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Lympne Castle, Kent, UK.jpg
Lympne Castle
Grid reference: TR121352
Location: 51°4’36"N, 1°1’44"E
Population: 1,516  (2001)
Post town: Hythe
Postcode: CT21
Dialling code: 01303
Local Government
Council: Folkestone & Hythe
Folkestone and Hythe

Lympne is a village in Kent on the former sea cliffs above the Romney Marsh. It is some 7 miles west of Folkestone, 2 miles west of Hythe and 11 miles east of Ashford.

Lympne straddles the B2067 road from Hythe, Kent to Aldington, Hamstreet and Tenterden. The nearest railway station is at Westenhanger.

In Lympne is John Aspinal's Port Lympne Zoo, which occupies the ridge of hills upon which the village stands. Nearby Newingreen is reputedly the site of Britain's first motel, on the A20.


Lympne has been a port since ancient times. In the Roman period Lympne was known as "Portus Lemanis", from which name, or from trhe local British language original, the modern name of Lympne is derived. It lay at the end of the Roman road from Canterbury, known today as Stone Street.

At Lympne the Romans built a "Saxon Shore" fort, intended to repel the seaborne Saxons, and, according to the Roman "Notitia Dignitatum", it was garrisoned by a "numerus Turnacensium" from Tournai in northern Gaul.[1] Its remains are situated at the bottom of the south-facing cliffs.

In Anglo-Saxon times the fort was given a down-to-earth name: the local name "Stutfall" suggests the Old English stod fald, meaning "Stud Fold", which shows how the wall line of the old fort was reused by farmers; farmers of the tribes the fort was built to repel.[2]

St Stephen's church and Lympne Castle overlook Romney Marsh.

From 1923 onwards Lympne Aerodrome was home to the Lympne light aircraft trials and air races. In the 1930s it was the starting point for several long distance record flights, including a solo one to Cape Town by Amy Johnson in 1932, and also ones by her future husband Jim Mollison. Jean Batten later flew from Lympne to Darwin in Australia, beating Johnson's long-distance record, in 1934. The airport has now been closed and turned into an industrial estate.

Lympne has a Village Hall, a Village shop, Hairdresser and Public House (The County Members), as well as a village football team, LVFC (Lympne Village Football Club).

Lympne in fiction

In HG Wells's 1901 novel First Men in the Moon, the English narrator Mr Bedford, the sole survivor of the Moon expedition, attempting to land the antigravity sphere anywhere on Earth, has the good fortune to land it on the seashore at Lympne, reasonably close to his departure point. A local boy enters the antigravity sphere without Bedford's permission, and accidentally activates it ... sending himself and the sphere into space, never to return.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lympne)


  1. Notitia Dignitatum Occidentis, XXVIII, ed. A. W. Byvanck, Excerpta Romana. De bronnen der romeinsch geschiedenis van Nederland, t. I, La Haye, 1931, p571.
  2. Glover, J., The Place Names of Kent, Batsford, 1976, "Stutfall Castle". Cf. Ekwall, E., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (4th edition), Oxford University Press, 1960, "stod" (p. 444).