Appledore is a small attractive village, situated between Tenterden and New Romney, on the edge of the Romney Marshes in Kent. It has medieval houses and a 14th century church. It is believed that the name is derived from the Saxon word for appletree. It was a port on the estuary of the River Rother and was involved with shipbuilding and trading. Until the 13th century, the River Rother flowed to the sea. The village dates back to Viking times. The Danes invaded Appledore in 892 AD and made the village its main base until 893 AD. They planned to invade the rest of England, but were defeated by Alfred the Great’s son at The Battle of Benfleet in Essex and driven out.
In 1380, the French pillaged the village and burnt St. Peter and St. Paul Church. It was subsequently rebuilt and enlarged. In 1381, men from the village joined in the Peasants Revolt against King Richard II, lead by blacksmith, Wat Tyler. Horne’s Place, just outside the village, was attacked by his men.
When England was considered to be at risk of invasion by Napoleon across the low lying Romney Marshes, the Royal Military Canal was built from 1804 until 1809. This stretches from near Folkestone to Rye. It passes close to Appledore and now provides an excellent walking route. The Canal was refortified during the Second World War, when Hitler threatened to invade. The old Saxon Shoreline Way, a long distance footpath stretching for 163 miles from Gravesend to Hastings, also passes through the village. The Black Lion, which was previously known as The Red Lion, is a popular traditional English pub and restaurant.
Appledore was chosen by A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, as the setting for his poem, The Knight Whose Armour Didn’t Squeak. A.A. Milne lived thirty miles west of Appledore, in Hartfield, Sussex.