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More History of St Mary's Bay and St Mary in the Marsh

Hope All Saints Church
Looker Hut
Edith Nesbit
John Coleman VC
John and James Tredwell
Victoria Hopper

Beach in 1968
Smuggling on the Marsh
History of the Church of St Mary the Virgin
Parish Council
The Star Inn 

Hope Church of All Saints

Near to the southern boundary of the parish, by the road between New Romney and Ivychurch, there are the ruins of the Hope Church of All Saints Church. Built in the 12th century in the former parish of Hope, it fell into decay in the 18th century.
During the 19th century the ruins were a favourite meeting place for smugglers.
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Hope All Saints Church Remains
 Ruins of Hope All Saints Church

Looker Hut

Romney Marsh is world famous for its rich pastures and fine sheep so perhaps it is not surprising to find that a specialized and unusual form of building evolved there to serve the needs of the shepherding community.
The buildings are referred to as Sheephouses in historical documents but were subsequently described and became known as Lookers' Huts.

The Lookers' Hut, the domain of the Looker who used the hut as temporary accommodation while tending the flocks, a storefor his tools and medicines,and an operational base for his shepherding work.


Looker Hut
Looker Hut near St Mary in the Marsh

The buildings were plain, small and of simple design and construction, with very little in the way of domestic comforts, yet they were an important part of working life on the Marsh. At their peak the huts probably numbered in the hundreds. Today only 12 buildings remain standing, with a further three in ruinous condition. The picture on the right is one of those remaining in St Mary in the Marsh. Website Icon reference and more information

John Coleman VC

Born in St Mary in the Marsh in 1798, John Coleman won the Victoria Cross (VC) at the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean war.

He was 57 years old, and a sergeant in the British Army, 97th Regiment (Queen's Own Royal West Kent) during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 30 August 1855 at Sebastopol, the Crimea, when the enemy attacked "New Sap" and drove the working party in, Sergeant Coleman remained in the open, exposed to the enemy's rifle pits, until all round him had been killed or wounded. He finally carried one of his officers who was mortally wounded, to the rear.

John Coleman was one of 62 recipients of the Victoria Cross presented on Friday 26 June 1857 by Queen Victoria at her first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London.

He was killed in action at Lucknow, India, in 1858.
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John Coleman c1850
John Coleman c1850 [ack 3.]


Depiction of the Siege of Sebastopol
Depiction of the Siege of Sebastopol

John and James Tredwell

Father and son John and James Tredwell are both sportsman with strong links to St Mary's Bay.

St Mary's Bay resident John Tredwell was the Sports Organiser at the St Mary's Bay School Journey (and Holiday) Centre in the 1960s.  The centre was used by schools and organisations to provide educational and sporting breaks for children.

Below is an article with photograph about John Tredwell, taken from the Centre's journal of winter 1968.

John originates from Ashford, but moved to Folkestone in his 20s, as he played for Folkestone Town Football Club, he was a very good footballer in his youth. He now lives in St Mary's Bay.

John and James Tredwell  October 2006
John and James Tredwell in October 2006 at
the 150th Anniversary Dinner/Dance
of Folkestone CC
[ack 6.]

John's son James Tredwell, who lived in St Mary's Bay, is a Kent and English cricketer. A left-handed batsman and a right-arm off break bowler, he plays his domestic cricket for Kent County Cricket Club. He made his debut for Kent in the 2001 season, just nine days before his first appearance for England Under-19s. James no longer lives in St Mary's Bay but now resides near Canterbury, with his wife and child, close to Canterbury Cricket Ground.
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John Tredwell 1968

Victoria Hopper

Victoria Hopper was a Canadian-born British stage and film actress and singer, who in her latter years, lived in St Mary in the Marsh.
She was born 24 May 1909 in Vancouver in Canada and died peacefully at her home in St Mary in the Marsh on 22 January 2007, aged 97.

Her second marriage, in 1951, was to Peter Walter, a fellow actor and hero of the second world war. They had met starring in the play 'My Mother Said' in June 1949.
They lived together at Well Cottage, St. Mary's Road, St. Mary in the Marsh.

Victoria Hooper, well known from the 1930s for her achievements on stage and screen, was described as 'petite and fair-haired'. She was a great success in her first play 'Martine', in which she starred. Victoria went on to star in several plays, musical shows and in seven films.
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Victoria Hopper

Beach in 1968

Beach in 1968

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