a narrow gauge railway
was opened, Littlestone lies about 1/2 mile south of the main headquarters
of the railway at New Romney . During 1928, the nameboards at the New Romney station
were changed to read 'Littlestone-on-Sea' in an effort to emphasise the railway's seaside
The railway was built by Captain J. E. P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski to
serve the local population and tourist trade, it stretches for nearly 14 miles
from Hythe through Dymchurch , St Marys Bay ,its base at New Romney ,Romney Sands
and then to the fishermens cottages and lighthouses at Dungeness . It is still
a major tourist attraction and well worth a visit.
(Click here for the Official RHDR site)
Out to sea, lies a section of the Concrete Mulberry Harbour built during 1944
for the Dunkirk landings in the Second World War. This section became detached
from its tug and drifted back to Littlestone .