Southsea Castle, Portsmouth, Portsmouth
Looking north-west across the water towards Southsea Castle. Southsea Castle was a Henrician artillery castle built between 1538 and 1544 as part of Henry VIII's network of coastal fortifications to protect England against the threat of French and Spanish invasion. It has been altered several times and has had various uses. During the English Civil War, the castle was taken by Parliamentary forces in 1642. The outer wall was reconstructed in 1670 and again around 1812. It was used as a military prison from 1814 until 1850 and in 1820 a lighthouse was built which is still in use today. The castle was refortified with the addition of coastal batteries in the 1860s and around 1902 (see associated records). In 1960 the castle was decommissioned and was acquired by Portsmouth City Council which has restored it to its 19th century appearance. Read detailed archaeological description.