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

Front Line Kent Partnership

The closeness of the south east Kent coast to the continent, together with its flat shores flat shores and hinterland and easily accessible beaches, Front Line Kent Logohas meant that the coastlines of Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh have been in the front line whenever invasion has threatened, particularly from France, just 29 miles away across the English Channel. 
Over the centuries that the Kent coast has been at risk of invasion, much was done to protect the area by various means, including a chain of defences comprising Martello Towers, Forts, Redoubts and the Royal Military Canal. 
 

 

About Front Line Kent'

Front Line Kent is a partnership between the following organisations:


All the partners offer visitor attractions which provide experiences of the history and heritage of the area, with particular reference to the defence of its coastline.

Blue Line

 The Battle of Britain Memorial in Capel le Ferne. Battle of Britain Memorial

 The National Memorial to the Few Dedicated to the heroic and selfless deeds of the men who won the Battle of Britain, 10 July to 31 October, 1940. 

The Wing is the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s visitor centre at the Capel-le-Ferne site of the National Memorial to the Few, home to The Scramble Experience.

The Wing is not a museum but houses The Scramble Experience, an exciting, hands-on attraction that uses audio-visual effects, a video wall and other special techniques to show something of what the Few experienced in the summer and early autumn of 1940. 

Find out more from the Website Icon Battle of Britain Memorial website. ​


Battle of Britain Memorial

The Battle of Britain Museum in Hawkinge. Battle of Britain Museum

The worlds largest Battle of Britain collection of memorabilia, Artefacts from over 700 crashed aircraft on display.

The Kent Battle of Britain Museum is on the site of RAF Hawkinge and where you can walk in the footsteps of the greatest-ever air battle. Get up close to the iconic Battle of Britain fighter planes - the Hurricane, Spitfire, Boulton-Paul Defiant, the Messerschmitt Bf109 and our latest addition, the Blenheim.
Discover the stories of the brave airmen, the planes they fl ew, the uniforms they wore, the medals won and so much more - all in some of the original 1940’s buildings, still bearing the scars of war.

Find out more from the Website Icon Battle of Britain Museum website.

 

Battle of Britain Museum

The Friends of Martello24 who manage Martello Tower  The Friends of Martello24
No.24 in Dymchurch.

Martello Tower No. 24 in Dymchurch High Street was one of 74 towers built along the south coast of England between 1805 and 1812, to resist the threatened French invasion.

Martello Tower No.24 is considered to be the best surviving example, being closest to its original condition and it can be seen as it was when occupied by the military in 1806. 

The tower has been restored to its original design and layout with almost all of the original tower still in place. Martello Tower No.24 is only one of 3 of the 74 built that is open to the public.

Find out more at the Website Icon Martello Tower No.24 website.

Martello Tower No.24

The Romney Marsh War Time Collection in Brenzett. Romney Marsh Wartime Collection Logo

The Romney Marsh Wartime Collection is a unique collection of wartime equipment, remains recovered from aircraft crash sites and memorabilia collected and donated to the Museum since its formation in 1972.

Although the Museum’s core exhibits are based around recovered aircraft artefacts from many digs carried out in the 1960s and 70s the exhibits now include The Womens Land Army, Civil Defence and the ‘Home Front’, World War I, The Battle of Britain, The Ghurkas, Bomb Disposal, PipeLine Under The Ocean (PLUTO), a German corner, an American section and many photographs.

Find out more from the Website Icon Romney Marsh Wartime Collection website.


Romney Mars Wartime Collection

The Shorncliffe Trust in Shorncliffe, Folkestone The Shorncliffe Trust logo

The Shorncliffe Redoubt is a large late-C18 earthwork field fortification, built as an anti-invasion measure during the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars

Shorncliffe has been on the frontline of this country for over 200 years and has a unique history that is tied into world history events from the Napoleonic wars through two World Wars. It is rare to find one military site in the world that has influenced and changed so much about the way today’s soldiers fight and operate on battlefields in the 21st century.

The Heritage Centre at Shorncliffe will examine the Garrison’s military history and the impact (both social and cultural) the army camp made over the centuries both locally and internationally.

Find out more at Website Icon The Shorncliffe Trust website

The Shorncliffe Trust

                       Other similar organisations in the area are welcome to be part of this partnership and invitations to participate will be sent out in due course

Objectives

The objective of the partnership is a collaborative approach in delivering the Off Season Experience through a new ‘Heritage Pass’ which will strengthen the area’s existing seasonal offer as we establish ‘Front Line Kent’, bringing together organisations whose existence pays homage to the defence of the coastline in the Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh areas of south east Kent.

Background

The Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh areas of south east Kent has a wealth of Military assets covering many centuries. From Roman times and lost hill forts; to the Napoleonic era where prominent features remain including the chain of defences comprising Martello Towers, Forts, Redoubts and the Royal Military Canal. When our heritage is brought together and appropriately packaged, it creates opportunities to discover historic places and enjoy immersive experiences.

The partnership offers opportunity through multiple stories from across the centuries through to WW1 and WW2. This district was awash with vast military camps increasing the importance of Shorncliffe’s Military Garrison. Descendants of many wish to follow in their ancestor’s footsteps visiting places where they would have walked before moving off to conflict. Battles fought in the skies above are remembered by important sites in our district dedicated to the memory of the Battle of Britain through Memorials and Museums collections at Hawkinge and the Brenzett Aeronautical Museum and Romney Marsh Wartime Collection. 

Collaboration improves opportunity through a Heritage Pass ensuring visitor interest increases to a year round attraction, supporting the local economy whilst increasing potential for a greater number of overnight stays. It also increases growth through opportunity for the participants in this project; all of whom are charities. 
With greater visitor numbers the expectation is that being part of this project will sustain further opening months or at least, special event opening periods, for those unable to open year-round currently.

Present Position

The Partnership is at an embryonic stage with plenty of room for growth and sustainability. We plan to seek further collaborations with other organisations and groups providing opportunity and access to lesser known heritage assets such as the Greatstone Sound Mirrors; heritage interpretation for the PLUTO Line and Advanced Landing Grounds (see full list below), creating a series of trails from various locations through to Folkestone Harbour where troops left for battle, with many never returning. 

Product Package

The product package of Front Line Kent would comprise:
    • A Front Line Kent ‘Heritage Pass’ , offering combined ticketing to multiple attractions
    • Branded family resource and activity packs
    • Suggested routes to tour visitor attractions
    • A ‘back to nature’ health and well-being feature focussing heritage walks and water-based activities on the Royal Military Canal
    • Linked information packages with suggestions of places to stay and eat
    • Ticketing available via TXGB distribution platform; and each organisation’s existing websites

August 2021