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Walmer Castle

Hob Uid: 468409
Location :
Kent
Dover
Walmer
Grid Ref : TR3776150095
Summary : Walmer Castle, a Henrician artillery castle, was built in 1539 by Henry VIII as part of his chain of coastal defences in response to the threat of invasion from Catholic forces. The castle was built along with Sandown and Deal Castles to protect the good landing grounds and strategic anchorage between the Goodwin Sands and the coast, known as the Downs. In 1648, during the Civil War, the castle was captured by Royalists and held for a number of weeks. A number of repairs and alterations have been carried out on the castle. In circa 1730 the castle was enlarged and converted into the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. Important alterations were carried out in 1874 and during the Second World War a pill box was established there. Walmer castle consisted of a three-storey circular tower surrounded by four low semicircular bastions connected by a curtain wall. These had gun-platforms on their upper levels to support heavy guns. Contemporary illustrations show that the central tower and bastions were originally capped by broad rounded parapets pierced by gun embrasures. The castle buildings were also protected by a stone-lined dry moat and there was a gatehouse in the north western bastion which contained a number of defensive features including eight murder holes. The lower levels of the outer wall have gun-loops or ports which provided flanking cover of the bottom of the moat. Walmer was linked to its sister castles of Deal and Sandown by a series of bulwarks, or earthen defences, built along the coast between them.Since the early 18th century, Walmer Castle has been the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The alterations carried out during the 18th and 19th centuries were to create a residence in keeping with this role. One famous resident Lord Warden was the Duke of Wellington, who actually died at the castle.
More information : [TR 37755010] Walmer Castle [NR]. (1)

Walmer Castle - 1539. The official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. (2)

Walmer Castle, in the care of the Ministry of Public Building and Works, is maintained in excellent condition and is as described in the Ministry Guide Book "Deal and Walmer Castles". (Open to the public). (3-4)

Walmer Castle. Grade II. Walmer Castle circa 1539 for Henry VIII, built as moated coastal fortification, residential additions circa 1730 for the Duke of Dorset, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, enlarged 1874 by G Devey for Lord Granville. The moat originally filled by tidal water, but dry by circa 1800. In centre of northern meadow, a pillbox constructed 1940. (5)

For a detailed source please refer to this text. (6)

Please refer to these sources for an additional bibliography. (7-21)

This source includes an archaeological and historical description. (22)

Walmer castle consisted of a central tower surrounded by four lower rounded bastions, a dry moat and an outer curtain wall. There were three tiers of guns (a possible fourth in a basement gallery) and there were 39 openings for large guns and 31 for hand guns. The castle had double splays, casemates, smoke vents and ammunition lockers. (23)

Walmer Castle has evolved over time from an artillery castle into an elegant residence. It became the residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1708 and successive wardens have left their mark on the castle and grounds. One famous resident Lord Warden was the Duke of Wellington and a number of his personal belongings have been preserved and are on display. Private apartments were created above the gatehouse and the former Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, were regular visitors. The gardens that surround the former castle include a commemorative lawn, woodland walk, croquet lawn and kitchen garden. (24)

