• Southsea Castle

    Southsea.  Good pubs, good shops, a dodgy rollercoaster...lots of creative people. Photography, music, design...there’s some seriously good stuff happening.  

    It’s also the home of a few historical beauties, including one of our favourite monarch’s (Henry VIII) flagship castle, Southsea Castle.  Admittedly, it doesn’t look overly impressive from the outside, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Not many turrets, but there is a lighthouse.

    It was from Southsea Castle that Henry watched his ship, the Mary Rose, sink. The castle had only just been finished. It must have been more than a little disappointing.   

    Built in 1554, the castle was largely in response to Henry’s anxiety that the south coast would be attacked by the French. By the next year it was finished, when the French as predicted did move towards England, landing on the Isle of Wight.

    Since its Tudor construction, it’s seen its fair share of action. Fires. An invasion by parliamentarian forces during the Civil War. A massive explosion in the 1750s which killed 17 people and wrecked a lot of the castle (thankfully they put it back together).

    By the Victorian’s got hold of it, they started using it as a military prison. That must have been nice.  A black and white lighthouse was erected there too in the 1820s. They still use the lighthouse for shipping.

    The castle is free to have a look around. And don’t forget, we also have a stockist in Southsea, so if you’re ever there checking out castles and rotting old ships (AKA Mary Rose), go pick yourself up a little bit of You’re History at Rokii, Victoria Road South.

    posted by You're History


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