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(From Roman Castle to Tigers)
Lympne is a small village lying on top of the cliffs which overlook
Hythe and the English Channel.
The entrance to the River Rother emerged to the sea here before Roman
times, however it has changed its course twice since then, the first
time it emerged at New Romney and now reaches the sea at Rye about 20
miles to the south east.
It dates back to Roman times when Portus Lemanus was built
to protect the Roman ships in the harbour below the current village.
They built a castle to protect the old river entrance from raiders from
the Scandinavians. The castle now known as Stutfall Castle is lower
than the Romans built it, as the cliff has slipped since it was built.
The church was built by the Normans and the tower constructed in the 1100's
outside the lychgate is a mounting block used by ladies in large dresses
to mount their horses.
Lympne Castle a fortified manor house was built in the 1420's on the
spot where the Romans had a lookout tower. The Castle was extensively
rebuilt during the early 1900's, and restored to its current condition.
The village was used by smugglers as a lookout and signalling post to warn
of Excise men to those at sea.
In 1804 Napoleon was getting ready to invade England, the government
decided to try to stop a French invasion via the Romney Marshes and
they built the Royal Military Canal as part of the nations defenses.
It was re-fortified in the 1940's by installing gun emplacements and
pill boxes to try to delay a German invasion via the Marshes, the
canal runs to the south of Lympne at the base of the hill .
If you look to the east, you can see an odd concrete structure from
the war which was used as a sound location device to
attempt to detect the bombers used by the Luftwaffe in 1940. This
was built by the War Department (Ministry of Defence) before the
last war and is, in fact, an aeroplane detecting parabolic sound mirror.
It was superceeded by the advent of Radar which proved superior, another
example lies at Greatstone .
Port Lympne is the home of John Aspinall and Howletts Zoo Park.
The house was built in the early 1900's on a wonderful site
overlooking the Romney Marsh, many famous visitors came here,
including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, the Prince of Wales
and Mrs Simpson and many others. During the war, the house was
requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence, and fell into decay.
John Aspinall purchased the house in the early 1970's and has
restored the property, and created Howletts Zoo Park.
| Lympne is a small village with a few local services.
The nearest trains run from Westerhanger about 2 miles north, from
where you can travel to Dover or London.
The nearest major shopping centre is at Hythe about 2 miles to the
| Lympne has some magnificent views across the Romney Marsh from
the churchyard. You can look down the cliff to Stutfall Castle, and
the Royal Military Canal, then over to the sea at Dymchurch , then
down to Dungeness and to France on a clear day.
A visit to Howletts Zoo park is a must as the views are astounding.