Welcome to WalmerWeb's local history page
Here you'll find links to our growing collection of
articles and pictures on "times past" in Walmer and Deal.
|A Brief History
Walmer and its close neighbour Deal are, today, relatively unspoilt residential seaside towns. However, they have had a turbulent past - not least the arrival of Julius Caesar and his legions on Walmer beach in 55BC and the decision of Henry VIII, fearful of invasion, to build the castles at Deal, Walmer and Sandown in 1540.
To read more.... CLICK HERE.
|Blessed St Mary Church
The old Blessed St Mary's Church is set in a burial ground in Church Street, Upper Walmer. Once the local parish church and a place of worship for the Duke of Wellington, it was superseded with the building of the "new" much larger St Mary's in 1887-88. However, communion services are still held in the old church every Thursday morning.
To read more.... CLICK HERE
|Deal Memorial Bandstand
Following the IRA bombing of the Royal Marines Barracks in Deal on 22 September 1989, it was suggested a new bandstand should be built as a living tribute to the 11 musicians who had died. Thanks to the untiring efforts of a small group of volunteers, the dream became a reality on 2 May 1993. To read more... CLICK HERE.
|Hasted's Walmer, Deal and Ringwould
Edward Hasted (1732–1812) was the author of a major county history, "The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent". It includes chapters on Deal, Walmer and neighbouring parishes.
To read more.... CLICK HERE.
|Ian Fleming and 007 in East Kent
Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond "007" novels, was no stranger to east Kent, which provided thinly disguised settings for several episodes in his spy's adventures. To read more... CLICK HERE.
Significant dates in the history of Walmer and Deal.
To see them... CLICK HERE.
HM The Queen's Golden Jubilee Mosaic, was created on Walmer Green in 2002 as an arts project by three schools in Walmer parish together with local businesses and residents. For more about this community project ... CLICK HERE.
|Julius Caesar and the Roman Invasion
A memorial plaque on Walmer seafront indicates the spot where Julius Caesar and his troops are believed to have first landed in Britain in August 55BC. This invasion was not especially successful and was followed by a second much larger one the next year. To read more... CLICK HERE.
|Leelands School in the mid-1920's
Four old school reports dating from 1925, 1926 and 1927, found in a large amount of old documentation from a farm sale, chart the academic progress of a young Daphne Travers in her first years of attending Leelands School in Upper Walmer. Leelands closed many years ago but the wide range of subjects offered and the small class sizes in the mid-1920s provide an interesting contrast to today's primary school provision. To read more... CLICK HERE.
|Local People's Reminiscences
Local residents' reminiscences and first-hand accounts of significant past events as well as everyday life in Walmer and Deal. New contributions are invited.
A brief history of the area around the Nevill Gardens cul-de-sac at Upper Walmer compiled in September 2005 by local resident Mike Hirst.
|Old Walmer Court
Tucked away beside the churchyard in Upper Walmer's Church Street, the remains of the Old Walmer Court could be considered Walmer's first castle. To read more... CLICK HERE.
Photographs and artists' impressions of Walmer in years past. To open the album... CLICK HERE.
|Read about Walmer and Deal
For a reading list, compiled with the help of Kent County Council's Arts and Libraries Service... CLICK HERE.
|Researching Family History
If you are hoping to trace records of ancestors who may have lived in Walmer, WalmerWeb has a whole page of advice and useful web links.
|St Clare Preparatory School
Former pupil Michael Partridge traces the history of the former boys' school in Grams Road, Upper Walmer.... CLICK HERE.
|The Royal Marines
Walmer and Deal have a long and proud association with the Royal Marines. To read about the area's past military connections and the more recent conversion of the former barracks into housing... CLICK HERE.
|Upper Walmer - a brief history
The original old village of Walmer is today's Upper Walmer. It developed around a Manor House, its farm and the Old St Mary's Church, dating from the early 12th century. By Victorian times the small agricultural community had become a thriving village with a school, shops, inns, a large brewery and a convent with a chapel... CLICK HERE.
|Upper Walmer in the 1920s and 1930s
Mrs Audrey West was brought up in Walmer in the 1920’s and '30s. Here she recalls her earliest memories of Upper Walmer including local shops and businesses, the schools and churches, the pubs and development of the Hawksdown estate. For more... CLICK HERE.
The flat grassy plateau at Hawkshill Freedown on the southern edge of Walmer parish was a World War I aerodrome and has a memorial to the pilots who flew from there and were killed fighting in France.
It seems likely that there was already a small brewery at Upper Walmer and this was acquired in 1816 by Edmund Thompson and operated as Thompson & Sons. In 1867 John Matthews bought the business and greatly expanded it, although he retained the Thompson name.
Walmer Castle was built during the reign of Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences. It was the southernmost of three forts on this section of the Kent coast guarding a sheltered anchorage in the English Channel known as The Downs.
|Walmer in 1890
A detailed walking tour of Walmer Parish in 1890 from the book “Records of Walmer” by Charles R. S. Elvin. To read more... CLICK HERE.
|Walmer Lifeboat Station
In 1856 an Appeal was made by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to help raise money to establish a Lifeboat Station at Walmer. Here lifeboat crew member Colin Varrall traces some of its history since then.
Facing the beach at Walmer, Walmer Place was built in 1901 for a Dutchman, Albert Oochs as a luxurious manor house set in 16 acres. It was bought at auction in 1909 by Agnes Marke Wood, widow of a wealthy shipping merchant and banker. Her generous support for local causes, means the Marke Wood name is still significant today. To read more... CLICK HERE.
Walmer has, over the years, had well over 30 local public houses. Today, most are but dim distant memories. Here we draw together some of what is known about the area's watering holes. More research is needed and your contributions to improve the details is warmly invited.
To read more ... CLICK HERE.
|Walmer Voluntary Aid Detachment
Generals Meadow and St Anselms, two houses in Upper Walmer, played an important role in caring for injured servicemen during the First World War. To read more... CLICK HERE.
|World War II
During Walmer and Deal's wartime role in what became known as "Hell Fire Corner", it is estimated 65 local people were killed by bombs or shells, 59 seriously injured and close on 200 slightly injured. Some 200 bombs and 100 shells fell on the town, resulting in destruction or damage to nearly 5,000 properties.
To read more ... CLICK HERE.
|Links to more local history....
|Deal local history:
|Deal and Walmer in 1938:
Extracts from a 64-page local guidebook
|History and old photos of Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown: East Kent Local History Pages.
|Wikipedia: Walmer general description and brief history. click here.