links to history - DealWeb

The visitors' and residents' guide to Deal
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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. 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". read more, click 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. read more on the history of Deal Pier, click here.

Dutch Gables
The late historian Arthur Percival considered 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 suggested that there is scope for much more research into their histories. read the full article, click here.
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. read more, 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. 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. 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. 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. read more, click here.

The Astor Theatre
Today's Astor Community Theatre in Stanhope Road, Deal, can trace its history back to the early 1900s. However, before that, the land on which it stands is understood to have belonged in the 18th and 19th Centuries to a local family, the Igguldens. 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. 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. 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. more at

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.

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. more on the RNLI website.
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. more at
Once the town of Deal boasted no less than three lifeboats. Now, only the Walmer lifeboat remains. 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.

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