~ History ~
1163 - Henry de Essex, Warden of the Cinque Ports, becomes a monk after being accused of cowardice on the field of battle and so Henry II takes Saltwood into his own hands, despite protestations from his overlord, Archbishop Thomas Becket.
1170 - Four knights leave Saltwood castle for Canterbury Cathedral. Upon their arrival they seek out and murder Archbishop Thomas Becket in the name of their lord Henry II. Henry is grief stricken upon the death of his lifelong friend.
1174 - Following the failed rebellion against Henry II, which the king puts down in ferocious fashion, he orders castles right across the land to have their walls pulled down, including Saltwood castle held by Randolph de Broc.
1380's - Archbishop Courtenay greatly strengthens the gatehouse, but by 1399 Saltwood is said to be in urgent need of repair.
1540 - Archbishop Cranmer hands the castle over to Henry VIII.
1580's - Saltwood castle is wrecked by an earthquake.
Hythe, near Folkestone
Off A261/ A259
Archbishop Lanfranc held Saltwood shortly after the Norman Conquest, its earthworks dating from the time of the Doomsday book. It is long associated with the archbishops of Canterbury.
We had been trying to get the chance to get access to this fabulous castle for some time, as its a private residence. Fortunately the castle is open to visitors one certain days of the year for flower festivals.
We were not disappointed, this is a fabulous castle with so much to see and explore, simply stunning.
Much of the castle is in good repair and in the spring with its flowers in bloom and manicured lawns, the setting is simply beautiful.
An absolute must for any castle-finder.