Sandgate Castle

Sandgate Castle, Kent

Sandgate CAstle (3)
Sandgate CAstle (1)
Sandgate CAstle (5)
Sandgate CAstle (6)
Sandgate CAstle (4)
Sandgate CAstle (7)
Sandgate CAstle (8)


Sandgate, Folkestone


A 259


CT20 3AG

Sandgate artillery fort was erected on the orders of King Henry VIII to a design by Staffan von Haschenperg.

The 16th century fort was remodelled as as part of the coastal defence against Napoleon in the early nineteenth century. 

The fort consists of a three storey circular keep surrounded by artillery platford and dry moat.

~ History ~

1539 ~ King Henry VIII orders the building of an artillery fort as part of a chain of coastal defences for the English Channel.

Within the space of 78 weeks the fort is completed under the supervision of first captain, Rochard Keys. However a strike by labourers also working on nearby Deal Castle strike for more money, delaying construction work. Desperate for the work to be completed to schedule to counter the threat of invasion from the continent,  the strike is quickly resolved and its instigators are sent to prison. To reduce time and costs massonary from local desolved monasteries are taken and used in its construction.

1548 ~ A survey of the fort lists the majority of its cannon being broken or dismantled.

1553 ~ Queen Mary succeeds her father and gifts the castle to Lord Clinton.

1556 ~ The castle is sold for £110 to Humphrey Mitchell, only to be later sold again for 200 marks.

1557 ~ The castle is purchased by Edward Watson but later recovered by The Crown.

1558 ~ Extensive repairs are made at the cost of £45 to the castle replacing its timbers and replacing the lead from its roof taken by previous owners.

1596 ~ Further repairs are made over a three year period.

1644 ~ During the Englisg Civil War urgent repairs are made to the castle.

1715 ~ The central keep is re-roofed and the seaward battery rebuilt after being destroyed by the sea.

1805 ~ In response to the threat of invasion by Napoleon's French forces, the castle is remodelled to resemble a Martello Tower and repaired as part of the chain of defences along the English channel. All the walls are reduced in height and their battlements removed to allow for artillery fire.