Snargate is a small village in the heart of Romney Marsh, near New Romney in Kent, surrounded by rich farmland. The name Snargate, is derived from snaregate, or sluice gate. Henry II erected one here in 1254. Sluice gates were essential to the maintenance of a waterway to the harbour at New Romney. A row of cottages in front of the church were used as a workhouse for the poor in the 18th century.
St. Dunstan’s Church stands on a man-made mound surrounded by trees. It is a surprisingly large building, built around 1200 and is Grade II Listed. It underwent considerable restoration in 1871.
Snargate’s Grade II Listed Red Lion pub has CAMRA customers from all over the country and dates from the 16th century. A visit is said to be like walking back in time to this warm, cosy, atmospheric pub.
Snargate’s most famous inhabitant was the impressionist artist, Harold Gilman, known as “the English Van Gogh”. He was born in 1876 and lived at the Rectory, where his father was the rector. Harold Gilman died in 1919, aged 43, one of many victims of the Spanish influenza epidemic, at the end of the First World War.