your hometown


(Re)Discover your hometown heritage

Posted: 01/09/2021, by:

Our intern Sophia Welton talks to us this month about rediscovering her hometown heritage!

Throughout lockdown, as we became all too familiar with our surroundings on our regular walks they might have faded into the background – ironically enough. In my case, having also moved back to my hometown (which I assumed I knew everything about), I’ve realised that I had cornered myself into a lack of engagement with the very place I live.

I’ve walked my dog, Archie, past Deal Castle countless times. While it has featured on my camera roll every now and then against a nice sunset, I’ve become so used to seeing it I’ve neglected its historical and structural significance. I remember learning about the Castle in primary school and, as a child, being almost in disbelief that Henry VIII, the King we knew of mostly through a nursery rhyme about his six wives, may have actually walked the Castle walls.

Deal Castle was built between 1539 and 1540 by order of King Henry VIII as one of his Device Forts to protect against invasion from France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire (Henry had annoyed a lot of people.) Traditionally, the Crown left coastal defences in the hands of local lords and communities but Henry VIII’s fear of invasion led him to build several hugely expensive artillery fortifications, such as Deal Castle.

Although the design was mainly derived from practical defence methods, the Castle’s shape is based on the Tudor Rose, ‘a rose upon a rose’, symbolising the reunification by marriage of the Lancastrians (The Red Rose) and the House of York (The White Rose) after the very long and uncivil War of The Roses (1455 – 1487).

As someone who has a passion for heritage and works for Tricolor, I engage with heritage on a regular basis. However, like many of us I seem to have forgotten my local heritage and the opportunities it has to offer. Whether it be the local town hall, the coastguard houses or remnants of the past in the natural landscape, it’s all still there.. But perhaps we’ve just not been looking at it.

I think coming out of lockdown has, thank goodness, refreshed my sense of appreciation and curiosity for the heritage on my doorstep: How lucky am I?

And what about you?


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