New Romney Historic Buildings
Today the town of New Romney retains a range of historic buildings. These include the ruins of St John's Priory, a medieval Cistercian Priory established in the thirteenth century. Early fourteenth century high-status domestic buildings are found at 3 and 4 West Street. The imposing Norman St Nicholas Church, once adjacent to the harbour, is the only survivor of six parish churches once serving the town.
The building dates from 1310 and is one of the earliest surviving small domestic dwellings in the country. The building originated as a stone built hall house and was subsequently altered by the construction of a timber and stone jettied cross wing c1400. Around c1500 an enormous stone and brick stack replaced the open hearth in the Hall.
Originally one property which has been divided into two, it was an early 14th Century domestic building of high social status which may have been a merchant's house when New Romney was a busy port. The building is stone-fronted, with its original 14th Century two-centred Gothic doorway still in place; it has seen many alterations including a jettied 15th Century crosswing and 18th windows.
Built of mainly of stone rubble with some brick patching and weatherboarded upper floor to crosswing. It has a tiled roof, gabled to main range, hipped to crosswing and two brick chimneystacks. The north and south ends of the building are concealed by later buildings.
The Assembly Rooms and Schoolroom are located in Church Approach just off the High Street. Said to have been erected as the meeting place of the Courts of Brotherhood and Guestling, consisting of the representatives of the Cinque Ports and the Ancient Towns, without their dependent members in the case of the Court of Brotherhood and with them in the case of the Court of Guestling. The building was then called the hall of the Ports. It was also used as Assembly Rooms.
The Schoolroom is a small room adjoining on the North West, The Schoolroom was erected in 1676, the Assembly Rooms probably soon afterwards. The Schoolroom is a small building with a plain front and the date 1676 on it. The Assembly Rooms are of red brick, brown brick and grey
To the rear of the house are the ruins of a mediaeval Cistercian Priory founded in the 13th Century. The main part of these consists of a small building of stone rubble with a tiled roof.
What remains of St John’s Priory, also known as Romney Priory, is only a tiny fragment of the original complex, consisting of one small building of uncertain function and a length of boundary wall. Both are embellished with a variety of architectural ornament of various periods – pointed doorways, window tracery, corbel heads – but much of this is believed to be antiquarian salvage from other buildings, possibly including the nearby ruined church of Hope All Saints.