Southsea Castle

Southsea Castle Southsea Castle was built in 1544 by King Henry VIII. Explore the castle, caponier and ramparts with it's unique design and enjoy panoramic views from the top of the Keep of the Isle of Wight and ships on the Solent.

This is the official page for Southsea Castle. Built in 1544, Southsea Castle was part of a series of fortifications built by King Henry VIII along the Portsmouth coast to protect the country from invaders. This fascinating site is where the king watched his favourite warship, the Mary Rose, tragically capsize and sink in 1545. Southsea Castle is open as a historical attraction free of ch

This is the official page for Southsea Castle. Built in 1544, Southsea Castle was part of a series of fortifications built by King Henry VIII along the Portsmouth coast to protect the country from invaders. This fascinating site is where the king watched his favourite warship, the Mary Rose, tragically capsize and sink in 1545. Southsea Castle is open as a historical attraction free of ch

Operating as usual

Looking for something to do in tonights glorious weather? Why not grab a ticket to tonights outdoor show!
04/08/2021

Looking for something to do in tonights glorious weather? Why not grab a ticket to tonights outdoor show!

Not long left to go. Make sure you grab a ticket!
02/08/2021

Not long left to go. Make sure you grab a ticket!

Photos from IKProductions's post
19/07/2021

Photos from IKProductions's post

Looking for something to do indoors over the weekend? Why not visit Portsmouth Museum and see the Summer Jewels Exhibiti...
17/06/2021

Looking for something to do indoors over the weekend? Why not visit Portsmouth Museum and see the Summer Jewels Exhibition by the ACJWessex

Out and about this week? Why not pop in to the museum and catch the last few days of the gorgeous Summer Jewels exhibition here at the museum.

Southsea Castle's cover photo
03/11/2020

Southsea Castle's cover photo

This belt buckle (or badge) is from the uniform of the 1st Royal Garrison Battalion, soldiers based at Southsea Castle 1...
07/05/2020

This belt buckle (or badge) is from the uniform of the 1st Royal Garrison Battalion, soldiers based at Southsea Castle 1803-1806. It was found on the beach, not far from the castle. It was probably lost by a soldier passing by. #southseacastle #soldier #archaeology

This 1852 book "The Peril of Portsmouth. French Fleets and English Forts" by James Fergusson said Portsmouth's defences ...
02/05/2020

This 1852 book "The Peril of Portsmouth. French Fleets and English Forts" by James Fergusson said Portsmouth's defences were vulnerable to attack. It was part of a debate that led to the building of sea and land forts around Portsmouth, as well as improvements to Southsea Castle.

This is on display at Southsea Castle. Does anyone know what it is, and where in Portsmouth it was used? #chains #portsm...
30/04/2020

This is on display at Southsea Castle. Does anyone know what it is, and where in Portsmouth it was used? #chains #portsmouth

A panorama showing a review of ships of the #RoyalNavy in the #Solent, about 1900. #SouthseaCastle is on the right, and ...
28/04/2020

A panorama showing a review of ships of the #RoyalNavy in the #Solent, about 1900. #SouthseaCastle is on the right, and Spitbank Fort on the left.

27/04/2020
Family Quiz Player Registration • Caudwell Children

Looking for online fun the whole family can enjoy together? Join in with the “We ❤️ Children’s Activities Family Quiz” put your awesome family quiz skills to the test and also raise vital funds for Caudwellchildren Emergency Appeal in the process.

You can register for just £1 at: https://www.caudwellchildren.com/family-quiz-player-registration/

There will be surprise appearances from some celebrity friends who will be reading out questions supplied by children activity suppliers like us.

Everyone will get a certificate and entry into the free prize draw for a signed David Walliams books.

It’s time for your little ones to get in on the online quiz experience with the “We ❤️ Children’s Activities” family quiz on 28th April with questions set by your favourite children’s activity providers and read out by celebrities!

To mark #NationalTelephoneDay, here's a communication method that was used before telephones: the shutter telegraph on #...
25/04/2020

To mark #NationalTelephoneDay, here's a communication method that was used before telephones: the shutter telegraph on #Southsea Common (close to our castle). It was used for signals to and from Royal Navy ships in the Solent. A frame on the roof held boards that were moved to sent messages which could be seen through a telescope. There was a chain of signal stations that could send a message from #Portsmouth to London in only seven and a half minutes!

We have teamed up with the charity Caudwell Children and Children’s Activities Week for this exciting event.Taking place...
21/04/2020

We have teamed up with the charity Caudwell Children and Children’s Activities Week for this exciting event.

Taking place on Tuesday 28th April it will feature questions for your little ones, provided by a host of children’s activity providers like us.

You can register at: https://www.caudwellchildren.com/family-quiz-player-registration/

There will be surprise appearances from some of our celebrity friends to add to the excitement.

Registration is only £1 per child and everyone will get a certificate and entry into the free prize draw for a signed David Walliams books.

