Place:Dymchurch, Kent, England

Watchers
NameDymchurch
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.033°N 0.999°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoWorth Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Romney Marsh Liberty, Kent, Englandfurther ancient county division in which it was located
Romney Marsh Rural, Kent, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Shepway District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Dymchurch is a village and civil parish in the Shepway District of Kent, England. The village is located on the coast five miles (8 km) southwest of Hythe, and on the Romney Marsh.

Dymchurch has a station on the narrow-gauge Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway which originally opened in the 1920s.

Dymchurch was originally an ancient parish in the Worth Hundred and also the Romney Marsh Liberty. Between 1894 and 1974 it was part of the Romney Marsh Rural District.

History

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The history of Dymchurch began with the gradual build-up of the Romney Marsh.

New Hall was rebuilt in 1575 after an earlier wooden structure was destroyed in a fire. It was used as a court room for the Romney Marsh area. The head magistrate was known as Leveller of the Marsh Scotts. It was there that the so-called "Scot tax" was introduced, levied on residents to fund maintenance of the sea wall. Those directly outside the boundaries and thus not eligible for the tax were said to have got away "Scott Free". Residents with land were required to grow thorn bushes for the building of the wall, as thorn twigs were believed impervious to sea water. Failure resulted in an ear being cut off.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, smuggling was rife all along the south-east coast of England. Due to its remote location, Romney Marsh and the surrounding areas were amongst the busiest locations for illicit trade. Inspiration from this gave rise to Dymchurch being the setting of the Doctor Syn novels, based on smuggling, by Russell Thorndike. Every two years a celebration of the novels is held, usually on August Bank Holiday.

Dymchurch played a significant rôle in the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790), which linked the Royal Greenwich Observatory with the Paris Observatory using trigonometry. There were two base-lines for the English part of the survey, on Hounslow Heath and on Romney Marsh. The Romney Marsh base-line extended from Ruckinge to High Nook, on the sea-wall near Dymchurch.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Dymchurch.

Research tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Dymchurch. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.