Southsea CastleSouthsea Castle has defended Portsmouth against attack for over 400 years. It was built by Henry VIII who ordered its construction as part of a network of coastal defences which he set up at the time.
Completed in 1544, the glory of Southsea Castle's construction was soon marred by the sinking of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship, in full view from the castle. Specifically built in an era of artillery warfare, Southsea Castle was fortified with 17 guns. Ironically, Southsea Castle never succumbed to a foreign invasion, the only time it fell was to the Parliamentary Force during the English Civil War, a century after its completion.
As the years rolled by improvements in architecture and defence systems led to reconstruction of some parts of the Southsea Castle. Today you can visit the 19th century tunnel which defends the castle moat but be warned – your tour will be led by a ghost! Southsea Castle has also been reinvented to coincide with the times. It has subsequently served as a military prison and as a lighthouse which was built in the 1820. While Southsea Castle still serves as a naval aid, its life within the military came to an end in 1960 when it was passed into the care of the Portsmouth City Council.
Address: Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade
Postcode: PO5 3PA
Town/city or near: Portsmouth
Open daily from April to September from 10am to 5.30pm and in October from 10am to 5.00pm. Closed from November to March.