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Deal in Kent - A Town full of History

Official Deal Tourist information number : 01304 369576

Early History

Deal is mentioned as a village in the Domesday book but archaeological evidence suggests its history stretches back much further. Julius Caesar is said to have landed on the Deal-Walmer coast in 55 and 54BC.

Deal gradually grew from a small fishing village and by the end of the 13th century Deal was an important port.

3 Tudor Castles

Sandown (of which only a few stones remain), Deal and Walmer castles were all built along the Deal coast in 1539-1542 by Henry VIII because of the threat of invasion by France and Spain. Their rounded walls were designed to resist cannon fire. When viewed from above they resemble the Tudor rose. Both Deal and Walmer castles are open to the public.

Walmer castle is the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

William Pitt the Younger lived here with his niece Lady Hester Stanhope. She acted as his society hostess and was responsible for much of the original layout of the gardens.

After his death she went on to become the most famous woman traveller of the age. Sometimes dressed as a man, she travelled in the middle east and even crossed the Syrian desert. Her biography by Kirsten Ellis is a great read, charting her rollercoaster life in vivid detail.

Other notable Lord Wardens include the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. All have left their mark and mementoes from their time are on show, including Wellington's boots!

To learn more about Deal and Walmer castles go to our 'Castles' page.

Click here for Deal's later history and it's links with smuggling.