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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Deal  /  Kingsdown
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Things to do: beaches, golf
Kingsdown is a village immediately to the south of Walmer, itself south of Deal, on the English Channel coast of Kent. Parts of the village are built on or behind the shingle beach that runs north to Deal and beyond, while other parts are on the cliffs and hills inland. The village church of St John the Evangelist was built by local landowner William Curling in 1848. Curling's former residence, Kingsdown House, was acquired by the Brightstone Holiday Centre in 1934 and a holiday camp, now known as Kingsdown Holiday Park, has operated in the grounds up to the present day.HistoryA settlement or hamlet at Kingsdown is described in antiquity.During the Middle Ages, the coastal confederation of Cinque Ports consisted of 42 towns and villages. This included Kingsdown, under the 'limb' of Dover.While the inland areas are devoted to farming, the modern village expanded in the 19th century as a fishing community. As at Deal and Walmer to the north, the steeply shelving shingle beach posed a challenge to the ingenuity of local fishermen, who installed fixed capstans along the shore in order to haul their boats out of the water. Many of the older sheds and houses on the beach date from this period.Kingsdown was also at the southern end of the important anchorage known as The Downs, which is sheltered between the coast of Kent and the Goodwin Sands that lie offshore to the east. In the late 19th century, The Downs was widely used by hundreds of sailing ships that needed to ride out bad weather, although many ships came to grief on the Goodwins. A lifeboat station was built at Kingsdown in 1866 and was in operation until 1927. The nearest lifeboat is now based at Walmer to the north. From 1863, Oldstairs Bay at the south of Kingsdown Beach was also the location for an important Coastguard station and the substantial coastguard houses that remain (which are now privately occupied).
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