Yesterday I had the opportunity to fly over the marsh in a light aircraft. From above, the level landscape springs into a jigsaw puzzle of irregular fields divided by wriggling ditches.
It’s not easy to get good quality photos through plastic windows, but some I took show up historic features very clearly.
Two resources are invaluable in interpreting these pictures: Ordnance Survey Explorer 125 and “Romney Marsh – Survival on a Frontier” by Jill Eddison.
In the right foreground is Snargate and beyond it, Brenzett. Between the two the road runs straight and is shadowed by a parallel hedgerow as it traces the course of the Rhee Wall, actually an artificial watercourse excavated in the 11th century to scour silt from the mouth of the Rother – at that time by New Romney. The diagonal straight line to the right is the railway that carries nuclear waste from Dungeness Power Station, seen in the distance. The grid of lanes and ditches to the right are the eastern end of Brookland’s 12th century planned landscape.
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