Midley, Romney Marsh’s middle isle

If you look at an Ordnance Survey map of Romney Marsh, about halfway between Lydd and Brookland, in the middle of nowhere, you’ll see the words Midley Cottages. The name Midley is derived from Middle Isle, a reference to three islands (the other two were New Romney and Lydd) that protruded from the sea that once covered the Marsh. Midley once had its own church, now just a ruin in a field, visible from the lanes. Until recently it also had perhaps the most picturesque of the Marsh’s lookers’ huts (shelters for shepherds).

Midley church ruin crop
Midley church ruin

Looker’s Hut – now gone

But a couple of years ago, someone knocked down Midley’s hut, probably to steal the bricks. The picturesque little piece of Marsh history survived Germany’s bombers only to be destroyed by English vandals.

Midley can be a good place for birds. Turtle Dove and Tree Sparrow are possibilities. Harriers hunt here, and in winter you may find a flock of Bewick’s Swans in nearby fields.

The Woolpack, a Marsh inn

When you’ve finished enjoying the quiet nothingness of Midley, why not head for the Woolpack, a couple of miles west, just off the A259 (TQ977244). This ancient inn is, I think, the nicest pub on the Marsh. It sells Shepherd Neame beers, always in excellent condition, which go very well with their scrumptious chilli con carne.

The Woolpack, Brookland

The pub also has a wonderfully aloof black cat called Liquorice, who stole my heart a few years ago but cares nothing for me.


6 thoughts on “Midley, Romney Marsh’s middle isle

    1. In fact, Liquorice is quite old now. SHE is in her teens (human years), I think. Acres of Walland Marsh are her territory, the pub kitchen her snack bar. No chance of her being lured away into suburbia.

  1. We were there today and delighted to see the stone face protruding from the ruins – any ideas when this dates from?

  2. I’m sorry, but I know nothing of the ‘stone face’ you mention.

    One of my books tells me there was possibly a church on the site at the time of Domesday. Another dates the present ruin to the 13th C.

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