The Community Website for the
coastal town of Deal in East Kent
Search the DealWeb website

Links to Deal's History

Articles on people and events from Deal's past....

1938 Guidebook to Deal and Walmer

To help attract visitors to Deal and Walmer back in 1938, the then Deal Corporation published a 64-page guidebook "The Book of Deal and Walmer". DealWeb was given a surviving and we are pleased to be able to share some of the fascinating content here and on several linked pages. ........ to read more, click here.

Remembering Cannon Street

Former Deal resident Richard Whiteside grew up in the north end of Deal. He contacted DealWeb in August 2009 to raise questions about the Cannon Street area of Deal and also recall his life there in the 1940s and 1950s. more here.

Deal Castle

Deal Castle was built by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540. Fearful of the threat of invasion from Catholic France and Spain, he authorised construction of three fortresses in the area - to defend a vital safe anchorage for shipping in the Channel known as "The Downs". ........ to read more, click here.

A Day in the Life of Walmer Lifeboat

A DEAL TODAY magazine feature on the Walmer Lifeboat crew's first mission of 2007 in their new Atlantic 85 craft more here. 

Deal Pier

Deal Pier is one of the few remaining piers in the country. Over the years there have been three on the site with the present pier built in 1954. .... ..... to read more on the history of Deal Pier, click here.

Dutch Disappointment?

Historian Arthur Percival looks at the Dutch influence on buildings in East Kent. Although many tourist guidebooks refer to Sandwich as a "Dutch town", there are actually many more curly gables in Deal. He suggests that there's scope for much more research into their histories. ......... to read the full article, click here.

Horatio Nelson in Deal

In the summer of 1801, the British government decided to make an effort to destroy the flotilla Napoleon was creating off Boulogne. The Admiralty appointed Lord Nelson to be second-in-command of the Channel Fleet. Nelson arrived in Deal on the evening of July 29, 1801.................... to read the full article, click here.

Humourist Nathaniel Gubbins

A plaque on a Beach Street house honours Nathaniel Gubbins, the war's leading humourist who lived there from 1946 to 1957. His articles in the Sunday Express captured the mood of an England exhausted by bombs, threats of invasion, rationing, queues and government propaganda. ..... ........ to read the full article, click here.

Nelson meets Lady Hamilton

Horatio Nelson may have had a good reason to be grateful to the town. It provided the means for him to meet with his mistress Emma Hamilton.................... to read the full article, click here.

Sandown Castle

A few stones are all that remain to mark the site of the former Sandown Castle. Originally built by Henry VIII in 1539, it was the northern fort of a series of three to guard the sheltered anchorage of The Downs. (The other two castles at Deal and Walmer remain.) Sandown Castle was similar in design to Walmer Castle with a circular central keep encased by four outer bastions. Although the sea breached an outer wall in 1785, the castle remained in use and was still fortified during the Napoleonic Wars. However, it was largely demolished in the late 1800s and the remaining walls incorporated in a concrete sea wall constructed in 1989...... to read more, see History of Sandown Castle.

St Ethelburga's Convent and School

Deal's former convent and orphanage of St Ethelburga is said to have been established in 1871. Some accounts focus on its role of educating young girls under the guidance of the Sisters of Notre Dame des Missions. But an article in an Irish journal suggests the foundation of the convent stemmed from the concern and dedication of a remarkable Deal resident - a Miss Boys - some 20 years earlier.... to read more, click here.

The Dutch and Flemish Gables of Deal

Gordon Taylor, a past Chairman of the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society, reveals more on the history of Deal's Dutch gables. Although not always easy to see, Deal has retained more of these attractive features than most neighbouring towns..... to read more, click here.

The Goodwin Sands

The Goodwin Sands has been the downfall for many seamen and their vessels. Deal, which lies adjacent to the Sands, has become famous for the bravery of the lifeboat service and local boatmen................... to read more, click here.