The castle has been substantially altered and repaired over the centuries. 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 included 39 positions for heavy guns and many smaller hand-gun embrasures on four tiers. At the centre of the original castle is a three-storeyed circular tower, originally with a central newel
staircase, which no longer survives. This provided accommodation for the permanent garrison; originally a captain, deputy, porter, ten gunners and four soldiers. The rib-vaulted basement originally housed the well and was used to store ammunition and supplies. Surrounding the central keep are four low semicircular bastions connected by a curtain wall. These provided gun-platforms on their upper levels for heavy guns. There is a continuous gallery within the outer wall of the basement of the bastions which is pierced by 32 hand-gun ports to provide flanking cover of the bottom of the moat. Contemporary illustrations show that central tower and bastions were originally capped by broad rounded parapets pierced by gun embrasures. The castle buildings were also protected by a stone-lined dry moat.
The gatehouse was located in the north western bastion and had a number of defensive features including eight murder holes, or vents and a staggered approach to the ward and citadel. The outer defences were originally augmented by a series of bulwarks, or earthen defences, built along the coast between the castle and its sister castles at Deal and Sandown.
The castle saw no action until the Civil War when, during the Royalist revolt in Kent in 1648, the castles of the Downs were captured and held out against Parliamentary forces for several weeks. The garrison's accommodation was improved at the beginning of the 18th century.
Since the early 18th century, Walmer Castle has been the official residence of the Lords Warden of the Cinque Ports. Alterations during the 18th and 19th centuries were designed to create a residence perceived to be commensurate with the dignity of the largely honorary office. The most extensive alterations were carried out by Lord Granville, Lord Warden between 1865-91.
Another famous resident Lord Warden was the Duke of Wellington who died at the castle.
For a full description please refer to the source. (25)

Two of the reported wrecks from the Battle of the Downs 1639 (1582748) were reported under Walmer Castle. (26)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : 1035/11/A June 1947
Page(s) : 20
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 266-7
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Castles : an introduction to the castles of England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 24, 56
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : A history of fortification, from 3000 BC to AD 1700
Source details :
Page(s) : 245-246
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 24-30
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Vol(s) : 23, 1898
Source Number : 15
Source : A handbook of Kent's defences from 1540 until 1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 17, 30
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 16
Source : North east and east Kent
Source details :
Page(s) : 489
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Source Number : 17
Source : Country Life
Source details :
Page(s) : 190-4
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Vol(s) : 88, 1940
Source Number : 18
Source : Home Counties magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 149-151
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Source Number : 19
Source : CASTLES OF ENGLAND
Source details :
Page(s) : 55
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Source Number : 20
Source : Mariner's Mirror
Source details :
Page(s) : 155-171
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 1965
Source Number : 3
Source : Deal and Walmer Castles [guide book]
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 21
Source : Deal and Walmer Castles [guide book]
Source details :
Page(s) : 5-16,18-20,30-42
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 22
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Kent
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Part 24
Source Number : 23
Source : The Castles of Henry VIII
Source details :
Page(s) : 21
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Source Number : 24
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
Page(s) : 74-5
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Source Number : 25
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 28-Jun-96
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Source Number : 26
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 19-JUN-64
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Banks E. Flenley R. Neilson H. 1984. The Landscape of Walmer Castle
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Source Number : 6
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 404-5,461-5, 552-7, 584-90
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details :
Page(s) : 418-19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 39, 1883
Source Number : 8
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 235
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Source Number : 9
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Kent, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 444
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : English castles
Source details :
Page(s) : 110
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Enlarged circa 1730
Monument End Date : 1740
Monument Start Date : 1720
Monument Type : Artillery Fort, House, Artillery Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Enlarged 1874
Monument End Date : 1874
Monument Start Date : 1874
Monument Type : Artillery Fort
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Built 1539-1540
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1539
Monument Type : Artillery Castle, Moat, Artillery Fort
Evidence : Extant Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Stuart
Display Date : Captured in 1648
Monument End Date : 1714
Monument Start Date : 1603
Monument Type : Artillery Castle, Artillery Fort
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : World War II built 1940
Monument End Date : 1940
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Pillbox
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 228
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 68
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27015
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K980414
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K980412
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K980413
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K980415
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : OP00679
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Kent)
External Cross Reference Number : TR 35 SE 15
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Register of Parks and Gardens Legacy No.
External Cross Reference Number : GD1220
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K960617
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K960619
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TR 35 SE 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 468386
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 618361
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TR 35 SE 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-06-19
End Date : 1964-06-19
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE PADDOCK (DEAL DRAINAGE AREA PLAN SCHEMES 3963 AND 3964)
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE PADDOCK (WALMER CASTLE II)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE KEEP
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WALMER CASTLE, KINGSDOWN ROAD
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31