Medieval Farming and Flooding in the Brede Valley
By Mark Gardiner
Romney Marsh: the Debatable Ground, ed. Jill Eddison, OUCA Monograph 41 (1995)
Introduction: The eastern part of the High Weald is drained by a number of rivers – the Rother, Tillingham, Brede and Pannel – which flow outwards to Walland Marsh. The history of the development of the marsh and the river valleys are closely associated, for the drainage of one has had a profound influence on the other. An analysis of the lithostratigraphy of these valleys has been undertaken, but very little attention has been given to the more recent history, and particularly to the impact of human activity in these areas. With the exception of the work by Eddison on the Rother valley, the development of drainage in the valleys leading into the marsh has been almost entirely neglected. The present paper attempts to identify the main events during the medieval period in the reclamation of the marshland within and immediately to the east of the Brede valley, and to consider how the land, which was recovered with considerable effort, was used.