LYDD, a market town and municipal borough in the southern parliamentary division of Kent, England, 71$ m. S.E. by E. of London by a branch of the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1901) 2675. It lies in the open lowland of Dunge Marsh. To the south-east are the bare shingle banks of the promontory of Dungeness. Its church of All Saints has a beautiful Perpendicular tower with rich vaulting within. The neighbourhood affords pasture for large flocks of sheep. On the land known as the Rypes, in the neighbourhood, there is a military camp, with artillery and rifle ranges; hence the name given to the explosive " lyddite." The town is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 12,043 acres.
The first settlement at Lydd (Hlide, Lide, Lyde) was probably due to its convenience as a fishing-station. After the Conquest it became a seaport of some consequence and although now, owing to the alteration of the coast, it stands nearly 3 m. inland a number of its inhabitants are still fishermen. In 774 land in Lydd was granted by Off a to the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, and the archbishop of Canterbury evidently held the lordship of the town from an early date. At some time before the reign of Edward I. Lydd was made a member of the Cinque Port of Romney, and in 1290 was granted the same liberties and free customs as the Cinque Ports on condition of aiding the service of its head-port to the crown with one ship. This charter was confirmed by Edward III. in 1365. The corporation also possesses documents of 1154, 1399 and 1413, granting to the archbishop's men of Lydd the privileges enjoyed by the Cinque Ports and confirming all former privileges. Lydd is called a borough in the Hundred Rolls. Its incorporation under a bailiff, of which there is evidence in the isth century, may have been due to the archbishop or to the court of Shepway, but it was not incorporated by the crown until 1885, when, by a charter under the Municipal Acts, the last bailiff was elected the first mayor. In 1494 a grant was made to the bailiff, jurats and commonalty of a yearly fair on the 12th of July and two days following. A fair was held under this grant until 1874.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)