Quick links to articles on Deal's past on other websites
(these open in a new window)

A Short History of Deal

This short history of Deal suggests there is archaeological evidence for Deal having been occupied since the Stone Age. Also many Roman artefacts have been found in the area. .... read more at 

Coal Mining

Bill Beer's East Kent Local History Pages record some of the history of Kent's former coal mining industry. Among the pits featured are Betteshanger, Chislet, Guilford, Shakespeare, Snowdown, Stonehall, Tilmanstone, Wingham and Woodnesborough.
....

David Skardon's World - Deal UK

David Skardon's website draws together his personal recollections of living in Deal and his family's links with boating and the local coast. David was born in Deal's Brewer Street in 1948 and, as part of a fishing family, spent much of his early years on the beach and in boats. The website features historic photographs of the town's seafront and the fishing community and their boats. Major events - including wartime incidents in the Channel and the great storm of 1978 - are also featured.
... see David's website at

Deal in World War II

During Walmer and Deal's wartime role in what became known as "Hell Fire Corner", it is estimated 65 local people were killed by bombs or shells, 59 seriously injured and close on 200 slightly injured. Some 200 bombs and 100 shells fell on the town, resulting in destruction or damage to nearly 5,000 properties. ............ for an illustrated account, see "Walmer and Deal in the Front Line" on WalmerWeb.

Deal and Walmer Lifeboats

Walmer lifeboat was one of 19 lifeboats that took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. Celebrating nearly 150 years of saving lives at sea, Walmer lifeboat crews have been presented with over 25 awards for gallantry. .......... read more on the RNLI website.  (NB: unfortunately this webpage has not been updated since 2006)
The following social media pages provide more recent and current information on Walmer's lifeboat service:
Walmer Lifeboat Station: In 1856 an Appeal was made by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to help raise money to establish a Lifeboat Station at Walmer. Lifeboat crew member Colin Varrall traces some of its history since then........ read more at
Once the town of Deal boasted no less than three lifeboats. Now, only the Walmer lifeboat remains. ......................... read more at
North Deal Lifeboat Station: There's a photo of the former lifeboat station on Deal's Beach Street in the DealWeb "Times Past" photo gallery.

Domesday Book

Deal's record in the Domesday Book can be seen by searching on "Deal" at:  

Major local events

Important dates in the history of Deal and Walmer. For a list of dates from 55BC when Julius Caesar and his legions landed on Walmer beach to the present day.... click here.

Northbourne Parish History

For the history and amenities of the parish of Northbourne near Deal, the following websites could be of interest: Northbourne Sources at and
a detailed history of Northbourne parish at

Reading List

Books and publications recording the history and features of Deal and Walmer, compiled with the help of Kent County Council's Arts and Libraries Service..... click here.

St Leonard's Church History

St Leonard's, the Parish Church of Deal, is located close to the mini-roundabout at the junction of London Road/Rectory Road/and Manor Road in Upper Deal. It is thought a place of worship might have existed here since Saxon times and parts of the current church certainly date from around 1100. Alterations over subsequent centuries have resulted in a variety of architectural styles. The Nave and chancel contain the earliest remaining architecture, with the original tower being added some 80 to 100 years later. A notable feature of the church is a collection of sixteen Hatchments, one of the finest in Britain and spanning a period between 1673 and 1865.... For a detailed illustrated history of St Leonard's Church, click here.

Please note: DealWeb is not responsible for the content of any external websites.
return to the Brief History of Deal
The Fall of Nelson
Detail from "The Fall of Nelson"
by Denis Dighton (1792-1827)
The Battle of Trafalgar
Detail from "The Battle of Trafalgar" by William Turner (1755-1851)
Lady Emma Hamilton
Lady Emma Hamilton as
Ariadne by George Romney

World War II bomb
damage in Gladstone Road
Walmer's two new lifeboats
Walmer's two new lifeboats
Walmer Lifeboat Station (photo: Rob Riddle)
Walmer Lifeboat Station
Sandown Castle (photo: Harold Wyld)
Sandown Castle remains
Deal Castle (photo: Harold Wyld)
Deal Castle
Deal old bandstand and pier
Deal Pier (circa 1900)
Photos of "Deal Yesteryear"
This page was updated on April 8, 2018
Website design by NorthDowns Web