Originally on the coast it was a famous port and fishing town lying on
an island on the opposite side of the estuary of the river Rother to
New Romney . Lydd was founded on an island in the marshes by the Saxons
and was known as Hylda .
Edward I in the Cinque Ports charter gave the rights to Lydd so that it
shared taxes with New Romney on the catches of fish landed in the area.
The stonework of All Saints church was started by the Saxons, and some
of this original stonework is still visible by the font.
The wealth of Lydd enabled the church to be enlarged until it is now
the largest of the churches on the Romney Marsh and is known as the
Cathedral of the Marshes . The church tower was raised to 132ft high
by Cardinal Wolsey in the 15th century.
In 1287 the Great Storm hit the channel and blocked the mouth of the
Rother, changing its course to run south from Appledore to Rye . This
change turned the harbour at Lydd into farmland and marsh, and destroyed
its main claim to fame.
As the land grew around the island so the fishermen moved with it to the
sea, today at Lydd on Sea about 3 miles south.
smuggling was rife in the area and Lydd was no exception with most of
the population being either involved with fishing or smuggling or both
until the mid 1800's.
During the late 1800's the land to the west of the town was taken over by the
military and became Lydd Ranges, where tank and weapon designs were tested
and proven. In 1888 the camp became the testing ground for Lyddite a
picric acid based high explosive, the name came from its first testing ground.
The land is still in use today by the Army for tactical and light weapon training.
All Saints at Lydd is one of those churches supported by the
Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust .