“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh.”

History Timeline for Romney Marsh

Our history timeline page provides the key dates and events in the rich history of Romney Marsh. To find out more about a particular topic, just click on the links.

 

  End of Ice Age  

  • Vast quantities of flint nodules, released from the chalk of southern England, were carried by seasonal flood waters down to what became the bed of the English Channel, ending up as shingle.​  
 

  4,000 BC et seq  

  • Romney Marsh was a sandy bay with the sea covering the whole area 
  • Start of the build-up this shingle, caused by longshore drift, as a barrier at Dungeness and northwards as far as Dymchurch.
  • This shingle barrier created lagoons behind it to the east, which gradually became mudflats.
  • ​The river valleys flowing into the lagoons from the Weald high ground left deposits, creating swamps and vegetation
 

  2,000 BC et seq  

  • Archaelogical finds show that people used Romney Marsh at least as far back as 2,000 BC
 

  1,000 BC et seq  

  • The sea level started to rise faster than the Marsh was building up
 

  800 BC Iron Age  

  • Limited habitation of Romney Marsh
 

  1st Century
   43  

   c100

 

  3rd Century
   270-280  

 

  5th Century
   c450 

 

  8th Century
   741  

   774  

  • Dungeness (as Dengeness) first recorded
  • Lydd (as Lyd) first recorded
 

  9th Century
   892  

 

  11th Century
   1066  

   1086  

 

  12th Century

   1155  

 

  13th Century
   early 13th Century  

   1258  

   1275  

  • Wool becomes subject to export duty, leading to smuggling

   1287  

   1288  

 

  14th Century     
   1348-9  

 

15th Century     
1462  

  • The Romney Marsh Corporation was established to install drainage and sea defences for the Marsh, which it continued to build into the 16th century
 

  16th Century     
   1564 onwards  

  • The health of the Marsh population suffered from malaria, then known as ague or marsh fever, which caused high mortality rates until the 1730s

   1575  

 

  17th Century
   1614  

  • Wool exports made illegal, leading to increase in smuggling

   1615  

 

  19th Century
   1793-1815 

   1805-12   

   1806-9  

   1831  

  • Many of the taxes on imported goods were abolished, leading to a decline in smuggling

   1840  

   1858  

   1870  

   1872  

 

  20th Century
   1906  

   1915  

   c1920s  

   1927  

   1939  

  • 90% of Romney Marsh grazed by some 200,000 sheep

   1939-45  

   1954

   1965

  • Dungeness A Power Station started power generation

   1983

  • Dungeness B Power Station started power generation

   2006

  • Dungeness A Power Station ceased power generation. Expected to enter 'care and maintenance' stage of decommissioning in 2027.