Castles in Kent
This page Tonbridge Castle - Westenhanger Castle and Barns
A magnificent motte and bailey gatehouse fronts the castle, which was 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. The castles was slighted (made unusuable ) during the English Civil War. but much remains to interest visitors, including the imposing gatehouse.
This lovely Elizabethan castle stands beside 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. 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.
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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Christie's auctioneers hold first sale
The date is open to some debate, but according to Christies themselves, James Christie conducted his first sale in 1766.