Sandwich Castle, Kent
Sandwich Castle today is little more than a gatehouse which leads out from this stunning medieval town to the quay, which in its day was the most impotant port in all of the Kingdom. Not much to explore by way of a castle, but a visit to the town and a wander round its ancient streets buildings is an absolute must.
~ History ~
852 ~ A great pagan army arrives at Sandwich. They are defeated King Aethelwulf, seizing nine ships.
853 ~ A Danish army returns and this time they are successful in raiding Sandwich.
1006 ~ Sandwich is attached by a Danish fleet of 94 ships.
1009 ~ A Danish chieftain Turkill spares the town upon payment of £3000.
1011 ~ Danes return and again ravage the town and kill Archbishop Alphege.
1016 ~ Sandwich is recognised as the most important port in England, used by King Canute, son of King Swein of Denmark, as a base for his fleet.
1023 ~ Sandwich is gifted to the monks of Christchurch by the Saxon Kings, confirmed by King Canute in a Charter.
1060's ~ The Godwin Earls of England retain a royal fleet at Sandwich to protect the realm from Danish, Flemish and Norman invasion.
1164 ~ Archbishop Thomas Becket takes an open boat from Sandwich to France, landing at Boulogne.
1170 ~ Becket returns to be met by the fishermen and the poor of Sandwich.
1194 ~ King Richard I lands at Sandwich and travels by foot to Canterbury.
1217 ~ The French attack and burn the town.
1284 ~ Royal recognition is awarded to the Mayor of Sandwich when King Henry III addresses the Mayor and Bailiffs of Sandwich.
1291 ~ A stone castle replacing an earlier timber castle to protect Englands most important port from French raids, is built at Sandwich on the orders of King Edward I who later visits and stays at the castle.
1327 ~ The castle of Sandwich commanding the harbour is appointed to the governor of Dover Castle.
1457 ~ Sandwich is attacked by 4,000 Frenchmen from Honfleur in the course of which the Mayor is killed.
1532 ~ King Henry VIII pays his first visit to Sandwich
1539 ~ King Henry VIII again visits for two days during which he inspect the river. He orders the destruction of the royal castle at Sandwich due to the silting up of the port and decline of the town, and to provide much needed, and ready made materials for his new artillary forts at Sandown, Deal & Walmer. Following its distruction and robbing of its materials the deep castle ditches become the town's rubbish dump, encouraged by its owners, so as they could eventually fill in completely so as to grow crops.