Lympne Castle

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Lympne Castle in 2011.

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


The first castle was built in the 1080s for the Archdeacons of Canterbury on the edge of a cliff looking over the Romney Marshes. It was rebuilt in the 14th century by a building with a tower at each end, and it is thought that the square tower may be on the site of a Roman watch tower. After being used as a farm it was purchased in 1905 by Francis John Tennant who commissioned Scottish architect Robert Lorimer to restore and extend the castle - works focussing upon the Great Hall with its linen fold paneling (which came from other buildings).[1]

During the First World War the castle was used for accommodation of the forces based on the newly constructed airport at Lympne, which is no longer in use. For part of the war, from about 1916 on-wards, the castle was used as a convalescent home for Canadian Soldiers. [2]

Between the wars it appears the area had quite a high social life with the Sassoon family building the famous house at Port Lympne which is now centred in the wildlife park, attracting visitors such as Lord Boothby, Dorothy Macmillan, Noel Coward and Charlie Chaplin to name just a few.

The Second World War saw the last major construction at the castle, a look out post on the top of the Eastern Tower. This played an important part in the early sightings of the V1 Rockets - as on a clear day it was possible to see the explosions at the time of launching in Calais. This allowed about six minutes to alert the guns around the coastline causing many of the rockets to be shot down over the Hythe Bay.

The castle suffered a decline immediately after the war with it eventually being used as a farm store until the Margery family brought it in 1962 and restored it.

In the spring of 2000 the castle estates were offered for sale. The new owner has the same affection and caring nature for the castle. This has been clearly shown in the extent of work that has been undertaken.

Below the castle, at the foot of the cliff, lies the remains of a Roman Shore fort, known as Stutfall Castle.

Modern usage[edit]

Today, it is used primarily as a venue for corporate events and weddings. It is generally not open to the public.

The castle has been awarded No. 1 Best Wedding Venue in Kent in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Kent County Council.[citation needed]

In September 1978, Paul McCartney's Wings recorded sessions at the Lympne Castle for their 1979 album Back to the Egg. [3]

In 2012-13 the band British Sea Power composed the soundtrack to the BFI/BBC documentary film From the Sea to the Land Beyond at the castle.


  1. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Lorimer
  2. ^ Canadian Great War Project
  3. ^ Paul McCartney's sessions Archived 2007-06-10 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Lympne Castle as it appeared ca. 1830. Extensive renovations and additions were carried out subsequent to the making of this view

Coordinates: 51°4′19.98″N 1°1′25.04″E / 51.0722167°N 1.0236222°E / 51.0722167; 1.0236222

[1] Lympne Castle Gazette