Spirit of the South: Exploring the history of Lympne Castle

Watch: ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides has been along to see why the village is so proud of its castle, and why the castle needs the village

The South is a special part of the country with stunning coastlines, wonderful woodlands and waterways.ITV News Meridian is celebrating this part of the world with our annual series called 'Spirit of the South', showcasing the region and some of the hidden treasures it holds.

Kent is well-known for its castles, with more than 30 of them, although some exist only as ruins or mounds. 

And as well as the stately landmarks at Leeds and Hever, which pull in tourists from around the world, there are some real hidden gems.

Lympne Castle near Hythe is one of them.

Sitting high on a hillside, it has views across the Romney Marsh to France.

Aimee Langley, Operations Manager, said: "The castle you see now is from the 12th century which was built as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's estate.

"We have been anything from a working farm to a convalescent home to Canadian soldiers and from the early 2000s we've become an event venue and have been doing weddings and predominantly since then however our earliest known wedding was 1964."

The word Lympne comes from the Celtic Lemo, meaning an elm wood or marshy place.

The village dates back almost two thousand years, when the Romans marched form the Kent Coast up to Canterbury.

Fast forward to 1978 and the castle was used by the rock group Wings to record part of their album Back to the Egg.

The castle may dominate Lympne, but this is a village of 1,500 people with a strong sense of community.

There's a strong sense of community in the local village.

A group of volunteers have been raising thousands of pounds, using it to buy an extension to the village hall, benches and trees.

Their next project is to improve a children's play area.

Volunteer Meghan Kemp says: "As we've realised over the last year it's a big part of a human connection and it's really important and to have that on your door step some people don't have the ability to travel out of the village.

"So if we can provide that here on the playing field it just strengthens your community your well being and I just think it's really important for everyone."