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    St Mary in the Marsh
(Ancient Celts)

Name Derivation

General Details

St Mary in the Marsh lies on a small single track road running through the heart of the Romney Marsh . It lies between New Romney , St Marys Bay , Newchurch and Ivychurch in one of the least populated areas in the marsh.

The name was originally Siwold's Circa meaning the burial ground on the wooded(Wold) island(Ie) but the later christians changed the name to remove its pagan history. A Ciric or Circa is a circular Celtic burial ground raised above ground level, to keep the dead dry.

The circular form is believed to be the celtic symbol of immortality. The current church was started about 1133 AD and was built by the Normans on top of an old wooden Saxon church.

The local smugglers used the church for storing smuggled goods as were most of the others on Romney Marsh .

The churchyard holds the grave of E(dith) Nesbit the author of the 'Railway Children' who lived in Friston further along the coast in the south downs.

St Mary in the Marsh is one of those churches supported by the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust .


The village only consists of a few houses as many of the others in the marsh, but there is a Public House which caters for the locals and the many tourists to the area.

The nearest trains run from Appledore about 8 miles to the north, with the nearest shops at New Romney about 3 miles south.


The stark beauty of the surrounding marshes contrasts with the church lying on its own small island .

All around are the open landscapes of rich farmland with a few trees mostly bent towards the east .

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