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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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Sandgate comes from the Old English ‘geat’ meaning a ‘gate or cleft’; therefore, a ‘sandy gate’. The first record of Sandgate is in 1256 as Sandygeat.

King Henry VIII built Sandgate Castle in 1540, as part of his coastal defences against the threat of a French invasion. It consisted of a large three storey central keep, surrounded by two curtain walls, the inner, having three small round towers. It provided up to four tiers, to maximise the heavy guns. The Military converted the central tower into a Martello style tower during the Napoleonic wars. During WWII, they built pillboxes at the castle. A private buyer purchased it at the end of the 19th century, although requisitioned during the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

Sandgate parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Paul. Samuel Sanders Teulon built it in 1849, more as a non-conformist chapel than a place of Anglican worship, and replaced an earlier chapel built by the earl of Darnley in 1822 as a Chapel-of-Ease until 1888, when it became a parish in its own right. In the 1920’s, Temple Moore, who had described it as ‘the worst church I have ever seen in my life’, redesigned it to bring it into line with Anglican Church design.

History of Sandgate