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Lympne, Kent

Lympne, UK (51°4′30″N, 1°1′32″E)
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Kent
now Kent
  • Toby Huitson
  • Mary Berg
21 September 2012

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Lympne is a village situated about 0.5 mile N of West Hythe, less than 2 miles distant from the Channel coast. The church of St Stephen is a substantial building perched at the edge of a long downwards escarpment looking towards the coast. It comprises a nave, a central tower, a N aisle and a porch. There are two known 19thc restorations. Romanesque work includes the tower arches, tower windows, and font, together with some reset chip carving in the early Gothic N aisle window.


Lympne and its church were held by the Archbishop of Canterbury from before the conquest. In the Taxatio of 1291, the church and a chapel was assessed at £20 (Livett 1931, 221). The church was very likely a preconquest minster.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Interior Decoration





The tower here is proportionally very large, although the blind arch decoration is made only of rubble. The fragments identified by the fieldworkers in the N aisle window could, given their current location, be remnants of a lost N door. The topography of the site makes this the only logical entrance to the church, and the creation of the N aisle would have necessitated the taking down of the former entrance to the Romanesque building.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, or England's patron saints, London, 1899,192.

S. Glynne, The Churches of Kent, London, 1877, 239-41.

G. Livett, 'Lymne church: An analytical survey', Archaeologia Cantiana 43 (1931), 221--239