When a trip to Leeds Castle failed, my friend and I ended up visiting Whitstable in Kent which, conveniently, had its own castle!
Whitstable Castle began as Tankerton Towers, the private residence for the Pearson family in the 1790’s. The tower was built in 1790, perhaps as an addition to a farmhouse.
The farmhouse was demolished by Charles Pearson Jr and replaced with a Georgian gothic wing. When Pearson became bankrupt in 1830, his friend Wynn Ellis, a successful draper and silk importer (and later, MP for the Borough of Leicester), took over his residence. It became Ellis’ summer residence where he and his mistress lived. During this time Ellis added a bell tower and expanded the Tower/Castle.
A few years after Ellis’ children sold the property in 1890, Thomas Adams bought the property and added the gatehouse.
A few decades later in 1920, Albert Mallandain expanded the Castle to include a billiard room.
The Castle was sold to the Whitstable Urban District Council in 1935. Today the Castle and grounds is managed by the Whitstable Castle Trust. Although my friend and I chose not to go in, we could see that the Castle was a popular place for tea (in the Orangery Tearoom) and for basking in the sun.