Deal, Kent, England
Deal Castle is located right on the beach in the town of Deal in the south east of England, its important position was chosen to guard a stretch of water used as an anchorage and landing ground.
This Tudor artillery castle is built of reused materials such as Caen stone, brick and Kentish ragstone removed from dissolved religious buildings nearby. The castle is surrounded by a curtain wall with six low bastion’s and gun platforms. The castle itself consists of a three storey circular tower with six semicircular towers projecting from it. These towers give the castle the appearance of a Tudor rose form the air and are perfectly symmetrical. The castle is protected further by a dry moat and gatehouse with its murder holes and gun port which are still in good condition.
The castle is open every day between1st April and the 30th September from 10am until 6pm. Visitors can explore the whole castle including the captains quarters, visit the interactive exhibition and shop.
The castle was the earliest in a line of coastal forts built between 1539 and 1540 by Henry VIII to protect England against the Catholic invasion from Spain and France. The outer walls were rounded to offer more strength and protection against cannon fire and were constructed with over 200 cannon and gun ports.
The anticipated battles never occurred, but during the Civil War in 1648 the castle did see hard fighting and was taken by both the Royalist rebels and the Parliamentarians before it was finally surrendered. Since the 1700 the castle has had a captain who commanded the garrison stationed there; although today the title is purely an honorary one. After this time the castle was fortified and improvements made in both the 18th and 19th centuries with the rebuilding of the Governor’s lodgings before they were destroyed again by German bombs during the Second World War.
In 1951 the Ministry of Public Works took over the care of the castle although it still remained part of the Crown’s estate, it is now in the hands of English Heritage.
Accounts suggest that the castle was also used a resting place by Anne of Cleves on her long journey to London before her fateful marriage to King Henry VIII.
Other Castles in the Area
Dover Castle, Kent
Walmer Castle, Kent
Deal Castle was built in 1539-40 by Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal defences to protect against attack from Catholic Europe. The castle looks out over The Downs, the sheltered area of water inside the Goodwin Sands which has long been a favourite anchorage for shipping.
Photograph by Ron Strutt. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Deal Castle from the beach
Photograph by Robin Drayton. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Deal Castle map