Sandgate Castle

Sandgate Castle tower

Sandgate Castle History

Sandgate Castle was one of the coastal forts erected by Henry VIII in 1539-1540.

It was reportedly the only one that was not used to defend a harbor or an anchorage; instead, it commanded the beach and the coast road to Dover. It was constructed to the design of Stefan von Haschenperg.

Sandgate may have been the site of an earlier castle built by Richard II, however, it is known as the castle built by Henry VIII to defend his shores.

Sandgate was part of a chain of castle forts that also included Walmer, Deal, and Sandown. The building began in 1539 and recycled stone from a monastic site nearby was used in its construction.

Sandgate Castle

It was built to garrison 34 men and their captains.

In 1553, the castle was given to Lord Clinton, Lord Warden of Cinque Ports by the crown. It was sold several times over the next few years but was recovered by the crown again in 1558.

During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, it became a prison for Thomas Keys, her Sergeant Porter, who had secretly married Lady Mary Grey, sister of Lady Jane.

In 1616, the castle was damaged by sea, the repairs were probably not carried out until sometime later, possibly 1634, as with the other castles along this shore.

Sandgate Castle

In 1642, during the Civil War, the castle was held by Parliamentary forces, however during the Kent Rebellion in 1648, it was taken and declared for the King. Cromwell’s army then besieged the castle, and it finally fell.

The sea caused further damage when the seaward battery had to be rebuilt in 1716 and drastic alterations were made at the time of the Napoleonic war, however, after the war the garrison only amounted to 5 men.

The Sandgate Castle was again altered in 1806 and it was used as a military prison for the nearby Shorncliffe army camp where regiments were trained for the Crimean War.

Sea again caused serious damage when the castle was flooded in 1875 and it was finally abandoned in 1881. It was later sold and is now privately owned.

Sandgate Castle Location

Sandgate Castle is located at the following address: Castle Rd, Sandgate, Folkestone, Kent CT20 3AG, UK. Use this map to get help with directions:

Sandgate Castle Map

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