Friday, 14 September 2012

Castle

More on our little trip to Folkestone.
Walking west along the seafront, we reached the smaller village of Sandgate.  This little village has a long history and has been on the front line of defence of the British Isles for centuries.  As proof of this, there is a castle next to the promenade which dates back to 1539.
Built by Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal defences, it is well documented and the British Library holds all the details about it's building and use.  For example, the cost of building the castle is known to have been £5,584.7s.2d.  Quite what the 2d. was for is not made clear!
Keeping the French at bay has long been a priority for Britain and the ornamental - and rather small - canons dotted around the castle all seemed to be pointing that way still.  In later years, the top was removed and the whole building was converted to a 'Martello' type tower and used as a coastal battery during the Napoleonic Wars.  The building is now a private residence.  Very smart!
Sandgate has been the home of several notable people including H G Wells, politician William Wilberforce and Hattie Jacques and with views like these, who can blame them?
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