Reconstruction Drawing of Portchester Castle in the 1400s, Portchester, Hampshire
Reconstruction drawing of Portchester Castle as it might have appeared in the 15th century. Portchester Castle was originally built as a shore fort in the late Roman period. This fort was called "Portus Adurni". It was reused in the Saxon period as a settlement. It became a defensive burgh from the 10th century. This was under Edward the Elder in 904 AD. In the late 11th century a Norman tower keep castle was built within the shore fort walls. This was by a William Mauduit. In 1130 the castle was acquired by a William Pont de l'Arche. After major works 1320-26, the buildings on the west of the inner bailey became a self-contained palace. This was rebuilt by Richard II between 1396-99. By 1441 the castle was considered ruinous. It was bought by a Sir Walter Uvedale in 1632 and mainly used as a prison for the next 300 years. In 1926 a member of the Thistlethwaite family, descendants of the Uvedales, gave the castle to the Office of Works. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2011). Find out more.