Lympne (St. Stephen)
LYMPNE (St. Stephen), a parish, in the union of Elham, partly within the liberty of Romney-Marsh, but chiefly in the hundred of Street, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 2¾ miles (W.) from Hythe; containing 606 inhabitants. The parish takes its name from the ancient river Limene, now the Rother, a branch of which passed below it, and formed the Roman haven Portus Limanus; the place itself is generally considered to have been the Aimin of Ptolemy. The great military road called Stane-street, still visible for some miles, ran hither from Durovernum, or Canterbury. At Shepway Cross, about half a mile from the church, the Leminarcha, or Lord Warden of the cinque-ports, was sworn into office. The parish comprises 2658 acres, of which 273 are in wood; that part in Romney-Marsh is flat, but the rest hilly, and the soil is partly loamy and partly rocky. The Royal Military canal intersects the parish. A fair for pedlery and toys is held on July 5th. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 1. 4.; patron, the Archdeacon of Canterbury; impropriator, A. Evelyn, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £468, and the vicarial for £239; the vicar's glebe consists of one acre, and the impropriator's of about 150 acres, besides which there are portions of land in West Hythe. The church stands on the edge of a rock near the village, and is principally in the Norman style, with a tower rising from the centre. There are considerable benefactions to the poor. Near the church is Stutfall Castle, a stronghold or fort of the Romans; the walls are constructed of brick and flint. About 633, Ethelburga, daughter of Ethelbert, built a nunnery here in honour of the Virgin Mary, which subsequently became an abbey, and continued till 964; after the Danish invasion it came into the possession of the archbishops of Canterbury.