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 harbour 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 for 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
It was built to garrison 34 men and their captain.
In 1553, the castle was given to Lord Clinton, Lord Warden of Cinque Ports by
the crown. It was sold several times over during the next few years, but was recovered by
crown again in 1558.
During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, it became a prison to 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.
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 military prison for the nearby Shorncliffe army camp where regiments were trained for the
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 Map&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:
View Larger Map