Sentinels on the Marsh – Historical and archaeological surveys



This project will help local people to gain a better understanding of Romney Marsh’s historic churches and the role they played in shaping the communities and landscape of the Marsh. The project is broken down into two separate parts. The first focussing on the churches which remain, and the second on those which are now in ruins.

Using volunteers, the project aims to chart the history of the churches and their relationship with the communities in which they are situated. Churchyards will be surveyed to record the memorials and assess their condition. Photographic surveys will help to identify and recorded surviving earthworks, and churches will be photographed as a fixed record of the sites.

There will be a community project at St Martin’s field in New Romney. This will take place over two short summer campaigns – 2018 and 2019 – and will attempt to define the limits of the building and address the key question of its foundation date. A mobile exhibition will be created from this work with photographs, maps, plans and text and will showcase the results from the whole project.


Sentinels on the Marsh – Historical and archaeological surveys contributes to Rediscover project theme.


There will be a community excavation at St Martin’s church in New Romney, this will take place over two short summer campaigns.


Visit the volunteering page to find out more about getting involved with Fifth Continent projects.

Jul 2019

Two Graveyard Surveys Undertaken

We have carried out two graveyard surveys this month, one at St Eanswith in Brenzett and one at St Augustine in Snave. This involved recording the condition and the inscriptions on the graves. This activity was really interesting, and we are looking forward to carrying out similar surveys in other graveyards on the Marsh.

Jul 2019

Archaeological Evaluation at St Martin’s Field

Our archaeological evaluation at St Martin’s Field, New Romney has taken place this month. Following the survey work we carried out earlier in the year, we have excavated a number of test pits to look for evidence of the church. On the first day we didn’t find any evidence of a building but on the second and third days we found what appears to be two of the buttresses and lots of demolition material. We also found some medieval floor tile and window glass. The finds will now be processed and analysed by our volunteers before being sent to experts who will give us their opinion on the material.

May 2019

Project Update

We are busy preparing for the additional survey and test pitting at St Martin’s Field in New Romney. Despite several archaeological surveys over the past 15 years we still don’t know the location, size or age of the church. We are hoping our work over the next couple of weeks will help to answer some of these questions.    

May 2019

Analysing Results of Geophys Survey

We carried out two days of geophysical survey in April. After analysing the results we have decided to carry out further survey work in June along with some evaluation test pits. Spaces will be limited to 10 volunteers per day and priority will be given to those volunteers who have already taken part in the project.

Apr 2019

Volunteers started finds-processing


Our heritage volunteers started the finds-processing from our recent archaeological excavation on RomneyMarsh. We have number of drop-in sessions planned for the coming weeks.

Apr 2019

Geophys survey of St Martin’s Field


This month our heritage volunteers carried out a geophys survey of St Martin’s Field in New Romney. Initial results look very interesting and we are looking forward to returning to the field for our community archaeology excavation in the summer.  

Feb 2019

New heritage project at Burmarsh

We have met with the community at Burmarsh to discuss a potential graveyard survey. This was well received, and we are hoping to develop this in the coming months.

Nov 2018

Resistivity survey completed

Resistivity survey

A resistivity survey was carried out at St George Ivychurch 4 November. The survey aims to look for evidence for a former extension to the existing church building. Results are currently being analysed.

Oct 2018

Volunteer training

Training underway, with volunteers learning new skills including geophysical survey techniques, landscape and building surveys and archive research.

Jul 2018

Churches specialist appointed

We have recently appointed our Churches specialists and we are now working together to organise the volunteer training sessions. The dates for these sessions will be announced shortly. If you would like to get involved, there is still time to sign up before the training sessions begin. For more details see the volunteering page.

Jun 2018

Ongoing volunteering opportunities

We are looking to involve people of all ages to take part in historical and archaeological surveys of the churches of the marsh and wider landscape. A successful launch day took place on Saturday 9 June, but we a still keen for more people to be involved. Procurement is underway to appoint a churches consultant to support the Heritage Officer in delivering this project. For contact details see the volunteering page.

Jun 2018

Heritage Officer back from maternity leave

Our Heritage Officer Lucie Bolton is back from maternity leave. If you would like to know more about our heritage projects please contact:

Apr 2018

Volunteer training days planned

We are currently planning the volunteer training days for this project. The first training day is due to take place in July. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to know more, please contact Lucie Bolton at  

Feb 2018

Digs are planned to start in 2018/19

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It is planned to create a number of short films about Romney Marsh during the life of the scheme and this will include recording the progress of the projects. Go to the film footage page to get details of the films we have produced so far.


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To find out more including how to get involved contact the project team.