Skip to content
Got it


Hampshire Map

Southsea Castle still stands guarding the eastern entrance to the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour, although these days the invaders come by car ferry.

It was built for Henry VIII in 1544, and is one of his so called Device Forts

It was from near here that Henry watched his flagship, the Mary Rose, sink in action against the French fleet during the Battle of the Solent. Whether this was due to negligence on the part of the crew, poor design or, as the French believe, the gallant actions of the enemy galleys is a matter of on-going debate.

At the time of writing, admission is free. For opening times and other information, please see the official site, detailed below.

The castle saw action during the English Civil War when it was captured by the Parliamentarians in September 1642 during the Siege of Portsmouth.

The South Bastion was rebuilt in late 17th century. In 1814 the moat was rebuilt and a Counterscarp Gallery was added. The latter is connected to the Keep by a Caponier. Both are open to the public and are very popular with the kids. The lighthouse was added in the 1820s

Manned during both world wars, the castle finally left military service in 1960 when it was bought by Portsmouth City Council. They now run it as a visitor attraction and museum.