English Heritage is responsible for the care and presentation of an outstanding national collection of fine and decorative art, social history and archaeological artefacts from over 400 historic properties across England.
Originally built during the reign of Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences against Catholic attack from Europe, Walmer Castle has evolved over time into an elegant residence.
The majority of paintings at Walmer Castle are associated with Lord Wardens of the Cinque Ports, post holders have included William Pitt the Younger (Lord Warden, 1792–1806), the Duke of Wellington (Lord Warden, 1829–1852) and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Lord Warden, 1979–2002).
They form part of the Heirloom Collection, which was set up after the death of W. H. Smith (Lord Warden, 1891), who had lobbied Parliament to prevent items of historical interest associated with the Lord Wardens from being sold; as a result an Act of Parliament was passed which prevents their removal.
Two paintings, 'Remembrance' and a 'Church Interior', formed part of the Remembrance Chapel in Deal Castle. This was created in memory of Field Marshal John French I, Earl of Ypres, the first Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, and a Captain of Deal Castle.