Original article from Kent Live
Kent is one of the oldest settled parts of the UK, with remains of human civilisation in the county tracing all the way back to the Paleolithic era – better known as the Stone Age.
It's no surprise then that over the years, settlements have risen and fallen, many forgotten or merging into larger towns and cities.
We've actually seen some of this happen as recently as the 1960s, with swathes of northwest Kent absorbed into Greater London.
However, going back before metropolitan urban sprawl was an issue, much more of Kent has been lost to the tides of history – towns long forgotten or even simply abandoned.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
Take Hampton-on-Sea as an example – it was once part of Herne Bay, but is now a lonely spit of land which is only visible at low tide.
It's not just our coastlines either – entire towns and villages have faded off the map all across the county.
The mystery and tragedy of these settlements is undoubtedly intriguing – and there are many, many more than you'd expect.
We've rounded up the areas that no longer have a place on the map and the fascinating stories behind them.
The abandoned village of Dode is in the heart of Gravesham, just above the River Medway.
There has been a settlement in the area since 1087 but all that remains now is the Church of our lady at the meadows, which is now used as a wedding venue.
The villages entire population was wiped out by the Black Death in the during the 14th century. The tragic fate of the village gave it a place in Kentish folklore.
It is said that the last survivor of the Black Death at Dode was a seven-year-old girl known as the Dodechild.
The legend goes that she took refuge in the church after all the other villagers were dead, and died within its walls.
The Dodechild is supposed to haunt the churchyard, though sightings are scarce.
Stonar wasn't lost to storms or absorption by neighbouring towns – no, it was destroyed in war.
Just north of Sandwich, the town was once the site of Edward III's return to England during the Hundred Years' War.
It wouldn't survive the war sadly – being destroyed in 1385 by the French.
From there it was incorporated into Sandwich in 1773, becoming part of one of Kent's best known coastal towns – but the site of all this history survived only by a farm house by 1872.
Broomhill, a port to the West of Dungeness, was lost to the sea in a coastal storm of 1287, according to the site.
It is estimated to have been built around 1200AD on Walland Marsh and was finally excavated to the in the 1980s.
Not to be confused with Billericay in Essex, this hamlet once stood adjacent to Port Lympne nature reserve.
The name does share an origin with the Essex town, as both were built near Roman forts, the Latin name Bellocastrum, meaning 'fair castle', slowly turning into Billerica.
With links to the Romans, this is one of Kent's oldest forgotten settlements, and according to Tudor-era historian John Leland, it was a ghost town as early as the 1550s.
Perhaps the most ghostly of all the abandoned villages is Oxney, off the Dover- Deal road near Ringwould.
Once it was a small community but today, apart from the hidden away reconstructed house of Oxney Court, Oxney is shrouded by dark, ominous woodland and completely cut off from the the public.
There are indications that in days gone by there was a small community living there, probably farming the acres now covered by undergrowth.
Many will be surprised to discover the small village, of just more than 300 acres, was most likely inhabited for thousands of years.
And its name is attached to some dark and sinister tales over the years.
An article in Bygone Kent, published in July 1983, does well to capture the "dread" in which locals used to hold this spot.
It says classic writers Henry James and Edgar Allen Poe would "have difficulty finding a better setting for any of their ghost stories".
The history of the site too is somewhat mysterious and scant.
We do know that the parish of Oxney is around 1,000 years old and was recorded in the Domesday Book.
It was given to Sir William d'Auverville, a knight, and later passed through the hands of John Smedley.
It wasn't until the Middle Ages that the church itself was built and dedicated to St Nicholas.
Also mentioned in the Domesday Book, Eastbridge is said to have been situated west of Dymchurch.
Today, there is little sign of what used to be, other than the church and a handful of houses.
Fawkenhurst lay West of Dungeness, according to the site.
Today, just a stone cross on a stepped plinth remains.
Faversham Stone Chapel
The ruins of Faversham Stone Chapel sit on the ancient site of the roman town of Durolevum.
It is the only chapel in England to incorporate a pagan shrine into its architecture.
Unfortunately the chapel was not up kept throughout history and was reported to be in disrepair by 1511.
It seems to have been abandoned completely by 1600.
Blackmanstone was mentioned in the Domesday Book and lay west of Dymchurch, to the Northeast of Ogarswick.
In 1934, it was reportedly abolished as a civil parish to form parts of Burmash, Newchurch and St Mary's.
The tiny village of Fairfield used to be located in the borough of Folkestone and Hythe until it was absorbed into the village of Snargate in 1934.
Known for it's distinctive isolated church, Fairfield's aesthetics has seen it used in many historical TV programs.
These include Great Expectations and more recently the BBC's adaptation of Parades End starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Little is known about Cildresham, near Faversham, now thought to be the site of Luddenham.
In the Domesday book the village was recorded as having only twelve properties, though the modern-day hamlet of Luddenham is hardly much bigger.
In fact, the hamlet was home to one of the most secluded pubs in the whole of Kent, though the remote Mounted Rifleman closed in the early 1990s.
Hope, to the West of New Romney, is said to have been mostly abandoned during the 17 century.
Although a small population remained, it was abolished in 1943 to form part of Newchurch, St. Mary in the Marsh and Old Romney.
Midley, a small island between Romney and Lydd, was reportedly abolished as a civil parish in 1934 to form part of Old Romney.
A village on the site dates back to the 8 century with 23 people still living there at the start of the 19 century.
Ogarswick was mentioned in the 1851 census and reportedly lay West of Dymchurch.
It is now marked by a cross of stone from the ancient church.
It became part of Burmarsh in 1934, after being abolished as a civil parish.
Hampton Pier is a lonely spit of land that is only visible at low tide, but it conceals a somewhat tragic past.
It is hard to imagine anything could have possibly happened here at all, or that it was ever anything but rock and sea.
However underneath these murky waters lies the story of Hampton-On-Sea,
There was indeed a small settlement here that was steadily eroded by the sea until the situation became untenable.
In 1901, a census put the population of Hampton-On Sea at 42 people. This was a number that would steadily decline.
As the sea rapidly encroached it was clear that the battle was lost.
Hernecliffe Gardens disappeared between 1909 and 1911. As their foundations became untenable the council took the decision to demolish the buildings.
Eddington Gardens, which was further away from the sea, lasted for a while longer until it too was demolished, leaving nothing behind but the Hampton Inn and the remains of the pier.