St Margaret-at-Cliffe
St Margaret-at-Cliffe is a three part village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 situated just off the coast road between Deal
Deal, Kent
Deal is a town in Kent England. It lies on the English Channel eight miles north-east of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town...

 and Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 in Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The heart of the village is about two miles (3 km) from the sea with the residential area of Nelson Park further inland and St Margaret's Bay situated along and below the cliffs north of South Foreland
South Foreland
South Foreland is a chalk headland on the Kent coast of southeast England. It presents a bold cliff to the sea, and commands views over the Strait of Dover. It is northeast of Dover and 15 miles south of North Foreland...


Channel swimmers and submarine telephone cables start from St Margaret's Bay. The cliff above is where the sun is supposed first to reach the UK every morning. At the north end of the bay is Leathercote Point (sometimes spelt Leathercoat Point), where there is a war memorial commemorating the Dover Patrol
Dover Patrol
The Dover Patrol was a Royal Navy command of the First World War, notable for its involvement in the Zeebrugge Raid on 22 April 1918. The Dover Patrol formed a discrete unit of the Royal Navy based at Dover and Dunkirk for the duration of the First World War...



During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 most of the population were moved out and guns with their attendant military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 personnel were moved in. Most of the guns were anti-aircraft but there were smaller pieces intended to prevent German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 shipping from travelling along the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 coast. There were two 15 in (381 mm) guns called "Jane" & "Clem" and there were also the two famous ex-Navy BL 14 inch Mk VII naval gun
BL 14 inch Mk VII naval gun
The BL 14 inch Mk VII naval gun was designed for the ships of the Royal Navy in the late 1930s. This gun armed the King George V class battleships.-Background:...

 called "Winnie" and "Pooh". They originally came from the battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 HMS King George V
HMS King George V (41)
HMS King George V was the lead ship of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy. Laid down in 1937 and commissioned in 1940, King George V operated during the Second World War as part of the British Home and Pacific Fleets...

. On one occasion when Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 was visiting, it is rumoured that "Winnie" was fired and the officer-in-charge saluted and reported, "A direct hit, Sir". "On what ?" enquired Winston, "Er – France, Sir".There was a wooden dummy of "Pooh" but it obviously did not fool the Germans as legend has it that they dropped a wooden bomb.

The parish church suffered a direct hit from German guns located in Calais but the only damage was the destruction of a window dedicated to John Knott, lighthouse keeper of South Foreland Lighthouse
South Foreland Lighthouse
South Foreland Lighthouse is a Victorian lighthouse on the South Foreland in St. Margaret's Bay, Dover, Kent, England, used to warn ships approaching the nearby Goodwin Sands. It went out of service in 1988 and is currently owned by the National Trust...


Sir Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter...

 was stationed in the village during WWII and liked it so much that he bought a house on the cliffs after the war. The house is now owned by Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes, OBE is an English actress and voice artist. Her earliest roles were in theatre and after several supporting roles in film and television she won a BAFTA Award for her role in The Age of Innocence .-Early life:...

, both have hosted functions to raise funds for the new village hall.

At the other end of the beach there are cottages, two of which were owned by Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

 and Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...


Emissions reduction

From March 2008, St-Margaret-at-Cliffe is in the process of becoming a "Carbon Neutral" village. The inhabitants are aiming through a mixture of cutting down emissions, increasing the insulation in their homes (to reduce energy used for heating) and installing renewable energy sources to cut down the Carbon Dioxide emissions they make to a level that is offset by tree planting and other carbon neutralisation schemes.

This initiative has been kick started by the building of a sustainable conference centre in the Pines Gardens (located in St Margarets Bay). This building has been almost entirely built of sustainable or recycled materials by the Cleary Foundation. The trustees of the Cleary Foundation are part of the driving force behind the drive to become carbon neutral.

There has been green energy in the village since 1929, when St Margaret's Bay Windmill
St Margaret's Bay Windmill
St Margarets Bay Windmill is a Grade II listed Smock mill on South Foreland, the southeasternmost point of England. It was built in 1929 to generate electricity for the attached house, high on the White Cliffs of Dover.-History:...

was built to generate electricity.

External links

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