Last updated
Lympne Castle, Kent, UK.jpg
Lympne Castle
Kent UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Lympne shown within Kent
Population 1,575 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference TR121352
Civil parish
  • Lympne
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HYTHE
Postcode district CT21
Dialling code 01303
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°04′36″N1°01′44″E / 51.0767°N 1.0289°E / 51.0767; 1.0289 Coordinates: 51°04′36″N1°01′44″E / 51.0767°N 1.0289°E / 51.0767; 1.0289

Lympne ( /lɪm/ ), formerly also Lymne, is a village on the former shallow-gradient sea cliffs above the expansive agricultural plain of Romney Marsh in Kent. The settlement forms an L shape stretching from Port Lympne Zoo via Lympne Castle facing Lympne Industrial Park then via the main settlement to Newingreen in the north, centred 11 km (7 mi) west of Folkestone, 2.3 mi (3.7 km) west of Hythe and 13 km (8.1 mi) ESE of Ashford.

Romney Marsh wetland area in Kent and East Sussex, England

Romney Marsh is a sparsely populated wetland area in the counties of Kent and East Sussex in the south-east of England. It covers about 100 square miles (260 km2).

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

Folkestone town in the Shepway District of Kent, England

Folkestone is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.



In Roman times Lympne was known as Portus Lemanis, from which (or from the British eponym of which) the English name is derived in identical written form to one of its Middle English written recorded forms. It lay at the end of the Roman road from Canterbury, known today as Stone Street. It had a Saxon Shore fort, and, according to a fifth-century source was garrisoned by a regiment originally raised in Tournai in northern Gaul. [2] Its remains are at the bottom of the south-facing cliffs; they lie in private land and cannot be visited, though a reasonable view may be obtained from a public footpath above. In Anglo-Saxon times the fort was given the name "Stutfall", meaning "fold in which a stud, or herd, is kept". [3] One of the oldest houses in the village is The Sanctuary; parts of the building date back to 1774. [4]

Roman Britain part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire

Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.

Portus Lemanis Roman fort

Portus Lemanis, also known as Lemanae, was the Latin name of an ancient Roman fort, settlement and port in southern Kent. The modern village of Lympne derives its name from the ancient port.

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.

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 later-to-be husband Jim Mollison. Jean Batten later flew from Lympne to Darwin, beating Johnson's long-distance record, in 1934. In the post-war years the world's first air car-ferry service was operated by Silver City Airways between Lympne and Le Touquet. The airport has now been closed and turned into an industrial estate.

The Lympne Light Aircraft Trials were held to encourage the development of practical light aircraft for private ownership, with a strong but not exclusive emphasis on fuel economy. They were held in 1923, 1924 and 1926. Each year saw different restrictions on engine size, framed initially in terms of capacity and then weight. The Daily Mail newspaper provided cash prizes throughout though the initiating donation came from the Duke of Sutherland. The Air Ministry were prize givers in the 1924 event. The trials were held at Lympne in Kent, England.

Cape Town Capital city of the Western Cape province and legislative capital of South Africa

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

Amy Johnson pioneering English aviator

Amy Johnson, was a spearheading female pilot who initially became famous through her endeavour to set a record for a solo flight from London to Darwin, Australia.


Port Lympne Zoo is west of where the older part of Lympne stands. St. Stephen's church, the Church of England parish church of Lympne, is listed in the highest category of listed building and so too 14th and 15th century Lympne Castle founded 'probably in the late 13th century' according to the UK statutory body's experts. Adjacent, these landmarks overlook the Romney Marsh plain including Palmarsh sailing club lake immediately to the south of the steep slope to the south. The church mostly is a late 11th to 14th century in various parts of different centuries between these and was restored including by English architect J.P. St Aubyn, having monuments separately listed in the grounds to the Wooly and Knatchbull families. The castle has an adjoining medieval wellhead. The structure was restored and saw additions in 1907 and 1911-12 by Robert Lorimer, Arts and Crafts Scottish architect. [5] [6]

Church of England parish church church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region

A parish church in the Church of England is the church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region, the parish – since the 19th century called the ecclesiastical parish to avoid confusion with the civil parish which many towns and villages have.

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Lympne Castle castle

Lympne Castle is a medieval castle located in the village of Lympne, Kent, above Romney Marsh.


Lympne is part of the electoral ward called Lympne and Stanford. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 2,004. [7]

The wards and electoral divisions in the United Kingdom are electoral districts at sub-national level represented by one or more councillors. The ward is the primary unit of English electoral geography for civil parishes and borough and district councils, electoral ward is the unit used by Welsh principal councils, while the electoral division is the unit used by English county councils and some unitary authorities. Each ward/division has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward-population counts can vary substantially. As at the end of 2014 there were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK.


Lympne has a village hall, a convenience/grocery shop, a hairdresser and a large pub-restaurant: The County Members. [8]


A village football team plays in Kent leagues and trains new sides in the sport: Lympne Village Football Club, LVFC. Neighbouring villages provide other sports, such as cricket in the summer which is played informally in Lympne.

Sign placed at site of Royal Oak Motel Royal Oak Motel.jpg
Sign placed at site of Royal Oak Motel


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

In literature, film and the media

Early 20th century

In H.G. Wells's 1901 novel First Men in the Moon , the English narrator Bedford, the sole survivor of the Moon expedition, attempts to land the antigravity sphere anywhere on Earth and 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.

Lympne was the written and spoken setting of the 1945 David Lean's film production of Noël Coward's play Blithe Spirit , starring Rex Harrison and Margaret Rutherford (filmed in and around Denham, Buckinghamshire). [9]

Lympne Hill figures in the Doctor Syn stories.

In the book Biggles Pioneer Air Fighter by W. E. Johns, this place has an airfield where his Camel is stationed while Biggles is on holiday.

See also

List of places in England with counterintuitive pronunciations: A–L


  1. "Parish population 2011" . Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  2. Notitia Dignitatum Occidentis, XXVIII, ed. A. W. Byvanck, Excerpta Romana. De bronnen der romeinsch geschiedenis van Nederland, t. I, La Haye, 1931, p571.
  3. 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).
  4. "The Sanctuary, Lympne" . Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  5. Lympne Church Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1101780)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  6. Lympne Castle (private) Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1101773)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  7. "Lympne and Stanford ward population 2011" . Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  8. The County Members Accessed 29 May 2015
  9. "Blithe Spirit" filming locations, IMDb

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