Shortly after stepping over the border from Kent into East Sussex, we were back at the coast. It had been a 6½ mile roadwalk inland to circumnavigate the Lydd Ranges; we were pleased it was at an end. The view stretched for miles. In the far distance the Fire Hills of Hastings could be seen. It was rather overcast and they weren’t looking too firey today.
The coastline here is a shingle beach, but when the tide is out (as it was now) sand flats are exposed. These slope gently up to meet the shingle, where there is a steep bank, standing about six feet high. The sand acts like mortar to the shingle, binding it together. It is rather difficult to climb up, as I found out to the mirth of my children. As I eventually reached the six foot summit, they jumped down and wanted to try the ascent for themselves. As they struggled up the bank, this stretch of coast suffered the most devastating coastal erosion I suspect it has seen for years.
The shingle stretches back to the obligatory concrete sea wall, to the other side of which runs a coastal road. Beyond this is farmland. Today, it is a patch of rather flat and featureless terrain, but in medieval times this was the thriving community of Broomhill. At one time the village boasted 24 taverns. In 1287 it was completely overwhelmed by a great storm. The church was reclaimed, and is mentioned in wills as late as the 16th Century, but even that is now gone. There are apparently stones lying around here and there from the old church; I failed to spot any. None of the buildings survive. Today the village remains only by name, found in several of the local farms.
We needed a bit of a scavenge too – we were all feeling in need to sustenance! Luckily, the Kit Kat Cafe on Camber Sands came to the rescue.
Energy restored, we headed off west, towards Rye.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- The Cathedral of the Marsh: N 50° 55.656 E 000° 49.830
- The Lost Village of Broomhill: N 50° 55.776 E 000° 49.220
- The Kit Kat Cafe: N 50° 55.968 E 000° 47.864
Walk #42 Statistics (of which this post forms the third part):
- Date of Walk: 5 January 2013
- Walk #41 total distance covered: 12.42 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 339.59 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!