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Royal Military Canal

The National Trust looks after a three-mile stretch of the Royal Military Canal, in Appledore, Kent. The canal was part of the military defences against the threat of invasion by Napoleon. It stretches from Hythe in Kent to Cliff End in East Sussex, a total of 28 miles. Dug between 1804 and 1809, the soil was piled up on the north bank, to create a parapet that would protect the soldiers and military road behind. You can still see this in the landscape as you walk. In 1936 the land came up for sale. Dorothy Edith Johnston (1880-1962) bought the stretch between Warehorne and Appledore and donated it to the National Trust. She did so to secure the preservation of the site. She was a generous benefactor who in later years also left the Trust this collection.

Visitor Information

Address:
Royal Military Canal,
from Appledore Bridge to Warehorne Bridge,
Kent,
England,

Royal Military Canal

This collection has 996 items online

The collection was created by Dorothy Edith Johnston (1880-1962) and reflects her many interests. The most significant is her library. As well as being a comprehensive collection relating to Kent, it offers valuable insight in the interests and reading habits of a well-travelled woman of independent means. Dorothy travelled extensively and was a keen photographer. With her sister Mary she joined the Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, part of the first cohort of women to be admitted. By 1936 she was living in Appledore. Her interest in local history is evident from the archaeological finds, guides and photographs of local places of interest. She acquired the papers of the local antiquarian Dr Cock, now deposited with Kent Archives. The collection also includes an interesting selection of Napoleonic memorabilia. They were given to Dorothy and her sister by their fencing tutor, Felix Bertrand. His father Baptiste was a renowned fencing master who had taught the Prince Imperial.

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