|Location||Sandgate, Folkestone, Kent, England (Google Maps)|
|Open for Visitors||No|
|Owned By||Private Residence|
Sandgate Castle is a small seafront castle constructed around 1540 by King Henry VIII to respond to the threats made by France and the Holy Roman Empire. Despite its diminutive size, it has a massive history that everyone should know about. It is presently owned by private residence, but people can still experience its exterior from the nearby beach.
History of Sandgate Castle
Sandgate Castle is among those unique buildings constructed during the building programme, 1539. It was the only castle not built for defending a specific harbour but was used to guard the vulnerable beach between Folkestone and Dover. It was ideal for beaching ships and only 30 miles away from French Coast. It had a concentric design with a three-storey circular centre surrounded by curtain walls. The design allowed preserving multiple tiers of guns, i.e. 142 guns emplacements availability.
In 1642, the start of the first English Civil war, the castle was taken by the Parliament and then seized by Royalist rebels in 1648, the mid of the second civil war. Then later, between 1805 and 1808, the castle was designed during the Napoleonic wars time. The height of the Martello tower of the castle was reduced to be easily armed by people.
The castle noticed further damage due to its exposure to the sea in the early 18th century. The castle was garrisoned many times throughout the wars; that’s why it converted into Martello Tower between 1805 and 1806. Finally, Nelson’s victory at the battle of Trafalgar and the final defence of Napoleon at Waterloo bought peace in the country. It underwent a lot of construction to meet the new requirements of the specific war.
Later in 1888, the castle went for private ownership due to higher construction costs. And at the end of the 1970s, finally, the castle was restored by its private owners.
Sandgate Castle combines Tudor artillery castle and Martello castle, situated 124m southwest towards St. Paul Church. It was built as an artillery castle by Henry VIII, but in the 19th century, it was reconstructed as a Martello Tower.
This castle was built to use a strong stone defensive structure to preserve guns and war weapons. This monument represents the early structures built, especially as artillery warfare warehouses, and plays a major role in the history of England. The Martello towers of the castle, also known as gun towers, are situated at the southeastern coast of England, where the design is based on the fortified tower at Mortella Point in Corsica. The towers are extremely compact, free-standing, and circular with three levels. These are made using rendered bricks.
The ground floor and the roof of the Sandgate Castle have the storage place, which was earlier used for storing guns. Unfortunately, during the two World Wars and due to sea waves, the castle has noticed much destruction. Due to the higher repair cost, the government sold it off in 1888. Later, between 1975 and 1979, the castle was restored into a private residence.
In the 21st century, the Sandgate is owned by private owners and the main construction is done after that. Throughout its existence, many alterations were made in the castle, but its main structure always remained the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Sandgate Castle?
In 1888, the Sandgate Castle was owned by a railway company and then passed to private ownership. However, due to being untouched for years, the southern part of the castle got destroyed. The remaining part of restored by Peter and Barbara McGregor during 1975-1979, who turned the castle into a private residence. The castle is currently owned by a private residence and is protected under UK law as a grade I listed building.
Can you visit Sandgate Castle?
No, the Sandgate Castle is not open for visitors and can only be explored from outside. It stands tall along the coast, and you can explore its historical vibes for free from the town’s seafront if planning visiting Sandgate, Kent.
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