Thursday, 15 December 2016

Deal - Kent

We don't know how long Deal has housed a population, but probably around 2000 years. On the south-east corner of England it is close enough to see France just 25 miles away, but not quite as close as Dover, which cost Deal it's position as a thriving port.


In the Domesday Book it was called Addelam. A hundred years later it as known as Dela and went through a couple more corruptions before eventually becoming Deal.


The Cinque Ports were established along the coast of Sussex and Kent, partly as garrison towns but mainly as trading ports. In 1278 it was decreed that Deal would supplement the Cinque Ports and from then on it thrived as a port.


Deal became an important port without building a harbour. Because it is located quite close to the Goodwin Sands it was often protected from the stormiest seas and became a refuge from the storm for many vessels. This provided the opportunity for trade and Deal became an important fishing port, but was also involved in the mining industry.


The town enjoyed many highs and endured several lows. Their sailors and fishermen became renowned for their bravery, saving hundreds of lives in rough seas. However, not content with not having to pay duty on imports because they were in effect a supplementary Cinque Port, too many turned to smuggling and in 1798 the Government ordered the destruction of the Deal fleet.


Today Deal is a holiday town with an interesting coastline. Deal castle was built by King Henry VIII in the shape of a Tudor Rose. Deal has a maritime museum, a lovely beach and the only surviving complete pier in Kent.


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