Walmer Castle Collection Highlights
Walmer Castle is the residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, an office which has been held by many nationally important figures.
The first Lord Warden to use the castle was Lionel Sackville, the 1st Earl of Dorset, and a number of items in the collection are associated with this period (1708-65). The next Lord Warden with identifiable collections was William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minster during the Napoleonic Wars, who used Walmer as his main residence from 1801 to 1806. The Duke of Wellington's death at Walmer Castle was an internationally reported event and there are many items associated with his time there, as well as an extensive collection of Wellington memorabilia, given to the castle by Wing Commander Lucas in 1966.
Lord Wardens usually bought the furniture at Walmer from their predecessor's estate, but Lord Palmerston refused to do so. After WH Smith became Lord Warden in 1891, he initiated the Indenture of Heirlooms by an Act of Parliament so that the historic collections would remain at Walmer Castle in perpetuity and be displayed for public viewing.