Literary Connections - Walmer
Paul Theroux , visiting in 1982, cast a foreigner's eye over Walmer, saying it had 'the smack of a London suburb - flower gardens and elderly shoppers'. (THE KINGDOM BY THE SEA)
Poets Walk is named after Robert Bridges, Walmer's Poet Laureate. He was born at Roselands in 1844, and although the family house has long since vanished, Bridges has left us a poem about the summer-house which stood in the grounds. From the wooden building, the young Bridges could look out over the Channel.
In the poem, he recalls the day in 1852 when he saw the flag at Walmer Castle flying at half-mast on the death of the Duke of Wellington. The Iron Duke had been a friend of the Bridges family and his death was a personal loss for the young boy, as well as an event of national importance.
I had seen his castle-flag to fall half-mast
One morn as I sat looking on the sea,
When thus all England's grief came first to me,
Who hold my childhood favour'd that I knew
So well the face that won at Waterloo.
ELEGY: THE SUMMER-HOUSE ON THE MOUND published 1899