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Saltwood Castle

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Saltwood Castle

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Saltwood Castle

Saltwood, near Hythe in Kent, isn’t one of those castles you can pitch up to on a wet Bank Holiday weekend, expecting to traipse around the battlements and spend a restorative half-hour in the tearoom. It is a private residence, home most famously to the late Alan Clark, maverick Conservative MP, animal rights advocate and wicked diarist. There has been a castle here since the late fifth century, built on an old Roman site, but that was replaced in the 12th century by a Norman construction, later much extended.

An earthquake in 1580 (that’s right, an earthquake) made the structure unsafe for habitation, but the place was restored in Victorian times, after which it became a private dwelling. It is the imposingly tall, twin-turreted gatehouse that Mr Clark used to call home, and where he used to entertain guests to dinner eaten from solid gold tableware. After all, if you’re going to live in a castle, you might as well do it in the appropriate style.

Photo: Copyright Kent County Council


Your comments

A little known private castle that is steeped in English history being the place the knights set out from to kill Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral

Don Turner

I am the current Lord of the Manor of Saltwood and always enjoy looking at the castle from the outside. The title originated in 1036 in the presence of King Knut. I have various papers and legal documents concerning the Lordship and would be grateful if anyone who has any other historical details concerning the title contacts me. Thank you.
David Charles Deal.

Hello, My name is Carol Pauls Marshall, and when I was 16, and on a trip called The Alpine Tour, I was able to visit Saltwood Castle. There was a Champagne party given to all of us by the owner. You see, we went to Europe to commemorate the fact that a Silver Ghost Rolls Royce was the winner of a race in The European Alps in the early 1900,s. So we had all of the Silver Ghosts all over the world gather in 1973, in England. From there we were to embark on a wonderful journey of seeing the Alps, and Europe by motoring in these incredible Silver Ghosts, and getting to know all of Europes finest cities. The man who owned Saltwood Castle found out about our journey, loved the sprotiness of it, and invited us to Saltwood. I couldn't believe the History behind it, that I was inside of this gloriously old , {like 14 or so centuries} Castle, sipping on champagne too. It made me feel so special to see this place...so rich in it's History and with so many storys to tell over the past centuries. I am from America, and our country is only 200 years old, and here I was standing inside of a castle, and exploring it's grounds and hearing of Thomas Beckett, and how the four Knights conspired to kill Beckett from this very Castle. To think of the people that were there....oh if the walls could talk. It was incredible to think I was able to be there as a guest. I am 50 now, so it's been a long time, but I will never forget that trip that included seeing so much of the England's beautiful countryside, and not one, but two castles. Saltwood was by far the most instesting. Thank You for having information about it. Carol Pauls Marshall
Carol Pauls Marshall

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry