Wednesday, May 22, 2024 02:59

Whitstable Castle

Whitstable Castle

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History of Whitstable Castle

Whitstable Castle, Whitstable, Kent was built from copperas works in 1790 and this formed the Octagonal Tower. The black tar of the works can still be seen on the walls. The Pearson’s home was known as The Manor House and little is known about its layout except that in 1798 the chimney to the tower was taken down and a staircase put in its place.

The family spent every summer at the house, from their Greenwich based home. Charles Pearson died in 1828. His son Charles Pearson Junior, born in 1786, inherited the estate and carried on using the house as a summer residence. The Tower fell into neglect and he sold it to his cousin by marriage Wynn Ellis.

Wynn Ellis had the most significant impact and made the greatest contribution towards shaping the building and its grounds. In 1897 Tankerton Castle, as it was now known, was sold to Thomas Adams. He added a billiard room to the North of the original tower. This provided a good room with feature fireplace on the ground floor with servants’ quarters upstairs but obstructed the fine sea views of Whitstable Bay. Later this became the Council Chamber.

In 1921 the Castle passed into the hands of Mr Albert Mallandain. A paper manufacturer, he and his wife used it as a summer residence. Changes were made in the building, with a fine new staircase and extensive additional oak panelling to match original designs. The Whitstable Urban District Council, despite some some opposition, bought the Castle for the town in 1935.

Following the local government re-organisation in 1972, the Castle remained empty until 1975 when at the instigation of The Whitstable Society the “Castle Centre Association” was created with the aim of using The Castle for the benefit of the people of Whitstable. In 2004 a new committee with its first Castle Co-ordinator began a complete interior upgrade and Weddings and Civil Ceremonies could commence. This brought in much needed income to regenerate the Castle and enable it to return to its original role as a venue for family celebrations, major local events and community activities. A heritage Lottery Grant enabled a new Trust to be formed in 2008 to take over the running of the Castle and Gardens.

Ghosts of Whitstable Castle

Footsteps, laughter and slamming doors have all been heard by staff and visitors to the building

 

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