Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Check the Deal Directory above
The anchorage is still used today by international and regional shipping, though on a scale far smaller than at other times in the past (some historical accounts report hundreds of ships being visible from the beach).
By the time Dickens came to Deal it had been largely forgotten how the government of 1784, under Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (who was staying at nearby Walmer Castle, and was later to be appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1792), ensured that the Deal boats were all set ablaze, suspecting some of the Deal luggers of being engaged in smuggling. Pitt had awaited an opportunity that January, when the boats were all 'hoved up' on the beach on account of bad weather, to send a regiment of soldiers to smash and burn them. A naval cutter was positioned offshore to prevent any of the boatmen escaping.
The boatmen's ancestors had the right, under charter, freely to import goods in return for their services as Cinque Port men in providing what had been long recognised as the sole naval defence of the realm. These men continued to risk their lives and their boats, in saving the lives of shipwreck victims.
The irrepressible spirit of the Deal boatmen remained undaunted by these events throughout the Napoleonic Wars, and they continued to assert their hard-earned right to trade.
From these activities news of the events unfolding in France would reach England quickly and regularly, with about 400 men making a living off Deal beach at that time. The war only made the boatmen’s efforts more profitable, so that afterwards the Government immediately turned a part of its naval blockade into a coastal blockade, which lasted from 1818 to 1831.
Deal had a naval shipyard which provided Deal with much of its trade. On the site of the yard there is now a building originally used as a semaphore tower, and later used as a coastguard house, then as a timeball tower, which it remains today, and as a museum. Besides this and the Deal Maritime Museum, there is no museum of the town's history yet, though a campaign to start one is ongoing - Deal's history is told at Dover Museum instead.
It is one of the most impressive of the Device Forts or Henrician Castles built by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540 as an artillery fortress to counter the threat of invasion from Catholic France and Spain. It is shaped like a Tudor rose, being perfectly symmetrical, with a low, circular keep at its centre. Around the circumference of the keep are six bastions, with a further series of six bastions in the curtain wall, one of which serves as the gatehouse. All the outer walls of the castle and bastions are rounded to both provide strength and to deflect shot more efficiently than flat walls.
Check the Deal Directory above
It was established in 1855 by the Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy in collaboration with Charles V. Walker, superintendent of telegraphs for the South Eastern Railway Company.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.
Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.
Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs
The vegetation of the cliff tops consists mainly of chalk grassland interspersed with areas of scrub. Much of the grassland is dominated by tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum or upright-brome Bromus erectus, though there are numerous areas of species-rich open grassland with a range of typical chalk-turf grass and herb species. These include sheep’s fescue Festuca ovina, salad burnet Sanguisorba minor, wild thyme Thymus praecox, and horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa. A number of nationally-rare plants occur. These include early spider orchid Ophrys sphegodes and ox-tongue broomrape Orobanche loricata which are both at the northern extreme of a continental distribution. Dense areas of scrub occur locally, eg at Fan Hole. The main constituent species are gorse Ulex europaeus, wild privet Ligustrum vulgare, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and bramble Rubus fruticosus. There are a few scattered individuals of juniper Juniperus communis, this species now has only a few remaining native sites in Kent.
On the sheerest chalk-cliff faces, vegetation is largely confined to crevices and narrow ledges. In places where gullies have formed (particularly around Langdon Bay), the vegetation is more extensive and consists of mixed communities of plants typical of both maritime and chalk grassland habitats. National rarities include wild cabbage Brassica oleracea, hoary stock Matthiola incana and Nottingham catchfly Silene nutans, while more locally-rare species include wild madder Rubia peregrina. At the northern end of the site, at Kingsdown beach is a broad shingle plateau with a succession of plant communities influenced in their extent and composition by increasing shingle-stability. Typical species include sea sandwort Honkenya peploides and the rare sea pea Lathyrus japonicus, while more secure shingle inland supports a sward of sheep’s fescue and other grasses together with further colonies of the early spider orchid. Of particular note is a prostrate oak tree Quercus robur which instead of a trunk has branches radiating from its root-base.
The invertebrate fauna of the site is rich, including important communities of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and Coleoptera (beetles). Locally-restricted species found here include the adonis blue butterfly Lysandra bellargus, the scarlet tiger moth Callimorpha dominula, a ground-beetle Bradycellus distinctus, and some rare weevils of the family Apionidae. There are numerous breeding sea birds along the cliffs including fulmars, rock pipits and lesser-black backed gulls; kittiwakes have been established since 1967, their expanding population now exceeds 1100 pairs, but are still found nowhere else in Kent. The South Foreland valley at St Margarets is a significant landfall for migrant birds in the spring and a gathering point for dispersal in the autumn. More importantly many migrants breed here including whitethroat, blackcap, grasshopper and other rarer warblers. Old wartime fortification-systems, of which there are several within the site, attract black redstarts. Near Kingsdown is one of the two cliff-nesting colonies of house martins in Kent. In addition the site includes important chalk foreshore habitats, particularly those at St Margarets Bay. These support the most species-rich littoral chalk algal flora in south-east England. The wide wave-abrasion platform at the foot of the cliffs provides a diverse range of rock formations and habitats colonised by rich and complex seaweed communities, the lower shore red algae being particularly luxuriant. Examples of algae characteristic of lower salinities are present where freshwater springs emerge on the shore, and the cliff face supports well developed examples of the unusual algal communities characteristic of this habitat, exhibiting clear vertical zonation patterns.
Dover to Kingsdown is an internationally important stratigraphic reference site which provides extensive and near continuous cliff and shore exposures of the Cenomanian, Turonian and Coniacian Stages (the Lower, Middle and Upper Chalk). The site is historically very important as many geological principles, such as biostratigraphic zonation were tested here during the early development of geology. Many parts of the succession are fossiliferous and, in particular the upper parts of the Turonian and lower parts of the Coniacian are rich in Micraster, which have contributed, and still are contributing to our knowledge of evolution.
This is also a key site for coastal geomorphology, providing an excellent example of structural controls on coastal cliff morphology. It also provides significant evidence for understanding contemporary form/process relationships in a cliff- shore platform-beach system. Historically, retreat of the cliffs has averaged 0.5 m per year but, in contrast to Foreness on the Isle of Thanet, erosion takes place mainly as large slides affecting much of the cliff face. The present beach closely relates to contemporary erosion of the cliffs and a well-developed shore platform extending to below low water mark. Geomorphologically, Dover to Kingsdown is an essential member of the network of chalk coastal sites in Britain. Where's the path? Use the link below.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Towns and Villages Nearby
We seek to offer our visitors something entertaining, interesting and relevant every time they visit this website.
We are constantly updating the content of this website based on the feedback from our audience.