All of the money raised will be donated to help disabled children and families during the COVID-19 crisis through Caudwell Children.

Photos from Southsea Castle's post
17/04/2020

Photos from Southsea Castle's post

Today we have a photo of army officers at Southsea Castle during 1915. Some are from the Royal Artillery and some are fr...
10/04/2020

Today we have a photo of army officers at Southsea Castle during 1915. Some are from the Royal Artillery and some are from the Royal Engineers. The civilian with the arm band was probably the garrison doctor. The photo is taken right outside the Castle gate. #southseacastle #militaryhistory #WW1 #museumsathome #museumsfromhome #cultureinquarantine

This view of Southsea Castle is from around 1800. The Castle has changed shape and design many times over its 470+ years...
03/04/2020

This view of Southsea Castle is from around 1800. The Castle has changed shape and design many times over its 470+ years, but it has always had a moat. Did you know it was always a dry moat and has never had water? Can you spot the dog? #southseacastle #history #defence #museumsathome #museumsfromhome #cultureinquarantine

Southsea Castle's cover photo
03/04/2020

Southsea Castle's cover photo

03/04/2020
We've been looking through our collections for interesting things to show you all. We have this engraved print by Lempri...
31/03/2020

We've been looking through our collections for interesting things to show you all. We have this engraved print by Lempriere called "Southsea Castle from the Sea" published in 1738. The deep-water channel into Portsmouth Harbour passed the the Castle then, like today. The castle was built to keep an eye on ships entering the harbour. #southseacastle #history #nautical #museumsathome #museumsfromhome #cultureinquarantine

We may not be open at the moment, but we'll be posting some items from our collections about the history of Southsea Cas...
27/03/2020

We may not be open at the moment, but we'll be posting some items from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This pocket watch was given to Master Gunner Richard Wicken when he retired from the army. He was Master Gunner at Southsea Castle 1852-1857. #MuseumfromHome

This painting by Richard Livesay shows the Worcestershire Regiment of Militia on parade. A Royal Navy warship is passing...
25/03/2020

This painting by Richard Livesay shows the Worcestershire Regiment of Militia on parade. A Royal Navy warship is passing behind. You can just see part of Southsea Castle on the far left. On the right is a semaphore station for signalling to the navy’s ships in the Solent. #MuseumfromHome

Cricket anyone? This lovely oil painting by Alexander Hart shows a view towards Southsea Castle (in the background, on t...
24/03/2020

Cricket anyone? This lovely oil painting by Alexander Hart shows a view towards Southsea Castle (in the background, on the right). In the foreground a group of men are playing cricket. Also depicted is The Cricketers pub, outside of which a squad of soldiers are drilling.

More from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This print dated 1765 shows a view from next to Southsea...
23/03/2020

More from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This print dated 1765 shows a view from next to Southsea Castle (which is on the left) looking towards Portsmouth – or what we today call Old Portsmouth. The city is surrounded by fortifications which today are almost all gone, though part of them still remains near the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour (King's Bastion, Long Curtain Moat and Spur Redoubt). #portsmouth #history

More from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This is Sergeant Major Richard Wicken. In the 1850s he w...
22/03/2020

More from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This is Sergeant Major Richard Wicken. In the 1850s he was based at the castle as Master Gunner - meaning he was in charge of the cannons and the soldiers who operated them. He and his family lived at the castle.

The rest of the castle isn't open - but  The Courtyard cafe is open for takeaway. Meanwhile we'll be posting some items ...
21/03/2020

The rest of the castle isn't open - but The Courtyard cafe is open for takeaway.

Meanwhile we'll be posting some items from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This drawing shows the castle in about 1760. The walls are mostly hidden by an earth bank called the ‘glacis’, designed to absorb or deflect cannon balls. Older castles have high walls to keep out the enemy, but once gunpowder became widespread, a bigger wall was a bigger target!

From one of our other museums:
20/03/2020

From one of our other museums:

Although the museum is closed we still want to stay in touch with you. What would you most like to see? Do you have a favourite exhibit? Or perhaps a favourite painting in the collection you'd like to explore in more detail? Let us know!

We may not be open at the moment, but we'll be posting some items from our collections about the history of Southsea Cas...
20/03/2020

We may not be open at the moment, but we'll be posting some items from our collections about the history of Southsea Castle. This painting by John Berney Ladbrooke shows the castle over 150 years ago. You can see the lighthouse, and guns on the keep and ramparts. #portsmouth

Following Government advice around Coronavirus, which includes minimising social contact to help prevent the spread of t...
18/03/2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Following Government advice around Coronavirus, which includes minimising social contact to help prevent the spread of the virus, Portsmouth City Council is focusing on ensuring essential services continue to run. Because of this, the Keep of Southsea Castle will be closed until further notice. However, The Courtyard remains open - check their social accounts for further updates.
Up-to-date information about council services will be available on our website at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/coronavirus

This page gives you the latest information about services affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Today to mark the 125th anniversary of Portsmouth Museums, we are looking at the history of Cumberland House Natural His...
15/02/2020

Today to mark the 125th anniversary of Portsmouth Museums, we are looking at the history of Cumberland House Natural History Museum.

