Sandown Castle

Sandown Castle in Deal was once one of three castles in the Deal/Walmer area. Sadly, little of the original castle remains above ground. The site has been transformed into a community garden, managed by local volunteers who maintain it as a pleasant public space. Some structural elements, such as parts of the central keep and bastions, are still visible, while other parts of the castle lie buried beneath the ground.

Sandown Castle, before it was demolished. Only ruins remain. Picture: Judith Gaunt
Sandown Castle, before it was demolished. Only ruins remain. Picture: Judith Gaunt

Sandown Castle was one of three artillery forts constructed by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540 to protect England from the threat of invasion following his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The castle was designed with a central keep surrounded by four bastions, an inner moat, and an outer moat, and was equipped with numerous gun ports for heavy artillery and handguns.

Throughout its history, Sandown Castle played various roles, including a significant one during the English Civil War when it was held by Royalist forces. However, by the late 18th century, the castle began to suffer from severe coastal erosion, which breached its outer walls in 1785. Efforts were made to repair and garrison it during the Napoleonic Wars, but continued erosion led to its abandonment and eventual demolition in 1863. The remaining stones were repurposed for local construction projects, including parts of Walmer Castle and Deal Pier.

Now the site is popular with locals and offers seating in a garden-like setting overlooking the sea. A mobile coffee van offers drinks and snacks most days through the summer.

Photos around the Sandown Castle site taken in 2024

Sandown Castle Location