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Author Topic: Walmer Castle  (Read 7288 times)

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Offline Alastair

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2016, 12:00:35 »
A detail of no particular significance - in Old St Mary's Churchyard in Walmer the oldest gravestone is that of Gunner Bassett, Gunner at Walmer Castle buried 1693. The stone is illegible now but I noted this some twenty years ago when it was just readable.
Nice pictures, Kyn - thanks for posting.

Alastair

Offline kyn

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2016, 23:42:22 »













Offline cliveh

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 16:31:00 »
Here's a postcard view c1905:



cliveh

Offline busyglen

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 16:08:18 »
I love Walmer Castle and have visited it a lot.  My mother lived nearby in Deal, and my father was in the Royal Marines stationed for some time in Deal.  My cousin fairly recently found this photograph behind another picture in her house in London.  I was thrilled to bits to have it as it shows my father who is the fifth one at the back from the left (as you look at it). Unfortunately, it is slightly larger than my scanner bed, so it hasn't come out too clear, but enough to see what it is.  This was in 1916, and not too long after this was taken, my father who was in the Light Infantry, was posted on Convoys abroad during the war.  Shame they didn't know how to spell Engineering, but what the heck!  :)

A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 20:30:22 »
Here's a few pics from my vivit today. The castle is charming as are the gardens but the latter somewhat spoilt by a chronic invasion of the dreaded bindweed into most of the beds & borders:

















cliveh

Offline Trikeman

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 00:37:19 »
Very neat little castle, Walmer. Here's the usual....
Trikeman



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Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Walmer Castle
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 12:25:40 »
I was at East Langdon church the other day and the keyholder gave me an interesting insight into the church etc. Langdon Abbey was destroyed and stone taken to build Deal and Walmer castles and apparently some of the stone is distinctly ecclesiastical in appearance. Supposedly there are carved heads in the walls possibly at Deal???

Offline kyn

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Walmer Castle
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 23:57:55 »
Walmer Castle is an artillery castle built in 1839 after Henry VIII ordered more defences of Britain as the threat of invasion from Spain grew.  The castle consisted of a great circular keep with an inner ditch or courtyard separating it from four semi-circular bastions, the northern bastion incorporates the entrance to the castle, a gatehouse accessed from a drawbridge over the outer moat.  To aid the defences the English Fleet were issued and ready and the chain of early warning beacons around the coast were repaired.

In October 1540 the castle was manned by a captain, a lieutenant, ten gunners, four soldiers and two porters, accommodating for these men was sited in the central keep that held a well in the centre of the basement.  The castle would recruit local people to man the guns at times of war, the basement held a gallery with thirty-two firing loops for hand weapons, this defended the moat, and the three tiers above the basement could hold thirty-nine gun positions, many different guns could be mounted in the castle giving a varied range and fire power, the keep held more gun positions on the parapet.

Royalists occupied Walmer Castle in 1648 and laid siege to Dover Castle after the execution of Charles I, the siege was won by a Parliamentary force of 2000 men who then went to Walmer to gain control from the Royalists, they arrived on 15th June with no artillery however the Royalists surrendered on 12th July probably as a result of very few provisions.  Despite the Parliamentary Force's a lack of artillery, Walmer Castle suffered much damage, Colonel Rich, Leader of the Parliamentary Force, wrote of Walmer to the speaker of the house of commons, three hundred pounds will complete it.  I fear five hundred pounds will scarce render this in so good condition as it was before it was besieged. Colonel Rich oversaw the works and the castle was ready to defend the shore in time of the Dutch wars, the castle was never attacked during this time but protected ships moored at the deep waters of the Downs.  The castle soon was viewed as obsolete as angled bastions, instead of rounded bastions, were needed to protect from the new firepower of the enemy.  

The Duke of Dorset was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1708, the official residence of the Lord Warden was above Constables Gate at Dover Castle however the Duke of Dorset chose to move to Walmer Castle, due to this decision Walmer Castle became the official residence of the Lord Warden and still is to this day.  There was still a military presence at the castle with the gunners residing at the castle, this prompted the Duke of Dorset to adapt the castle and adding extra accommodation above the courtyard between the keep and the northern bastion, room was left to install guns on the bastion, a weather-board house was also built for the gunners at a later date, this is situated at the rear of the southern bastion.  1792 saw William Pitt and his niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, move to the castle, there were many alterations at this time to the gardens and grounds.  The Duke of Wellington stayed at the castle often during his term as Lord Warden that began in 1829, many dinner parties were held during this time.  The Duke died at the castle in 1852 on a chair in his room that can still be seen in the room he occupied, his death mask is also on show in an adjoining room.  The Earl of Granville was appointed Lord Warden in 1865, he and his wife built more rooms above the gatehouse at the castle and improved the gardens and grounds that had been neglected, these were the last major alterations to the castle.


There was a custom that the Lord warden could buy the castle furniture when they moved to the castle, some chose not to resulting in the loss of some important historic items over the years.  To prevent any more furniture being lost W H Smith, the founder of the popular bookshop, proposed to set up a trust to ensure historically significant items remained at the castle, unfortunately he died before the proposals could be enforced.  W H Smith's son established the trust in memory of his father.

The castle is now maintained by English Heritage and can be visited, with it's beautiful gardens and grounds, between March and October.  The castle and grounds are closed between the 11th and 13th of July when the Lord Warden is in residence in the apartments above the gatehouse.














 

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