Panoramc, photostiched image of Walmer Castle, Walmer, Deal, Kent.
Contributor:John Gaffen / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:86.2 MB (4.6 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:9102 x 3311 px | 77.1 x 28 cm | 30.3 x 11 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:30 August 2013
Location:Walmer Castle, Walmer, Deal, Kent.
Walmer Castle gatehouse The Queen Mother's Garden, Walmer Castle Walmer Castle was built during the reign of Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences to meet his fears of a Catholic attack from Europe. It was the southernmost of three forts on this section of the Kent coast guarding a sheltered anchorage in the English Channel known as The Downs. The other two forts were Deal Castle which, like Walmer Castle, continues as a popular visitor attraction and Sandown Castle which, sadly, fell into disrepair and today is little more than a few stones on the seafront at north Deal. The design of Walmer Castle comprises a circular central keep, encased by four outer bastions - one of which serves as a gatehouse. It is surrounded by a deep, wide moat. In the 18th- and 19th- centuries, the upper levels of the outer bastions were modified and apartments added, turning the Castle into an elegant home. In 1708 it became the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a role undertaken by many notable people since then. Among these are William Pitt the Younger (Lord Warden from 1792 to 1806), The Duke of Wellington (1829 until 1852), high street stationer William Henry (W.H.) Smith (1891), former Australian prime minister Sir Robert Menzies (1966-1978) and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1978-2002). They and other Lord Wardens contributed to the development of the Castle in various ways. Today's visitors will find Pitt remembered in the Pitt Room where many items of his personal property are preserved. The fine gardens were designed by his niece Lady Hester Stanhope who, later, achieved fame through her visits to the Middle East. Wellington's strong links with the Castle remain and pieces of furniture he used, such as the armchair in which he died on 14 September 1852 and his campaign bed, are on display along with many personal effects such as items of uniform and clothing including a pair of original "Wellington boots".