Dymchurch is a village and civil parish on the coast of Romney Marsh, about two miles north of New Romney on the A259.
It is on bus routes serving Folkestone, Dover, New Romney and Lydd and has a station on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
The main High Street of this colourful little seaside village starts from the distinctive conical red-tiled tower of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul to Martello Tower No 24. Within this small stretch lies a host of shops and businesses to meet your everyday needs.
The central slipway, accessed via the High Street, leads to the beautiful, open, sandy, award winning beach. Childrens' amusements and rides, accessed via the seawall and High Street, together with eating establishments and essential shops are waiting to help you enjoy your visit to the village.
The Ship public house, on the opposite side of the road to St Peter and St Paul church was where Russell Thorndike wrote many of the infamous Dr. Syn stories; fictitious yarns, inspired by local smuggling and law breaking on the Marsh.
In sharp contrast to the Dr. Syn fables, Edith Nesbit, the famous children’s writer, also lived in Dymchurch. An enterprising author, she wrote a number of books including her most famous work The Railway Children.
Paul Nash, the British surrealist painter and war artist, writer and designer of applied art, also lived for a time in Dymchurch.
Dymchurch is well known for its glorious beach which attracts many thousands of visitors every year. The sandy beach is quite flat and stretches from north to south for over three miles, and is frequently 'washed' by the tide of the English Channel.
It provides safe sea bathing in the haven of Romney Bay and miles of fine sand to build all the castles you want, play beach sports, have a swim in the sea or just laze around. You can also enjoy a donkey ride.
The beach is very close to all the facilities of Dymchurch village, including cafes, restaurants, pubs and amusements.
Dymchurch is rich in history going back over two thousand years. It began with the gradual build-up of the Romney Marsh. Thousands of years ago when the Romney Marsh was just sea, banks of shingle started to build up where the sea defence wall in Dymchurch is now. Marshy areas formed behind these shingle banks and our predessors started to reclaim the land for occupation and cultivation. The sea was kept at bay by building sea defences, first with thicket fences, then bricks and finally concrete; the Dymchurch Wall was born.
Dymchurch became the headquarters for law and order on the Marsh and its name derives from Deme, mediaeval English for judge or arbiter. It was here where the governors of the Marsh resided (known as The Lord of the Level), and where swift justice was administered to anyone endangering the wellbeing of the Marsh. The governors met in a court room called the New Hall, located in what is now New Hall Close opposite the church. It was originally a wooden structure, but was rebuilt in 1575 after the earlier wooden structure was destroyed in a storm. It was used as a court room for the Romney Marsh area.
For more information, please visit our Dymchurch History page.
Dymchurch has had a sea wall since Roman times, with the original development being constructed to protect the harbour at Port Lympne, and then continuing throughout the centuries to help protect the Marsh itself.
Up to the 13th century, the shingle barrier protecting the coast at this point had withstood many storms. However, after the three great storms of 1236, 1250-2 and 1287-8, it was decided to build a wall at Dymchurch in 1288.
This original structure was built of faggots (bundles of thorn) and clay with oak stakes holding them together. The wall is believed to have run for some 4 miles and to have stood 20 ft high. This wall, together with the Rhee Wall erected between New Romney and Appledore, ensured that the rich alluvial land deposited by the river Limen (Rother) which had initially been used as salt pans, slowly became rich and fertile farmland.
On 20 July 2011, a new sea wall, was built at a cost of £60 million. The scheme was implemented by the Environment Agency as part of the wider Folkestone to Cliff End Sea Defence Strategy, the sea defence project which will protect 2,500 properties from flooding. The scheme included reinstatement of groynes which had fallen into disrepair.