South East England – Portsmouth

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in south east england

9. Portchester Castle

Top 10 ten places to visit in South East England – Portsmouth

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle’s commanding location has made it a major factor in the Solent’s defences for hundreds of years.

The most impressive and best preserved of the Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ forts, Portchester was originally built in the late 3rd century. It is the only Roman stronghold in northern Europe whose walls still mainly stand to their full height. Subsequently housing a Saxon settlement, the huge waterside fortress became a Norman castle in the 12th century, when a formidable tower-keep was built in one corner.

Portchester was in the front line throughout the Hundred Years War, serving as a staging post for expeditions to France and repelling cross-Channel raids. Richard II transformed part of the castle into a palace in 1396 and Henry V used it as a departure point for the Agincourt campaign in 1415. Thereafter it saw little action, but was used to house troops in the Civil War, and prisoners of war during the Dutch and Napoleonic Wars.

An exhibition in the keep interprets the history of the castle and Portchester village, and displays finds excavated on site. The inclusive audio tour explains life in the castle over the centuries, from the point of view of some of the people who worked or were incarcerated there.

Portchester Castle Address:
Portchester Castle 
PO16 9QW
England, UK

Portchester Castle Opening Times:
1st April to 30th September, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Sunday
1st October to 31st March, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Sunday
Closed 24th to 26th December and 1st January

Portchester Castle Admission:
Adult  £4.50
Children  £2.30
Concession  £3.80
English Heritage Members  Free

T  +44 (0)2392 378291

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