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(The Genteel Resort)

Name Derivation

General Details

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 location.

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 .


Littlestone has few services but nearby New Romney and Greatstone provide village services.

The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway provide the nearest train services, but the main line runs from Appledore station about 8 miles north west.


The view from the Dymchurch wall provides beautiful vistas across the sea to Dungeness in the west and to Hythe in the east. The sands on beach at low tide spread out about 1/2 miles from the sea wall. Out to sea, lies a section of the Mulberry Harbour used during the Dunkirk landings, that became detached from its tug and drifted back to Littlestone .

The old brick water tower in the middle of the village is visible from miles around over the flat marshes.

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