Whilst in Kent celebrating turning the big 3-0 we not only enjoyed discovering the glorious Deal cottages, we also had fun exploring Deal castle. Deal Castle is fairly prominent and obvious as you drive into Deal from Dover and is just across the road from the beach and the choppy sea beyond. Now owned and looked after by the English Heritage, Deal Castle was originally built on the orders of Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal forts protecting against invasion.
For a small fee you can wander through the entirety of the castle, from the store rooms and kitchens to the residences and down to the cannon rooms. But my favourite bit was walking around the top of the battlements. you could really get a sense of what it would have been like to man the cannons as you looked out to sea for an impending attack. I really liked the fact that English Heritage haven’t spent a fortune reenacting everything and putting furniture in all the rooms. It works much better when things are left simply, so you can imagine what it would have been like.
There are of course tons of interesting facts about Deal but the two that really stood out for me are that Deal Castle was the first stop for Anne of Cleeves after her long journey across Europe to marry Henry VIII. Also the castle is shaped like a Tudor Rose, when viewed from above. It’s got a central fortress which is surrounded by two sets of six semicircular ramparts. I really find it hard to imagine that this was by chance – surely it had to be part of the architect’s plan?