Deal Castle

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Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. It is among the earliest and most elaborate of a chain of coastal forts, which also includes Calshot, Camber, Walmer and Pendennis Castles. Most were built 'with all speed, and without sparing any cost' between 1539 and 1542 by order of King Henry VIII, who feared an invasion by European Catholic powers. Its squat, rounded turrets were designed to deflect incoming cannon balls, and acted as platforms from which to fire increasingly sophisticated artillery pieces. Deal is also equipped for close quarter defence, with no less than 145 embrasures for firearms. The fort guarded the sheltered anchorage of 'the Downs' - the stretch of water between the shore and the hazardous Goodwin Sands, a graveyard of ships. The foreign invasion never materialised, but Deal Castle saw hard fighting during the Second Civil War (1648). Taken by forces from the rebel Royalist fleet, it was twice besieged by Parliamentarians, and finally surrendered after the bloody repulse of a relief attempt.Today you can explore the whole of the castle, from the storerooms to the first-floor captain's residence. A pleasant cycle path links Deal and Walmer Castles along the beach front.

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Stone castle:7.4/10
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Address: Deal Castle, Kent - CT14 7BA, UK
Phone: +44 1304 372762
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