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Morro Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kingsgate Castle

In the civil parish of Broadstairs and St Peters.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TR39777019
Latitude 51.38009° Longitude 1.44423°

Morro Castle has been described as a Uncertain but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.

Description

A Castle is marked on the Drury map of 1769. Whilst there is no trace of this monument on the Ordnance Survey historic maps it does appear to correspond with cropmarks interpreted as enclosures in the area. (Kent HER)

Kingsgate Castle, a stately home, was started in the 1760s. Hasted writes;
"The house itself has a pleasing singularity in it; but the objects round it create a disgust in the childish taste displayed in a number of fantastic gothic ruins, built thick together over the adjoining grounds. The most considerable of these buildings are the Bead-house, having the appearance of a Roman chapel, with gothic windows and a cross at the summit, now used as an inn and house of entertainment. The temple of Neptune, Arx Ruochim, a small castle on king Henry VIII.'s plan of Deal, Sandown, &c. castles. Harley tower, built in compliment to Thomas Harley, esq. lord-mayor in 1768. Whitfield tower, in compliment to Robert Whitfield, esq. formerly owner of this estate. The convent, representing an antient monastery, containing the remains of a chapel and five cells, which afford a comfortable asylum for five poor families; there is a cloyster before it, and at the east end is a grand gateway and porter's lodge, containing some good apartments. Nearer the sea cliff is a singular building of the rude gothic kind, erected on the larger of the two tumuli, called Hackendon banks, which are conjectured to particularize the spot where, in a sharp contest between the Danes and Saxons, many on both sides were slain, and were buried here, of which a more ample account will be given hereafter. Countess fort, quite in ruins, designed for an ice-house, but never finished; and lastly, the castle, by far the largest of all the outworks, made on the plan of those erected by king Edward I."
Comments

It would seem probably that Morro Castle is one of these C18 follies. The 'castle' mentioned by Hasted 'soon fell into ruin and the large round tower is all that remains of the original building. In the late C19 it was rebuilt by Lord Avebury.' ([Listed Building Report > http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1239636&resourceID=5). Nothing is visible at the given map reference but this is the edge of a golf course and is likely to have been landscaped with heavy plant machinery. The follies, although stone built, may well have been slight and easily demolished. The area is also subject to coastal erosion and it may be possible the name refers to a now lost coastal promontory fort of prehistoric date.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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