St Mary's Bay History

Index Icon Origins of St Mary's Bay
Index Icon Airfield at St Mary's Bay
Index Icon
 Rugby Portobello Trust

Origins of St Mary's Bay

St Mary's Bay was previously known as Jesson, likely named after Jesson Farm, built around 1820, in what is now Jefferstone Lane. The name Jesson was changed to St. Mary's Bay on 12 October 1935.
Blue Line

The origins of the village we now know as St Mary's Bay date from the early days of the nineteenth century. Prior to that time there was very little evidence of human habitation along the stretch of coast where the village now stands. A few distant farmsteads might have been visible from the road from Dymchurch to New Romney together with sheepfolds and looker’s huts – the shelters used by shepherds during lambing time.

Apart from the coast road, the main thoroughfare through St. Mary's Bay is Jefferstone Lane, which is derived  from Jesson, the name of the original hamlet.

Map showing the area in 1816,
with the St Mary's church, New
and Old Romney and Romney Bay.
Also shown is the Little Stone shingle
headland that was to become
​Littlestone when Romney Bay silted up

Map 1816