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Deal Castle

Hob Uid: 468386
Location :
Kent
Dover
Deal
Grid Ref : TR3777152198
Summary : Deal Castle, a Henrician artillery castle, was built in 1539 by Henry VIII as part of his chain of coastal defences in response to the growing threat of invasion at that time. The castle, which was designed to resemble a Tudor rose, was built, along with Sandown and Walmer Castles, to protect the good landing grounds and strategic anchorage between the Goodwin Sands and the coast; an area known as the Downs. A series of bulwarks, or earthen defences, were also built along the coast between the three castles.The castle did not however see any action until the Civil War when it was captured during the Royalist revolt in Kent in 1648 and held for several weeks. The castle's defences continued to be maintained and repaired during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the changes reflected a general change in its function from that of a decreasing military role to one of a more residential nature. The castle became the residence for the honorary post of Captain of the Cinque Ports. In 1951 the castle was taken over by the Ministry of Public Building and Works and it continues to be part of the Crown Estate and is now run by English Heritage.Deal castle is built of Kentish ragstone, brick, and Caen stone reused from nearby dissolved religious houses. The castle has a circular, symmetrical plan and originally had 145 gun-ports on five tiers. At the centre of the castle is a three-storeyed circular tower, with six semicircular, slightly lower towers projecting from its external face. This is surrounded by a curtain wall with six low semicircular bastions with gun platforms on their upper levels for heavy guns. There was a continuous gallery known as the rounds at the basement level of the bastions that had 53 hand gun-ports to provide flanking fire of the bottom of the moat. The castle buildings are further protected by a stone-lined dry moat and a gatehouse. The gatehouse was equipped with a number of defensive features including murder holes and a gun-port.
More information : [TR 37775220] Deal Castle [NR]. (1)

Deal Castle - 1539. The official residence of the Captain of the Cinque Ports. (2)

Deal Castle ceased to be an official residence in 1951 when it was taken over by the Ministry of Public Building and Works and opened to the public. It is in excellent condition and as described in the Ministry Guide Book "Deal and Walmer Castles". A small museum is housed within the gatehouse. (3-4)

A description of the archaeology and history of the castle is in this source including photos, and plans. (5)

For further information on this castle please refer to these additional sources. The source: The History of the Kings Works has a detailed description of the castle. (6-20)

Deal castle was the largest of the three Downs castles and had a central tower surrounded by six semi-circular bastions. These in turn were positioned on six very large round and hollow bastions which were connected together by the curtain wall. The outer defence was a dry moat. The central tower had a gun platform as did the large bastions - with enough space for four guns. The castle had space for 66 guns on four tiers, as well as 53 gun-loops on a narrow gallery that ran around the curtain wall at basement level of the outer bastions. (21)

Deal Castle is one of the finest Henrician artillery castles in England and was built to defend the Downs' a stretch of water between the shore and Goodwin Sands. Its squat, rounded bastions were designed to deflect incoming fire and its gun platforms were equipped with sophisticated artillery. It also has 145 embrasures for close-quarter defence. Although it was never used for its original purpose to defend against foreign invaders, it was captured by Royalist forces during the Civil War and held for a number of weeks before surrendering to Parliamentary forces. The whole of the castle can be visited including the storerooms and captain's residence. (22)

The castle is the largest of a group of three - the other two are Walmer 2km to the south and Sandown 2km to the north - built between 1539-40 by Henry VIII in order to protect the strategic shallow semi-sheltered anchorage between the Goodwin Sands and the coast, known as the Downs. They were financed from the proceeds raised by the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is built of Kentish ragstone, brick, and Caen stone reused from nearby disused religious houses. It was designed around an essentially circular, symmetrical plan and originally had up to 145 gunports or embrasures on five tiers. At the centre is a three-storeyed circular tower, with six semicircular, slightly lower towers projecting from its external face. The central tower or citadel provided accommodation for the permanent garrison, originally a captain, deputy, porter and 16 gunners, with the officers' accommodation on the upper floor. The ground floor also housed a kitchen and bakery (the ovens and fireplace survive). The basement was used to store ammunition and supplies.

