Folkestone and Hythe Disrict Heritage Strategy

Introduction to the Heritage Strategy

1.1  Folkestone & Hythe District is the most southern local authority in Kent and its longest-standing administrative unit. It extends from the hills and valleys of the North Kent  Downs in the north,  through the Greensand  Vale  (an area that includes the Greensand Ridge and Holmesdale) and southwards onto the Romney Marsh and the Dungeness shingle spit. It is a coastal district edged by high white chalk cliffs and sandy beaches interspersed with a number of coastal towns and settlements including the former major port of entry at Folkestone. 

1.2  The district has a  remarkably rich and diverse heritage.  While some of  its heritage assets are instantly recognisable like the Martello towers along its coastline there are many more that are less well known but that play a major role in the district's historic sense of place.  At a  wider scale, the district contains a  range of historic landscapes moulded by natural and human processes that provide the distinct character that is valued by those who live, work in and visit the area. The heritage assets, from individual features to the wider landscapes, have all played a role in shaping the district's development and identity. 

1.3  At a time of substantial change and growth in the area, the district’s heritage assets provide a  unique opportunity for place-making,  guiding and stimulating regeneration and making significant contributions to recreation, tourism, the economy, health and education.  That is why the District Council has identified a key priority in its  Corporate  Plan  (2017-2020),  under the  ‘Appearance  Matters’  objective,  to ‘…maintain and improve … historic assets’ by providing landscape and urban design advice in order to achieve high-quality places to live and work in.   

1.4  The Folkestone & Hythe District Heritage Strategy was commissioned by the Council to ensure that the heritage of the district plays a clear and positive role in its future. While the primary purpose of the Heritage Strategy is to address local planning needs, it is designed to address much more than that. It has been written to explain the substantial benefits and real value that conservation of the historic environment and heritage assets, and their recognition and use can bring to the district. 

The District's Rich Heritage

2.1 The district contains an exceptional wealth of heritage spanning from prehistoric times to the present day. The district features archaeological finds, historic structures and landscapes that are of outstanding significance having importance nationally and even internationally. While the district may arguably lack the internationally recognisable sites of its neighbours, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover Castle, it does include amongst its heritage offer iconic assets. For example the Martello Towers and Royal Military Canal which sit proudly amongst its unrivalled collection of Napoleonic period defences or the unique landscapes at Dungeness and the Romney Marsh. 

2.2 Alongside these and other nationally important sites there are numerous sites of regional or local importance, less well known perhaps but treasured and valued by local communities as markers of their own history and that of their towns and villages. Furthermore, there are many important visitor sites, museums and collections that are open to the public in the district that make a substantial contribution to the public's understanding of the area's heritage and to its tourism potential. These sites, buildings and objects are known as 'heritage assets' and are exactly that — places and artefacts of value to the district, to its sense of identity, its aesthetic appeal and its economy. 

You can read the full document here Website Icon  Folkestone and Hythe District Heritage Strategy



Main Document 

  1. Introduction to the Heritage Strategy
  2. The District's Rich Heritage
  3. Heritage Assets 4 Heritage Themes
  4. Heritage Activity in the Folkestone & Hythe District
  5. Opportunities - Making the Most of the District's Heritage
  6. Vulnerability of the Heritage Assets 8 Stakeholder Engagement 
  7. Taking the Folkestone & Hythe District Heritage Strategy Forward 
  8. Sources and Consultation


  1. Heritage Assets 


  1. Theme Papers
  2. Case Studies
  3. Activities in Folkestone & Hythe District
  4. SHLAA Assessment