We have a lot of information from this period. Easily available sources are the National Census of 1841, the Tithe Map and Schedule from 1843 for the parish of Deal and histories in Hasted’s ‘Topographical Features of Kent’ and Pritchard’s ‘History of Deal’ book. These describe, in great detail, land ownership, tenancy and land use and together with the census give a very good picture of population centres, the working environment, and a glimpse of what life was like then. We also have trade directories – Pigot’s of 1840 is invaluable.
We do not have photographs but we have evidence of many buildings standing today were present then. What is also clear is the way Deal itself has boomed in size and importance yet Upper Deal has remained much the same for decades.
Clean water was on tap with the building of the waterworks near the top of Mill Hill in 1840 mainly to serve Deal and the fleet. Gas street lighting was in place for the town of Deal about 1835.
There was ample agricultural land of good quality extended north to around Southwall Road onto the marshes. South of Manor Road it was totally agricultural. Plenty of farms with farmyards in the vicinity of St Leonard’s Social Centre and near the Bowling Green Tavern. Three windmills for producing flour are shown on the Tithe Map.
The busy port of Deal, servicing Naval vessels and Merchant shipping required good links to London and so there was a daily fast coach for mail and passengers travelling in the Sandwich direction 7pm each evening and returning by 6.30am the next day but one. The turnpike road passed from Queen Street, along London Road through Upper Deal and on to Sandwich. Tollgates were present at Queen Street and the junction at St Leonard’s Church.
Horse and Coach was the order of the day. The Ancient Highway to Sandwich was through the Sandhills at the North end of Deal. A Turnpike road arrived in 1797 Connecting Dover to Deal and on to Sandwich in the Finglesham direction, passing right through Upper Deal.
There was anticipation of the arrival of the railway. There were several sets of plans before the Minster Junction railway got approval with a terminus at Deal, up and running by 1847. The route to Dover opened in 1881.
Five pubs and Ale houses, the most prominent being ‘The Liverpool Arms’ next to 'The Admiral Keppel’. There was ‘The Magnet’, the ‘Bowling Green Tavern’ and the ‘Five Ringers’. The ‘Yew Tree’ was built later, before 1881.
About ¼ agricultural, ¼ servants, ¼ living on own means and ¼ for trades, boatmen etc. There were some shops.
Upper Deal in 1896
Image courtesy of Sandwich Guildhall Archives from Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Illustrated