While the United Kingdom is home to many castles and fortresses, Deal Castle, located in Kent, is a unique one among them. Built by Henry VIII in the mid-16th century, the castle is famous for its unconventional design and shape. The castle consists of circular inner and outer bastions on top of each other, approximately of the same size. Aside from its shape, the castle was also one of the first attempts by the English to get in on the new artillery race. Until the 20th century, Deal Castle was in use as a defensive fort; however, in the aftermath of World War 2, it turned into a museum. Today, the castle is open to visit and is one of the most historical sights belonging to the Tudor Era.
The construction of Deal Castle goes back to the infamous antics of Henry VIII. When Henry wanted to get a divorce but the Pope did not allow it, he broke away from the Catholic Church. While this resulted in the formation of the Anglican Church, it also greatly angered the Pope. After this event, the Holy Roman Empire and the French made an alliance against the English under the banner of the Catholic Church. As a result, Henry VIII became afraid of an inevitable invasion from the sea; so, he started to build what historians call Device Forts or Henrician castles. These castles were specifically built near strategic seaside positions in order to thwart any invasion attempt.
Some historians believe that the shape of Deal Castle is not all about practicality. The shape of the castle is pretty similar to the Tudor Rose which is the emblem of the House of Tudor. The Tudor Rose is the symbol of the unification of the House of York and the House of Lancaster. While the inner pedals present the Yorks, the outer pedals represent the Lancasters.
One of these Device Forts was Deal Castle in Kent. The castle consisted of circular bastions which were 26 meters tall and 5 meters thick. Moreover, it also had dozens of artillery firing positions, gunloops, and four different levels of artillery. As different threats appeared, the firepower of the castle increased as well. Deal Castle defended the coasts of the UK from a French invasion, also during the Napoleonic wars, and against the Dutch too.