In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lympne like this:
LYMPNE, a village and a parish in Elham district, Kent. The village stands on a scarp of hills, overlooking Romney-marsh, at the end of Stane-street, near the Royal Military canal, 1½ mile SSW of Westenhanger r. station, 1¾ NW of the coast at Fort Moncrief, and 3 W of Hythe; took its name from the river Limene, Lemanis, or Lymne, which anciently ran close to it; was the Portus Lemanis or Portus Lemainanus of the Romans; was known at Domesday as Limes; and is now a very small place. ...
The river Limene greatly changed its course; and is believed to be the Rother, which now enters the sea at Rye. A harbour was on it, close to the site of the village, in the time of the Romans; and hence the name Portus Lemanis. A Roman station stood adjacent to the harbour; covered or enclosed about 10 acres; continued long to be a place of great strength; suffered much injury from landslips and other physical agencies, which changed the course of the river; suffered injury also by the removal of stones from it as building material for the church; took eventually the name of Studfall, signifying "a fallen place;'' and is now represented by fragments, large enough to show the great thickness of its walls, and including the stump of a tower 10 feet high and 45 feet in circumference. The station is thought to have been a reconstruction by the Romans, as the remains of it include many stones which appear to have belonged to earlier buildings. Excavations were made in 1850; and coins of several emperors, tiles, pottery, glass, and keys were then found. A spot called Shepway-cross, about ½ a mile from the village, at the top of the hill toward West Hythe, was long the place where the lord warden of the Cinque ports was sworn in, and where his courts were held. The neighbourhood of the village commands a very fine seaward view. The parish contains also the hamlet of Court-at-Street, and comprises 2,658 acres. Post town, Hythe, Kent. Real property, £5,228. Pop., 540. Houses, 115. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of West Hythe, in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £283. * Patron, the Archdeacon of Canterbury. The church has Norman portions; includes stones taken from the Roman station; has a tower; and was recently in indifferent condition. A castellated house adjoins the church; is said to have been erected by Archbishop Lanfranc; really shows characters of the Edwardian period; was probably a watch-tower built in lieu of the fallen towers of the Roman fortress; belongs to the Archdeacon of Canterbury; and is now used as a farmhouse. An ancient chapel stood near Court-at-Street; was visited by the pilgrims from Canterbury in the time of Thomas à Becket; and is now a ruin. There are a national school, and charities £140.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Lympne has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Shepway. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Lympne and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lympne, in Shepway and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 20th May 2013
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