West Kent – Appledore and the Royal Military Canal.
An 8 mile walk from Appledore, near the county border between Sussex and Kent, setting out across drained marshland along part of the Saxon Shore Way on the edge of Romney Marsh, then climbing to traverse higher ground, passing through the village of Stone-in-Oxney, before returning alongside the Royal Military Canal.
The village centre is on the northern edge of the Romney Marsh, 12 miles south-west of Ashford town. The northerly part of this village is Appledore Heath. Appledore was the setting for A. A. Milne's famous verse poem, "The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak". Milne lived 29 miles (47 km) west in Hartfield, Sussex. The fictional village of Plummergen, in the "Miss Seeton" series of crime novels by Heron Carvic, is based on Appledore.
Stone-in-Oxney is a small fairly scattered village which occupies a commanding position on the east side of the Isle of Oxney. The stone that gives the village its name is preserved in the village church, and is of Roman origin. Often thought to be an altar of Mithras, it in fact depicts Apis.
Royal Military Canal
Stretching for 28 miles from Hythe, Kent, to Cliff End, between Rye and Hastings, in East Sussex, The Royal Military Canal was built between 1804 and 1809 as a defence against invasion by Napoleon – although its guard posts also proved useful in stopping the then-flourishing trade in smuggled goods. The canal cost £234,000 to construct (£10 million in today's money), remarkably close to the estimate of £200,000. It was dug by hand by “navigators”, workmen who travelled the country building the canals and railways during this period. It is now important to maintain the drainage of Romney March.
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