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Site created by Jan Holben. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain accuracy, no responsibility is accepted for any errors in content.

Copies of Rise and Progress of a Village can be purchased from  and K.C.C Libraries or from The Sandgate Society on Saturday mornings at The Old Fire Station. ISBN No. 0953357309

History of Sandgate

Historically, Sandgate was once a little bastion against invasion (Pigots 1840 - Sandgate &c). Today, six gaunt Martello Towers on the heights, a peaceful Castle on the pebble shore, the lure of the French cliffs clear in the evening light, the Channel Tunnel not far off, remind us that those days of strife are over.

On the administrative side, in 1934 Sandgate is merged reluctantly with Folkestone Borough Council, absorbed in Shepway District Council in 1974*. Despite modern expansion, Sandgate proudly guards its identity and its sense of history. Through the efforts of The Sandgate Society, two large Conservation Areas (designated 1972) now help to protect a fascinating mix of architectural styles.

Economically, Sandgate has always adapted to changing times and needs. Its rise and progress clearly stem from the late 18th century days of shipbuilding for George 111's Navy. With the Napoleonic menace, the growing presence of the Military at Shorncliffe Camp (est 1794), brings life and trade to the village; lodgings, inns and taverns are in demand. When peace returns, it flowers as a select and serene little watering place long before Folkestone or Hythe. The revival of the Camp in the days of Imperial rule spurs the economy. Then post World War 11, Sandgate develops as the South-east centre of the Antiques Trade.  

Through all its vicissitudes, Sandgate survives as a caring, close-knit community. In many walks of life, it embraces well-known, well loved characters - religious, military, literary, commercial - and a colourful social history unfolds.

* In 2004, the village re-acquired civil parish status

1539 During the Reformation, when relations with France and Spain are strained to the limit, Henry VIII orders the building of Sandgate Castle

1794 Shorncliffe Camp is established on the heights overlooking Sandgate. The War Dept. purchases 229 acres of open land and more . . .

1803-5 The Castle is on watch again. Peace with France has been brief and 25 miles across the Channel Napoleon and his Grande Armee are poised

1939 World War II and invasion fears are rife. For safety, the disabled are sent to Richmond and Enbrook House is requisitioned by the Army and later the National Fire Service

VE Day celebrations

1945 The Boulogne guns are silent. VE Day celebrations (8 May), marking the end of World War II in Europe, include a children's party in Wilberforce Road with games races, music and dancing ..

1256 SANDYGEAT as first recorded, denotes a gate or cleft in the sandstone hills through which the Enbrook flows to meet the sea.