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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Greatstone

Greatstone is a recent name taken from a shoreline feature, which has since been eroded by coastal changes, known as the Great Stone (first recorded in 1801).

Greatstone Dunes railway station opened on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway on 24 May 1928. They built the station to meet the demand from the extensive contemporary plans for the development of a new community named 'Greatstone-on-Sea'. Unfortunately, the area did not become the planned holiday destination and the station closed in 1983.

Greatstone-on-Sea Halt opened on the South Eastern Railway’s realigned New Romney branch serving the prospectively busy modern village of Greatstone-on-Sea, on 4 July 1937. However, due to a lack of demand, Southern Railway closed it on 6 March 1967.

A town plan regulates
Greatstone’s development so that instead of developing into a haphazard and ramshackle collection of beach huts, they are well laid out. During WW2, the army requisitioned some of the bungalows and holiday camp as camouflage for the pumps of the PLUTO (Petrol Line Under the Ocean) installation that supplied fuel to forces taking part in the Normandy landings in 1944. After the war, they returned all to residents and holidaymakers.

Greatstone church is dedicated to Saint Peter and started life in 1953 in a wooden hall, and as a Chapel-of-Ease to All Saints Lydd. In April 1962, a bequest enabled a new brick building to be erected, which Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, opened. The shape of the building reflects that of a boat - being a symbol of the disciple Peter. The east end – rounded - portrays the bow, and the west end – tapered although cut off square - for the stern.