Article written by Joannie Alford
I am an American living in North Carolina and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed all the great information on your Website.
An Anglophile since the age of 12 — a passion that grew from my love of The Beatles — I found “Sandgate Castle” on a National Geographic map of “Shakespeare’s Britain”. I immediately fell in love with the place name and began writing little stories set at the castle, which I imagined to be quite magnificent (Sandgate inspires even writers who aren’t blessed to live there!).
I finally made it to England about five years later, and although I stayed in Kent quite often, I did not make it to my beloved Sandgate. On a return trip in 1977, I told my best friend — then living near New Romney — that I HAD to get to Sandgate this trip and I just HAD to see the castle.
As we sped along the road, I told her we needed to keep to the coast road and finally we found the castle remains, as expected, down by the sea. No, it wasn’t that fairy-tale place I had imagined, but I was not disappointed and am sure it was quite magnificent in ancient times. And I had made it to Sandgate, and to Sandgate Castle!
Through your Website I have learned so much more about the lovely village and battlements, and I do appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to build the site. If I ever win the lottery, I will be a major contributor to your Society, buy the castle and renovate it, and live there for the rest of my days!
I will be traveling back “home” to England in early June for a fortnight, and will try find time to stop by the village to breathe in the atmosphere and pay my respects to a place that held so many imaginations in my girlhood.
Every good wish to you all,
Joanie Alford – North Carolina, USA (Feb 2004)