Featured image of Deal Castle

The History of Deal Castle

LocationDeal, Kent, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byEnglish Heritage
Official WebsiteDeal Castle
Rooms AvailableNo

Built by Henry VIII to deal with the threat of French invasion, Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. The castle is a defence structure and an essential construction of the 15th century. The castle is established in the outskirts of town Deal and is an ideal visit.


The castle’s history dates back to when the King of France, Francis 1, signed an alliance with Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1538 and Henry VIII’s England was ultimately threatened. King Henry’s response to such a terror was to build monumental structures to protect England from these unexpected attacks. He made a series of structures, and one of them was constructed alongside the Kent coast, called the Deal Castle. Deal Castle is one of the best-preserved castles of his time, giving a unique insight into life in Tudor England. King Henry built one fort in Deal and built three forts within 2 miles, the others being at Sandown(now destroyed) and Walmer.

The fort wasn’t a regular piece of construction but was the best defence castle. At the castle’s centre was a low, sturdy tower, surrounded by a series of six semi-circular bastions, encircled by a ditch and a curtain wall with six projecting lobes. The castle was constructed so that due to it being established low on the ground, the enemy would be almost unable to fire at it. Although decked with all kinds of security requirements, the threat posed by France and Spain supposedly never came. This could be possible because King Henry’s coastal defences played a deterrent role. Though, one military action did come at the castle during the Civil War, when Royalists took control of all three forts during a 1648 uprising in favour of Charles II. During the Napoleonic wars, the castle was also a target but did not face any actual threat again.


Deal Castle Aerial View
Deal Castle Aerial View”, by Lieven Smits, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The castle’s construction is of a unique style. Built in the shape of a Tudor rose, Deal Castle is the largest of the three palaces built around the same time, the others being Walmer and Sandown. The castle’s construction was carried out from April 1539 to August 1540. All different kinds of defence strategies were used in the construction of this castle. The castle had a three-storey central circular citadel surrounded by six lower semi-circular bastions. Furthermore, six bastions were projecting out from that which in total these supported 145 gun positions spread across five tiers. 

The castle’s structure was built out of Kentish ragstone with Caen stone. These stones were apparently “robbed” from the recently dissolved monasteries and were used in the detailing of the castle. The castle also had a gatehouse for its protection. A castle gatehouse is mainly a structure built in front of it to protect the actual palace behind it from unexpected rivalry attacks and invasions. The castle also had 53 gunports for holding weapons, enabling fire on any attacking force. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there parking at Deal Castle?

Yes, parking is available at Deal castle, including disabled visitor parking, in the large car park next to the castle. Parking charges apply only to non-members and is free for members upon displaying a membership sticker. The maximum stay of three hours is for all car park users.

When was the deal castle gun platform built?

Deal Castle was built in 1539-40 on Henry VIII’s order as an artillery fortress, designed to allow all-round firepower from over 140 guns. The castle gun platform was also built around the same time, supporting 145 gun positions spread across five tiers.

What was Deal castle made of?

Built by Henry VIII in the 15th century, the structure of the Deal castle was constructed out of Kentish ragstone with Caen stone which was taken from the recently dissolved monasteries. The castle was built in the shape of a Tudor rose.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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