Built in 1544, Southsea Castle was part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII around England's coasts to protect the country from invaders.
Barely was the work completed when Henry VIII stood inside only to watch his flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank. During the English Civil War, nearly a century later, the Castle was captured for the only time in its history, by Parliamentarian forces.
Over the centuries, Southsea Castle's defences were strengthened so that it could continue to protect Portsmouth. In the 19th Century a tunnel was built to defend the Castle moat. Visitors can still enter the tunnel and see how the Castle would have been defended against invaders. Artillery, gun platforms and panoramic views from the top of the keep overlook the Isle of Wight and Solent.
The Castle is open March to October free of charge, with a fabulous cafe offer, great Waterfront Gifts shop and micro-brewery. The Castle's Cafe also offers a Champagne bar every Friday evening (in season).
Please note that on the occassion of a wedding at Southsea Castle, certain parts may be inaccessable to members of the public. To check if there is an event or wedding taking place in the castle, please use the contact details provided.
|Winter Closing - October to March (31 Oct 2019 - 31 Mar 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||Closed*|
|Summer Opening Hours (28 Mar 2020 - 30 Oct 2020)|
|Tuesday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00|
|Bank Holiday||10:00||- 17:00|
* On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August, the castle will be open as part of the festival site - you will only be able to visit if you have a festival ticket. Also, due to security for the festival, the castle will not be available to visit on Friday 24 August.Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
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