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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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Great views of the solent.

Found by chance - an interesting old fortress - climb the stairs to get great views across the solent towards the Isle of Wight etc and it's free to get in.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Dave W
,
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom

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406 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 393: English reviews
Cwmbran, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
268 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A castle telling its history, displays in different rooms and a view from the top. Entry is free and there is a cafe

Helpful?
Thank roscwmbran
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went to look round as we were taking my daughter to uni it's free to look round and you can get food there it's interesting and you can spend an house or two looking round

Helpful?
Thank Davidcrumpton
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Wonderful location, scene of the sinking of the Mary Rose ship in 1545, and it's raising in 1982. Marvellous history and stupendous views of the Solent. A must visit place.

Helpful?
Thank 1265Steve
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Found by chance - an interesting old fortress - climb the stairs to get great views across the solent towards the Isle of Wight etc and it's free to get in.

Helpful?
Thank Dave W
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Overlooking the Solent, this castle was built by Henry VIII as part of his defences for Portsmouth, and it is thought that he may even have designed it himself. It's a small castle, and there are displays in the keep to show the castle in it's heyday. It's usually possible to go to the top of the inner walls and... More 

Helpful?
Thank John B
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Up where the castle stands are some fantastic views and the kids seem to love it up there running around. The history around this area is immense and loads to do and learn. Take your kids as your be suprised, they love learning history. Lots of dog walkers and hand-in-hand lovers, and great views accross to Isle of Wight. The... More 

Helpful?
Thank Christian B
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

You can walk around the Castle or enjoy a cup of tea and imagine Henry VIII being there watching his fleet attack the French and the sinking of the Mary Rose which is marked by a yellow buoy.

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

It's a castle that you wouldn't know even exists. I wasn't aware till today. A very intimate setting for a wedding if your into that sort of feel. Not much on display unfortunately maybe the inclusion of video would help make it more worthwhile.

Helpful?
Thank DJKING G
Walton-On-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I'm a massive history fanatic but we went to this castle and although there have loads of history to it a a room full of Henry 8th stuff there were over half the areas closed, totally wish they would have opened it up more in order to see everything

Helpful?
Thank BstaceyP
Devon
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Great for the castle enthusiast. Not so accessible for disabled, but nice café at the bottom, and lovely views surrounding the area.

Helpful?
Thank Tibbiegirl

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?