Town Motto: ADJUVATE ADVENAS
(Befriend the Stranger)
'Whether Young, Old, Single or as a family there is something
for everyone in Deal Kent. If tea or coffee is your poison, there
are Cafés in the High street and on the sea front most
serve excellent quality beverages ... for those that like to
eat on the hoof there are a number of sandwich bars.
Looking back at the town from
the end of the pier gives a good impression of the rich history
of the town. Many of the original buildings from the 1800's are
still visible notably a collection of shops on Victoria Road...
It's possible to walk along the coast and see 3 castles within
an hour. Deal is full of
old buildings and many have an extensive smuggling heritage -
under the town is a warren of smugglers tunnels - often leading
to local churches...
Deal's current pier is the
last remaining fully-intact leisure pier in Kent. Its structure
was extensively refurbished and repaired in 1997, with work including
the replacement of much of the concrete cladding on the pier's
It was opened in 1954 by Prince
Phillip. Constructed predominantly from concrete-clad steel,
it is 1026ft (311m) in length, and ends in a three-tiered pier-head,
featuring a cafe, bar, lounge, and fishing decks.
(Deal's first pier, built in
1838, was designed by Sir John Rennie. After its wooden structure
was destroyed in an 1857 gale, it was replaced by an iron pier
in 1864. A popular pleasure
pier, it survived until the Second World War, when it was struck
and severely damaged by a torpedoed Dutch ship, the Nora,
in January 1940...)
The coast of France is approximately twenty-five miles from the
town, and is visible on clear days...'
Deal was the reputed landing place of Julius Caesar in 55 B.C.
and a later member of the Cinque Ports.
Henry VIII had three castles
built in the area: Deal Castle, Walmer Castle (seat of the lord
warden of the Cinque Ports), and Sandown Castle (which has been
The town lies at the site where Julius Caesar first arrived in
Britain (best guess by historians), and was named as one of the
Cinque Ports in 1278.
The town grew to become for
a while the busiest port in England; today it enjoys the reputation
of being a quiet seaside resort, its quaint streets and houses
the only reminder of its fascinating history.
During the 19th century, Charles Dickens was to comment on the
character of the East Kent boatmen, and on one of his visits
to Deal he wrote:
"These are among the bravest and most skilful mariners
that exist. Let a gale rise and swell into a storm, and let a
sea run that might appal the stoutest heart that ever beat; let
the light ships on the sands throw up a rocket in the darkness
of the night; or let them hear through the angry roar the signal
guns of a ship in distress, and these men spring up with activity
so dauntless, so valiant and heroic, that the world cannot surpass
it.... For this and the recollection of their comrades, whom
we have known, whom the raging sea has engulfed before their
children's eyes in such brave efforts whom the secret sand has
buried, let us hold the boatmen in our love and honour, and be
tender of the fame they well deserved"
Earlier descriptions of Deal were less favourable, with the town
notorious in the 17th century as a location for smugglers. Daniel
"If I had any satire left to write,
Could I with suited spleen indite,
My verse should blast that fatal town,
And drown'd sailors' widows pull it down;
No footsteps of it should appear,
And ships no more cast anchor there.
The barbarous hated name of Deal shou'd die,
Or be a term of infamy;
And till that's done, the town will stand
A just reproach to all the land"