This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

How real was the threat of invasion 1538-47?

Calshot Castle was built in 1539-40 as an artillery fort to guard the entrance to Southampton Water against the threat of invasion. It is just one of many such castles built under the orders of Henry VIII.

Calshot Castle was built in 1539-40 as an artillery fort to guard the entrance to Southampton Water against the threat of invasion.
Calshot Castle was built in 1539-40 as an artillery fort to guard the entrance to Southampton Water against the threat of invasion. © Historic England Photo Library. Ref: K950210

Teaching idea

Students could search our Educational Images to find out how many castles Henry VIII built during the final years of his reign. Students could search on the terms henry viii and castle and use the filters to select Tudor (1485-1602) from the drop-down lists. Then find out when and where he built them. They could use their search results to create a timeline of all the castles Henry built. They can then use the timeline to draw conclusions about Henry's foreign and domestic policies at the end of his reign.

Learning aims and outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate skills in searching, assessing and using relevant evidence
  • Students will gain a better understanding of Henry VIII foreign policy and its impact on England
  • Relates to: OCR - Unit Y307: Tudor Foreign Policy 1485–1603
  • Relates to: AQA - 1C The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 - How did relations with foreign powers change

Prior knowledge

Some background knowledge to Henry VIIIs reign, such as:

  • In 1538 the Truce of Nice saw the declaration of a ten-year truce between Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
  • The Pope issued a decree that Henry was no longer King of England. He called upon Catholics to attack him

Extended learning and useful links

Was this page helpful?