West Cowes Castle, The Parade, West Cowes, Isle of Wight
This building includes the remains of the artillery castle at West Cowes. It was built in 1539-40 by Henry VIII as part of his network of coastal defences. They were to defend England from the threat of French and Spanish invasion. Together with the artillery castle at East Cowes it defended the mouth of the River Medina and Newport Harbour. The castle was used as a prison from 1649-53. It became a private house in 1716. During this time it was extensively remodelled and most of the original castle was demolished. In 1856-7 the building was bought by the Royal Yacht Squadron. Cowes owed its fortune in the 19th century to the visits of the Duke of Gloucester, The Prince Regent and other royal princes who became early patrons of the Yacht Club. After 1863 it was the Prince of Wales who made the town fashionable.