History Timeline for Romney Marsh

Our History Timeline page provides the key dates and events in the rich history of Romney Marsh. To find out more about a particular topic, just click on the links.

  End of Ice Age  

  • Vast quantities of flint nodules, released from the chalk of southern England, were carried by seasonal flood waters down to what became the bed of the English Channel, ending up as shingle.​  

  4,000 BC et seq  

  • Romney Marsh was a sandy bay with the sea covering the whole area 
  • Start of the build-up this shingle, caused by longshore drift, as a barrier at Dungeness and northwards as far as Dymchurch.
  • This shingle barrier created lagoons behind it to the east, which gradually became mudflats.
  • ​The river valleys flowing into the lagoons from the Weald high ground left deposits, creating swamps and vegetation

  2,000 BC et seq  

  • Archaelogical finds show that people used Romney Marsh at least as far back as 2,000 BC

  1,000 BC et seq  

  • The sea level started to rise faster than the Marsh was building up

  800 BC Iron Age  

  • Limited habitation of Romney Marsh

  1st Century



  3rd Century


  5th Century


  8th Century


  • Dungeness (as Dengeness) first recorded
  • Lydd (as Lyd) first recorded

  9th Century


  11th Century



  12th Century



  13th Century
   early 13th Century  



  • Wool becomes subject to export duty, leading to smuggling




  14th Century     


15th Century     

  • The Romney Marsh Corporation was established to install drainage and sea defences for the Marsh, which it continued to build into the 16th century

  16th Century     
   1564 onwards  

  • The health of the Marsh population suffered from malaria, then known as ague or marsh fever, which caused high mortality rates until the 1730s



  17th Century

  • Wool exports made illegal, leading to increase in smuggling



  19th Century




  • Many of the taxes on imported goods were abolished, leading to a decline in smuggling






  20th Century





  • 90% of Romney Marsh grazed by some 200,000 sheep






  • Dungeness A Power Station ceased power generation. Expected to enter 'care and maintenance' stage of decommissioning in 2027.