Surrounding the citadel beyond a narrow ward are six low semicircular bastions connected by a curtain wall which provided platforms on their upper levels for heavy guns. Within the outer wall of the basement of the bastions, facing into the moat, is a continuous gallery known as the rounds, pierced by 53 hand-gun ports which gave complete coverage of the bottom of the moat. These were equipped with smoke vents over the ports and there are L-shaped ammunition lockers. Contemporary illustrations show that the citadel and outer bastions were originally capped by broad rounded parapets pierced by gun embrasures. The castle buildings are further protected by a stone-lined dry moat originally crossed on its western, landward side by a wooden drawbridge. A portcullis originally fronted the iron studded oak door. Defensive features incorporated within the gatehouse include five murder holes a gunport in the back wall covering the doorway and a staggered approach to the ward and citadel. The defences were originally augmented by a series of bulwarks, or earthen defences, built along the coast between the castle and its sister castles at Walmer and Sandown.

The castle saw no action until the Civil War when, during the Royalist revolt in Kent in 1648, it was captured and held out against Parliamentary forces for several weeks. Its defences continued to be maintained during the late 17th and 18th centuries and during the Napoleonic wars.

Substantial alterations carried out during the early 18th century reflected the decreasing military importance of the castle. These included the construction of a captain's lodging house and the conversion of many of the gun embrasures into casement windows. In 1802 further alterations were made and the lodging house was demolished and rebuilt, serving as a residence for the holder of the now honorary post of Captain until destroyed by an enemy bomb during World War II.

For a full description of the site please refer to the source. (23)

Deal Castle was the principal observation site for the Battle of the Downs in 1639 (1582748), and the associated wrecks, many of which were reported in relation to Deal Castle. (24)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1958
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : MHLG (1035/11/A June 1947)
Page(s) : 18-19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : A history of fortification, from 3000 BC to AD 1700
Source details :
Page(s) : 246
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (WL Rutton)
Page(s) : 24-30
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 23, 1898
Source Number : 13
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (A Saunders)
Page(s) : 217-219
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 126, 1969
Source Number : 14
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 229
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : English castles
Source details :
Page(s) : 110
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Source Number : 16
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Kent, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 440
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Source Number : 17
Source : Country Life
Source details : (A Oswald)
Page(s) : 190-4
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 88, 1940
Source Number : 18
Source : Country Life
Source details : (CJ Cornish)
Page(s) : 656-7
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 105
Source Number : 19
Source : North east and east Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 282-3
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Source Number : 20
Source : CASTLES OF ENGLAND
Source details :
Page(s) : 13
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Source Number : 3
Source : Deal and Walmer Castles [guide book]
Source details :
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Source Number : 21
Source : The Castles of Henry VIII
Source details :
Page(s) : 20-21
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Source Number : 22
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
Page(s) : 55
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Source Number : 23
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 28-Jun-96
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Source Number : 24
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Compiler's comments: 06-AUG-2014
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 18-JUN-64
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Source Number : 5
Source : Deal and Walmer Castles [guide book]
Source details :
Page(s) : 5-17, 21-9
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Vol(s) : 1988
Source Number : 6
Source : Deal Castle, Kent : an English Heritage handbook
Source details :
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Source Number : 7
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 369,374,404-5,457-61
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Castles : an introduction to the castles of England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 24
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Source Number : 9
Source : A handbook of Kent's defences from 1540 until 1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 30
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Source Number : 10
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 266, 267
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Repaired and maintained 18th & 19th C
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1701
Monument Type : Artillery Castle, Artillery Fort
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Built 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1539
Monument Type : Artillery Castle, Artillery Fort
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Stuart
Display Date : Captured 1648
Monument End Date : 1648
Monument Start Date : 1648
Monument Type : Artillery Castle, Artillery Fort
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Taken over 1951
Monument End Date : 1951
Monument Start Date : 1951
Monument Type : Historical Site, Museum
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : OP00529
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 62
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27014
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 181
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : OP00536
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K970992
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K970995
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TR 35 SE 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1417140
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 468409
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 468373
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1582748
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TR 35 SE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-06-18
End Date : 1964-06-18
Associated Activities : Primary, DEAL CASTLE
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DEAL CASTLE, VICTORIA ROAD
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31