Newchurch History

Welcome to the Newchurch History Mini-Site, an online project to document the history of Newchurch and the surrounding area.

This is a project initated many years ago by Newchurch Parish Council and some resident historians, who compiled a printed booklet. The original acknowledgements for this booklet can be seen here.

This mini site originates from this work and builds upon it.

Search Newchurch History

Newchurch in WWII

Newchurch played a major role defending our nation both before and during WWII.

  • Learn why Newchurch was the site for secret testing of a precursor to radar. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out about one of the four airfields constructed for the invasion of France, and read about brave pilots who took off from Newchurch to take on one of Germany's most lethal weapons. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Listen to Audrey Hammon as she recalls her life as a schoolgirl in Newchurch during WWII. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out which squadrons served at Newchurch during the war. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Delve into the following pages of information to understand why the forces based in Newchurch helped to 'tip the balance' of power at a crucial period of the war and read some first-hand experiences of the locals and the servicemen stationed here. roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to the Newchurch in WWII section

St Peter & St Pauls

There has been a church on the same site in Newchurch since the early thirteenth century but the church we see today with it's famous leaning tower came later.

  • Learn how, in a sense, the leaning tower was built that way. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Church restoration can be a matter of life and death (at least in one poor man's case). roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out about our single handed bell ringer, and how an ancient bell factory was found in the graveyard. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Discover how the church was funded. roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to the St Peter & St Pauls section
Farming the Marsh

Farming has shaped Newchurch life from the very beginning.  There have been many changes but agriculture is still the main industry here.

  • Less people so more sheep. Find out how disease lead to the supremacy of the famous Romney Marsh Sheep.  roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • See 'A day in the life' of farming in years gone by.roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Read the reminiscences of Charles Homewood. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Steam power arrives in farming roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Rioting in Newchurch? Whatever next? roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to the Farming The Marsh section

 
The Law & The Land

Newchurch is at the centre of a unique environment first shaped by the sea and then by the actions of man.

  • Learn how the marsh was formed and why our soil is so fantastic. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • See how the the Doomsday Book documented the rich life of the Marsh roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out how the unique laws of the Marsh helped to keep it dry. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • If you want to keep both your ears don’t cut down a Blackthorn!  roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to The Law and The Land section

Newchurch People

Newchurch is a very pleasant place for people live but there was a time when this was most definitely, not the case

  • Believe it or not, this area was once the unhealthiest place to live in Kent! roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Read how Newchurch school was described as "generally very backward". roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • See what village life was like and help to identify the photographs. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out what was going on in the early days of Panto at Newchurch. roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to the Newchurch People section

Owlers and Smugglers

Smuggling was at the heart of Newchurch life from the Middle Ages reaching a climax in the 18th century.

  • Discover how wool started the habit of smuggling on the Marsh. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Who were "The Blues" and how were they linked to Newchurch? roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Learn how even “The Gentlemen” were deeply involved. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Find out how going into the grave saved James Vidler’s life. roundbutton-sm.jpg

Click here to continue to the Owlers and Smugglers section

Changing Village

Newchurch has seen many changes. Some we know all about but others are hidden in the mists of time and can only be guessed at.

  • Find out how the village has changed over the years. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Discover why the church and the windmill (now long gone) were so closely linked. roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Learn about transport and the horse-drawn bus to Ashford - still going well into the 20th Century, without the horse! roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Read the responses to a mains water supply in Newchurch, a good thing surely? roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • See the evidence that Newchurch once held an 'Ankle competition'! roundbutton-sm.jpg 

Click here to continue to the Changing Village section

Newchurch Events

For a small village, there have been quite a number of events to celebrate various occasions and dates, here you can see some the history of the events that have been held.  

  • Learn about the ancient custom known as a "Clypping Service" roundbutton-sm.jpg

  • Discover the events that went on in Newchurch for the Queen's 90th Birthday   roundbutton-sm.jpg

This section will grow over the coming months as we gather more information about events that have occurred...

 

Click here to continue to the Newchurch Events section

 
 

If you would like to contact the Webmaster about the history site please click here