The Lyminge Historical Society
Our Historical Society was formed in 1971.
The Family History & Research Group is hopefully being re-vamped in 2022. Historically the group aided each other in researching their genealogical studies and and latterly carrying out research for displays in Lyminge Library as well as for articles in our publications, Lyminge a history. An example of research undertaken was the discovery of some of the personal histories of those who are commemorated on our village War Memorial. See Lyminge a history Part 5 – Lyminge Men Remembered.
The main activity of the Society is the presentation of monthly talks between March and June then again between September and December.
Our current programme is included here.
The Kent parish of Lyminge lies in the south of the Elham Valley on the edge of the North Downs. The parish includes the villages of Lyminge, Etchinghill and part of Rhodes Minnis and the hamlets that lie within the area. As with all parishes that appear in the Domesday Book, we have a long pedigree.
Over the years much local history has been unearthed and we are lucky to have both serious amateur & professional historians and archaeologists to help us in this quest.
The oldest building is the parish church of St Mary and St Ethelburga. It is said that in 633 Ethelburga, widowed Queen of Northumbria, returned to Kent and founded a monastery for monks and nuns.
During a period of Viking raids the nuns were withdrawn to Canterbury for their safety but the monastery was still occupied by monks up to 965.
After this St Dunstan built a new church, suppressed the monastery, and united its property with Christchurch Canterbury.
The church was originally dedicated to St Mary and St Eadburga, the name of the dedication having been changed at some point around the end of the 19th Century.
Archaeological digs starting in 2008, under the direction of Drs Gabor Thomas and Alexandra Knox of Reading University, have confirmed the importance of the parish’s place in Saxon history. The dig programme continued until 2015, see the Archaeology page for information. Also in 2019 Pathways to the Past project, as part of a community project, re-excavated the 7th Century Anglo-Saxon Church sited next to the 10th Century standing Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Ethelburga.
Part of the reason for creating this web site has been promote the existence of the parish archive. A large portion of the files have been catalogued, you can see the index here. We have still to catalogue our collection of other documents, maps, photographs and a bibliography from our archive library.
Originally we had intended to upload copies of all the files. However, as this will take a great deal of volunteer time and with little evidence that there is a call for them, we have modified our ambition and now intend to upload only copies of those files which have been scanned following a specific enquiry.
We publish a series of social histories volumes under the series title of Lyminge a history, follow the link to read more on the volumes. We also publish three local guides including walks. Publications can be bought via the web site using Paypal. Our latest publication is Lyminge a History Part Eleven. Click here to see details on our publishing philosophy and aims.