In 1851 Jonathan Gain, a paymaster in the army, sold farmland at the site to Richard Murrell, a brewer, who built Cumberland House a few years later. Named after nearby Fort Cumberland, Cumberland House originally consisted of two blocks and a coach house, separated by a courtyard. There was also a stable with hay lofts.

Richard Murrell never lived in the house but leased it to army officers and their families. Richard's son, Richard John, extended the central block of the house and added an east and west wing.
Richard John died in 1884, leaving Cumberland House in trust to his sister Mary Ann Charlotte Gittens and her husband John. Their tenant, John Playfair, died in 1887 and his widow Emily continued to live in the house and later bought the house from Mary Ann and John's son and daughters in 1919.

Following Emily's death in 1928, Cumberland House was auctioned and bought for the city by Alderman Porter.

Between 1929 and 1931, the council converted Cumberland House into a museum and art gallery. The first exhibitions were local art and photography displayed in three of the first-floor rooms. Natural history and ethnography were displayed on the ground floor.

Cumberland House remained open until damage to plasterwork, windows, roofing and rendering during air raids in 1941 and 1944 forced the closure of the museum. Following its re-opening in 1951, displays included local and social history, art and natural history. After the opening of Southsea Castle in 1967, the focus in Cumberland House shifted towards natural history.

In 2017 a new butterfly house was built to replace an older structure. Whilst the building’s purpose and structure have changed and grown over the last 180 years, it remains an ever-popular museum of natural history, providing inspiration and learning to all who visit.

Portsmouth Museums service has had a long history of installing and hosting exhibitions for the public. The first art ex...
13/02/2020

Portsmouth Museums service has had a long history of installing and hosting exhibitions for the public. The first art exhibition at what was then called Cumberland House Museum and Art Gallery was opened by the Lord Mayor on this day 89 years ago in 1931.

It featured about 200 pictures all of them the work of local artists including W.L. Wyllie, Gunning King, W.A. Jefferies and Ada Dumas of Southsea who exhibited views of Normandy and Brittany. The Hampshire Telegraph and Post reviewed the exhibition as having been 'artistically hung with pictures of Portsmouth and Southsea, Southsea beach and gardens, the Guildhall, and Old Portsmouth, along with views from the continent'. The exhibition had been congratulated on 'the lay-out of the rooms, the tone of the paper, the lighting arrangements, and the simple and tasteful way in which the exhibits were hung'.

This exhibition marked the official opening of Cumberland House as an art gallery, and in declaring the building open the Lord Mayor is reported in saying that 'it was the beginning of the civic recognition of art'. On the first day open to the public Cumberland House Art Gallery & Museum had up to 350 visitors.

Follow #PM125 for more posts about the 125th anniversary of Portsmouth Museums!

Portsmouth Museums Service has a significant collection of items relating to Charles Dickens. Whilst he was born in Port...
11/02/2020

Portsmouth Museums Service has a significant collection of items relating to Charles Dickens. Whilst he was born in Portsmouth in 1812, he never actually lived in the city as an author.

Some of the earliest items that came into the collection were connected to Dickens such as signed documents, a sculpture of his father and a large portrait of the author by local artist Henry Bryant, which is on permanent display at the Dickens Birthplace.

Following his death in 1870 some of Dickens' personal effects were donated to the Museums Service by his family. These items included letters, original illustrations, books and family photographs. Perhaps the most significant item from this donation was the chaise longue sofa on which he died on 9th June 1870 at Gad's Hill in Kent.

Throughout the years people have continued to donate Dickens related items which have all contributed to the scale and uniqueness of the collection we have in Portsmouth.

Follow #PM125 for more posts about the 125th anniversary of Portsmouth Museums!

Address

Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, PO5 3PA
Southsea
PO5 3PA

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

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Comments

A northern visitors take on the History of Portsmouth Quays and Castles.
A northerners perspective of Southsea & it's history. Check out the video below;
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156738793697418&id=114450942417 Can someone confirm if this is true please? Bit short notice with a week until the event?!
Any special events planned for Half Term (27/10-4/11)?
On the pedestrian sign outside Southsea Castle it has Sinead O'Connor 7 hours and 15 days. I know this is from the song Nothing compares to you. But why is it there? Can't find the answer anywhere. There must be a reason why the council wrote it. Anyone help? Rob
Had a lovely day in Southsea last week.
I do love the beer shop and got a few bottle's to take home.
Nice couple who just got married and the fuction held at the castle, first time I seen so many Scottish men with Kilt's on.
Relaxing by Southsea Castle
Simba discovering Southsea Castle.
Simba enjoying sunny Southsea
Me with my brothers favourite Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.