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Southsea Castle

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Address: Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
Phone Number: +44 23 9282 6722
Website
Description:

Built in 1544, the Castle was part of a series of fortifications...

Built in 1544, the 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's flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank in front of the Castle. 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.

The Castle has had many other uses besides defence. For a while it was a military prison. A lighthouse was built in the 1820s, and is still in use by shipping today. In 1960 the Castle left military service. It was acquired by Portsmouth City Council, which restored the Castle to its 19th century appearance.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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    Terrible
Nice Old Castle! Beautiful Views! FREE entry

A Free attraction of a Henry VIII Castle is very interesting. Old cannons, the massively thick walls, tunnels, cobblestones. Built overlooking the sea, there are excellent... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Wayne H
,
United Kingdom
via mobile

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374 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 361: English reviews
South West England
Level Contributor
212 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Our visit to this castle could have been so much better. It was free, so thats great, parts of it were under cover and it was raining, so that was good and we like castles. Unfortunately the staff let the place down. We wandered in and couldn't see anything about where we could go, what was on offer or anything.... More 

Helpful?
Thank PoliteEngineer
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This castle offers stunning views of the Solent, a great courtyard cafe, a museum and events include weddings and sports viewings. Knowledgeable guides are also on hand to tell you it's history. Highly recommended.

Helpful?
Thank Mark E
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A Free attraction of a Henry VIII Castle is very interesting. Old cannons, the massively thick walls, tunnels, cobblestones. Built overlooking the sea, there are excellent views. Definitely a must to visit

Helpful?
Thank Wayne H
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A museum from the past. This is a good museum that is good for all ages. The history is well set out and the staff were helpful.

Helpful?
Thank Rick D D
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Castle is very interesting. Old cannons, the massively thick walls, tunnels, cobblestones and even the moat are still intact. Built overlooking the sea, there are excellent views from the parapet. The courtyard café provides good refreshment in a lovely atmosphere. The castle is presided over by a model Henry V111 and there are more interesting articles inside various rooms.... More 

Helpful?
Thank minnytwo
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This castle doesn't have a lot to offer I'm afraid. I'm a huge fan of visiting castles & this one didn't come up to scratch for me. It's only very small & there isn't many sections of it to visit. That said, it's free entry so it's worth a visit if it's something you enjoy doing. Parking is easy at... More 

Helpful?
Thank Alison M
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Enjoyed exploring Castle learning about Henry V111 & Mary Rose etc . terrific location and views. Sadly needs information boards updating to bring up to modern day standards. Children love tunnels. cafe on site much improved seating.

Helpful?
Thank jagga103
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2016

We coached 25 older and disabled people from London to Portsmouth for the day so they could wander round the castle and have lunch in a totally different setting. Parking was easy (behind the D-Day museum) and for disabled badge holders is free and near to the castle. The castle staff were friendly and helpful and we were able to... More 

Helpful?
Thank HAPSOS
Level Contributor
77 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2016 via mobile

Although being a small castle and not much to see or do, it was free admission and had information about Henry the eighth and you could look across at the piers from the top of the castle. Also a little cafe there as well. Dogs welcome.

Helpful?
Thank Kellyrogers1718
Newport
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2016 via mobile

My wife and I came here, it was a lovely day out. Firstly with free entry to the fort which was very interesting and the fantastic views from up on the walls. We saw a fair going on and asked a member of staff and he explained then a few minutes later he came back with leaflets for us about... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tinker T

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?