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Dymchurch Wall

Dymchurch has had a sea wall since Roman times, with the original development being constructed to protect the harbour at Port Lympne., and then continuing throughout the centuries to help protect the Marsh itself.

Up to the 13th century, the shingle barrier protecting the coast at this point had withstood many storms. However, after the three great storms of 1236, 1250-2 and 1287-8, it was decided to build a wall at Dymchurch in 1288. This original structure was built of faggots (bundles of thorn) and clay with oak stakes holding them together. The wall is believed to have run for some 4 miles and to have stood 20 ft high. This wall, together with the Rhee Wall erected between New Romney and Appledore, ensured that the rich alluvial land deposited by the river Limen (Rother) which had initially been used as salt pans, slowly became rich and fertile farmland.



Sea Wall 2012
Dymchurch Sea Wall 2012


On 20 July 2011, a new sea wall, built at a cost of 60 million, was officially opened by the Rt. Hon. Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman of the Environment Agency. He announced that "the scheme was implemented by the Environment Agency as part of the wider Folkestone to Cliff End Sea Defence Strategy, the sea defence project which will protect 2,500 properties from flooding. The high cost of flooding underlines the importance of investment in reducing flood risk."He also added "The agency said storms and raised sea levels are due with climate change." The scheme included reinstatement of groynes which had fallen into disrepair.

The new wall allows pedestrians to walk the sea shore for the entire length of the village, approximately four miles, from Hythe Military Rifle Ranges in the East to St Mary's Bay Boundary in the West. Cyclists have the same freedom but must dismount for about 500m around the area of the public amenities.
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Dymchurch Time Capsule

To mark the completion of the building of the new sea wall, on 20 April 2011, a Dymchurch Time Capsule was placed inside one of the pillars on the new sea wall.

The Dymchurch & District Heritage Group and Dymchurch Parish Council co-ordinated the items to be encapsulated. 

The capsule, which is 30cm (12in) square and 20cm (8in) deep, contains 61 items and 150 postcards with messages from local people and school children. Some of the items included memorabilia from the parish council and local churches, a mobile phone, coins, maps, two poems and a menu from the local Chinese takeaway. The capsule will be left untouched for 100 years, until July 2111.

Colin Walker from the Heritage Group said: "It's been great for so many people to be involved and we can give an insight into life in Dymchurch today to the people of the future."


Placing the time capsule in the wall
John Rees, Herald Newspaper,and Colin Walker, Dymchurch        Heritage Group display the capsule. (ack 9.)


Poems Placed in the Time Capsule

Greatstone poet Anthony Webb has written many poems about Romney Marsh and the two poems, below about the Dymchurch Wall and smuggling, were chosen to be included in the time capsule.
You can read more of the poems by Anthony Webb at
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Poem The Dymchurch Wall

The Dymchurch Wall
 Anthony Webb                                                                           (ack 10.)

Poem The Dymchurch Bell

The Dymchurch Bell
 Anthony Webb                                                                               (ack 10.)

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