insideKENT Magazine insideKENT October 2018 Issue 79 - Page 85

TOWNSPOTLIGHT Spotlight on DEAL DEAL IS A BEAUTIFUL COASTAL TOWN AND ITS HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES IT A HUGELY FASCINATING PLACE TO VISIT AS WELL. ITS MILITARY HISTORY IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING, AND IS PERHAPS WHAT THE TOWN IS BEST KNOWN FOR, BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE BESIDES. EXPLORING DEAL WILL ALWAYS TURN UP SOME SURPRISES, SO WHY NOT HEAD THERE FOR THE DAY TO SEE WHAT YOU CAN FIND? Deal Castle Ther Promenade, Deal, 1912 HISTORY IN BRIEF THINGS TO DO In the Domesday Book, Deal is referred to in 1086 as Addelam, which becomes Dela in 1158 and Dale in 1275. The name has an Old English root meaning ‘valley’, as in the modern term for ‘dale’ today. By the end of the 13th century, Deal as it would come to be known, was a thriving, busy port town even though there is no harbour. It was thanks to the Goodwin Sands that the town was able to become so important to industry, shipping, and the military; the Downs – the area of water between Deal and Goodwin Sands – was and is a perfectly natural shelter for ships to anchor in. Deal Castle When Henry VIII ordered Deal Castle to be built, it was something that had never been seen before, constructed as it was in the shape of the famous Tudor rose. It was completed in 1540, and the majority of the castle is still standing today, ready for explorers and visitors to enjoy it. You can learn about Tudor architecture, sea defences and battle plans. There are labyrinthine tunnels beneath the castle that you can walk through, plus an audio guide can be hired to let you in on all the secrets. Deal was in such an ideal position that Henry VIII was worried it would be attacked during any sea battles, which is why he constructed Deal Castle. As an added safety feature, he also added Walmer and Sandown Castles to his coastal security measures in an effort to ensure that Deal was protected. Deal Maritime and Local History Museum This little museum is packed full of local history and fascinating facts about Deal, its past, and the maritime life that made it what it is. Each exhibit has a vast amount of information about it, giving visitors the full story of Deal. There are often talks, exhibitions and social events that take place here. Deal Timeball Tower Museum © Harold Wyld Deal Beach Being a coastal town, Deal beach is clearly an important place to visit, but the bonus is that it’s simply a lovely place to be, as well as an integral one. The beach is mostly shingle and looks just as you might imagine a picturesque, traditional fishing village would. It makes no difference what time of the year you visit, it is just as perfect in the winter as it is during the summer. Deal Timeball Tower Museum Located directly on the seafront, this striking building is unmissable. The museum features information on the history of Deal and the displays are especially informative about the semaphore signals that were sent across the coast; the tower itself used to be a semaphore tower. 85