THE HISTORY OF LYDD

The Royal Oak Sign The town of Lydd, one of the larger towns on the Marsh, is the most southerly town in Kent. Actually located on Denge Marsh, Lydd was one of the first sandy islands to form as the bay evolved into what is now called the Romney Marsh. The name Hlyda, which derives from the Latin word for "shore", was found in a Saxon charter dating from the 8th century. Lydd reached the height of its prosperity during the 13th century, and later became a "limb" of the Cinque Port of New Romney when it was called upon to help with the provision of men and ships.
Before the first World War Lydd was an important artillery practice camp. Experiments with high explosives carried out on the shingle wastes around 1888 led to the invention of the explosive Lyddite. The town was also the home of the now-defunct Lydd Brewery, where experiments using carbonic acid given off from the vats led to the development of soda water.
Today the centerpiece of the town of Lydd is the mediaeval All Saints Church, the longest church in Kent. Know as the "Cathedral of the Marsh", the church is 200 feet long and its 15th century tower features four asymmetrical spires. In the Middle Ages the church featured several altars as well as at least ten candlelit shrines. At the northwest corner of the nave is all that remains of a stone Saxon church, which establishes Lydd's existence as before 740 AD. In 1940 the chancel of the church was destroyed by a direct hit from a bomb; the attack occurred at 4:07 PM on the 15th of October, which is when the church clock stopped. Additional bombing attacks in 1944 caused further damage, and painstaking repairs were made using the original bricks.
All Saints Church, Lydd
The church's impressive graveyard features the final resting places of Lt. Thomas Edgar, who was Captain Cook's companion on his round-the-world voyage, and Samuel Finn, who commanded the battery at Dungeness in the early 19th century. Many smugglers' graves can be found here as well.


Home Page


Real Ales and Snacks


Real Ales and Snacks


Pub Events & Local Attractions

©2000 Kent, UK
Webmaster: site.seers@virgin.net
Last modified 29th January 2001