Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 68459 74370



SY67SE CASTLE ROAD, Castletown 969-1/1/2 (West side (off)) Portland Castle


Coastal fortification. c 1540, one of Henry VIII's castles. Total cost »4964-19-10d. Portland ashlar, lead and slate roof. Circular keep enclosing octagonal hall, flanked by wings at an obtuse angle, and enclosing a gun platform at upper level, contained in a segmental wall to seaward. A short cranked passageway gives access to the octagonal hall from the W side; on each side of the hall a large rectangular room at each level, that at ground floor to the SE being the former kitchen. The straignt enclosing walls have various rectangular openings to splayed jambs, with a continuous weathered string at mid height, and a further string immediately below the bold segmental parapet with wide splayed gun ports. This detail is carried round the upper level of the roofed quarters. The seaward segment is set on a wide splayed glacis, and has 5 segmental-headed deep double-splayed gun ports, below the weathered string at the segmental parapet with 4 gun ports. The gun platform, behind the parapet with its walkway, is in stone flags. Interior: the ground floor has stone flags, and the upper floor is boarded, carried on heavy floor joists and beams, some of these original. Walls are ashlar, unpainted. The octagonal hall is sub- divided at each level by timber and plaster partitions. The kitchen, to the right, has very deep splayed openings, to former gun-loops, with flat straight-sided inner arches. The great thickness of walls is shown by the dept of reveals to all openings. Various arched fireplaces; stone stairs with flat-slab stone ceilings. Portland Castle was one of a pair with Sandsfoot Castle in Weymouth, across the harbour and c 3km to the N. Portland originally had a defensive moat. In 1623 it had 13 guns, but by the time of the Civil War there were 21 guns. The Castle was held by the Royalists, but yielded in 1646. From 1816 it was occupied by the Manning family, and the adjacent Captain's House (qv) was built. In 1870 it reverted to the Crown, and in 1984 became an English Heritage Property in Care. (Royal Commission on Historical Monuments: Dorset: London: 1970-: 251-2; Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Newman J: Dorset: London: 1972-1989: 340-1).

Listing NGR: SY6846074369


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Inventory of Dorset, (1970), 251-2
Pevsner, N, Newman, J, The Buildings of England: Dorset, (1972), 340-1


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Reference: IOE01/11383/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Reg Perry. Source Historic England Archive
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