The Siege of the Downs Castles in 1648

By Rev. J.R. Powell, published May 1965


The author gives his sources and elucidates the very volatile situation which made it imperative for Parliament to capture the castles which dominated the Downs, the anchorage inside the Goodwin Sands.  Colonel Rich first besieged and captured Walmer Castle, despite intermittent attempts to succour it from the sea.  He then took Deal Castle, even resisting some 800 men put ashore by the Prince of Wales in a surprise night attack, and prevented the royalist ships from obtaining water or provisions from the land.  When the ships withdrew Sandown Castle surrendered.  The author describes in detail the fighting, evaluating the contradictions in contemporary accounts and the reasons for the outcome.

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Filed under: English Civil War | English Channel
Subjects include: Logistics | Strategy & Diplomacy

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