Cinque Port Town
New Romney is a member of the Confederation of Cinque Ports and is one of the five original Head Ports.
The Confederation of Cinque Ports was formed around 1050 during the reign of Edward the Confessor. At this time, a special arrangement was put in place between the towns of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich and the king (known as ‘ship service’), whereby in return for the provision of ships and men for 15 days free service a year to the Crown, the towns’ Portsmen received many privileges.
By the 12th Century the original five ports found it very difficult to undertake all the services required of them by the Crown so the Confederation was increased in size. Winchelsea and Rye became head ports in their own right and so the official title of the Confederation became 'The Cinque Ports and two Antient Towns'. Other towns were allowed to join as ‘limbs' or ‘corporate members' under a head port. Originally, New Romney had as many as five Corporate members. However, nowadays, Lydd is the only remaining of New Romney’s Corporate Members.