Castles in Kent
This page Tonbridge Castle - Westenhanger Castle and Barns
A magnificent medieval gatehouse fronts the remains of Tonbridge Castle, begun by Richard Fitzgilbert, a relative of William the Conqueror. Fitzgilbert's simple fortification was replaced by a massive stone structure which was added to and remodelled over the centuries.
This lovely Elizabethan castle stands on the north bank of the River Medway. It was built in 1559 as a gunfort to defend the Medway and the Royal Dockyards at Chatham. In that effort the castle proved ineffective, allowing the Dutch to sail unimpeded to Chatham and destroy much of the fleet in 1667. The story of the Dutch raid is told in exhibits and artefacts on display inside the castle.
Not a castle in the traditional sense, Walmer is a coastal artillery fort built by Henry VIII to counter the threat of a French invasion. Over time Walmer evolved from its original purpose to become a comfortable country residence. It was inhabited by the Duke of Wellington in his role as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and it was here that the victor of Waterloo died in 1852. There are displays on Wellington and the role of the Lord Warden.
A partly-derelict castle with 12th century roots. The ruined Rosamund's Tower in the north wall is reputed by be a trysting place for King Henry II and his mistress, Rosamund de Clifford (Fair Rosamund). Westenhanger was later expanded by Henry VIII.
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This exhibition hall was built to serve as the centrepiece for the Great Exhibition of 1851
It took over 300,000 panes of glass to complete the iron construction
After the Exhibition it was disassembled and moved to Sydenham, where it burned down in 1936
This Day in British History
26 January, 1530
Thomas Boleyn named Keeper of the Privy Seal
Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, is the father of Anne Boleyn, soon to become Henry's wife