Deal Castle
Deal was settled as early as the first Roman invasion by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book, but Deal really began to prosper when it became part of the Cinque Ports association of important south coast towns and ports.


In 1228 Deal was named a 'limb port' of the Cinque Ports, a status which made it an important shipping port. Deal boatmen were granted the right to freely import goods in exchange for helping to provide what was in essence the only naval defence in England.

From its link to the Cinque Ports Deal grew to become the busiest port in England during the medieval period. The peculiarity is that Deal does not have a traditional harbour. The Goodwin Sands provide a sheltered anchorage, so that larger ships could anchor and have their goods transfered to docks on shore by small tenders vessels.

Henry VIII built no less than 3 castles in and around Deal. Of these, two remain; Deal and Walmer Castles. Walmer is the official residence of the Lord of the Cinque Ports. Perhaps the most famous Lord was Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, who died in the castle. The chambers he used are preserved as they were at the time of his death and the castle exhibits a large number of Wellington memorabilia and personal belongings.

As for Deal Castle, it is a concentric fortress made to withstand 16th century advances in artillery power. The building is low to the earth, and built in the shape of a six-petalled flower with projecting bastions surrounded by earthworks.

In 1672 a naval yard was built, with repair facilities and storehouses covering 5 acres of land, again boosting Deal's naval importance.

The Time Ball Tower Museum on Prince of Wales Street is housed in a peculiar tower built in 1820. At precisely 1 o'clock every day, a large ball was dropped from a pole atop the tower to enable ships to set their clocks.

Deal barracks were built in the late 18th century, and developed into a Royal Marines depot, barracks, and hospital. The East Barracks later served as home to the Royal Marine School of Music.

Nearby is the Deal Maritime & Local History Museum, telling the story of Deal and the Cinque Ports.