Pictures of Deal
He came, He saw, He conquered, is NOT true of Julius Ceasar. When Ceasar landed on our island shores close to Deal in 55BC the British very quickly saw him gone. None-the-less, a plaque proclaiming this invasion is sited in Marine Road, a short way from Deal Castle.
Deal Castle was built in 1540 by HenryVIII and was once the residence of the Captain of the Cinque Ports. This castle was beautifully built in the perfect shape of the Tudor Rose and today remains an exceptionally strong looking fortress. The ruins of Deal's other castle, Sandown, of which only a couple of butresses have remained for centuries can be seen at the northern end of the town. Standing here looking at the sea, one can imagine the howling gales that have battered against the cliffs to which these ruins cling.
There is a lovely museum displaying much of the maritime history of this great coastline. You can see fine examples of the 'deal boats' specially designed for launching from a 'shingle' beach. These boats plied the water carrying passengers out to other sailing vessels for journeys to far distant places, or just to the Thames estuary.
Just as a boat had to be especially designed to manouver the shingle beach, it was the shingle that saved Deal from becoming just another seaside resort. For there is no sand here to attract the families that countless resorts had opened up to in the development era of Victorian times. There is nothing to connect the front of Deal with the Victorians and this has proved to be a blessing for Deal remains as sedate today as it must have been a couple of centuries ago. The shingle beach is sloping and is not ideal for children but adults can swim in comparative safety close inshore. Rescue boats patrol throughout the day in high summer. There is a hugh pier which was built in the 1950's and is much used for sun bathing and by anglers.
Of interest is the Time Bell Tower, this is sited on the sea-front and was built in 1854. This provided Greenwhich Mean Time to passing ships by dropping a black ball down a shaft from the top of the tower at precisely 1 p.m. each day. In 1927, when most ships were fitted with a wireless, the time ball stopped working.
These days, Deal provides an interesting time for visitors. It is situate on a pleasant and historic stretch of England's coast and has a couple of very fine golf courses nearby which include the Royal St. George's at Sandwich. There are lovely walks over the downs, some fine shops and a wide selection of good eating places. Travel towards Dover and you will find the South Foreland Lighthouse, owned by the National Trust and Pines Garden overlooks St. Margarets Bay. In the opposite direction, towards Ramsgate, the Viking Ship 'Hugin' is situate in Pegwell Bay. This is a coastline of towering cliffs and magnificent sea views, the whole area is rich in history and well worth a visit.
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