Walmer Castle: Building Inscription

IMG_5754
Walmer Castle © David Gill

An inscription marking the completion of Walmer Castle in 1540 can be found at the outer edge of the west entrance to the castle. This was in response to the threat of  invasion that had been expected in 1539. Note that this part of the fortifications were rebuilt in 1661.

St Augustine’s Cross

IMG_5901
St Augustine’s Cross © David Gill

St Augustine traditionally landed in Kent in 597. In 1884 the Second Earl of Granville, George Granville Leveson-Gower (1815-91) [ODNB], the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (1865-91), erected a Saxon style cross near the supposed spot where Augustine landed. Granville’s official residence was at Walmer Castle.

Granville’s wife was a Roman Catholic, and his sister, Lady Georgiana Charlotte Fullerton (1812-85) , had converted in 1846. The Times (13 October 1884) had reported Lady Georgiana’s letter announcing the creation of the cross at Granville’s “own expense, on his own land”, and that it was “an act of homage to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Apostolate of St Augustine, rendered by one of their Protestant fellow-countrymen, which is doubtless a cause of rejoicing to all English Catholics”.

The cross was carved by J. Roddis of Birmingham and was based on the Sandbach Crosses in Cheshire.

P1160417
St Augustine’s Cross, Latin text on the base of the cross © David Gill
IMG_5898
St Augustine’s Cross, Latin Text © David Gill

The accompanying Latin text, cut on the base of the cross (and with a plaque), was composed by Dr Henry George Liddell (1811-98), Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and compiler of the Greek Lexicon (Liddell-Scott). One of Liddell’s daughters, Alice, was celebrated by Lewis Carroll. Liddell had been Granville’s tutor at Christ Church in 1836 (see The Graphic 15 November 1884).

 

Deal and Walmer Castles

Deal and Walmer Castles
(1963)

Deal, Walmer and Sandown Castles were constructed by Henry VIII to protect The Downs off the coast of Kent. The guidebook to Deal and Walmer Castles was prepared by A.D. Saunders in 1963 for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. (See earlier post on Deal Castle.) This guide has a section discussing the castles, and then separate descriptions of the two.

This is one of the new types of illustrated guidebooks emerging from the late 1950s to replace the older ‘blue’ guides. Other examples include: Stonehenge and Avebury (1959), Beaumaris Castle (1961), Monasteries in North Yorkshire (1962), Caernarfon Castle (1963), Grimes Graves (1963), Lullingstone Roman Villa (1963).

The Department of the Environment later produced an illustrated guidebook on Henry’s forts.

%d bloggers like this: