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.
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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 charge between March and October each year. Visitors can explore the keep, enjoy panoramic views from the top of the Keep to the Isle of Wight and Solent before enjoying a bite to eat in the Courtyard Café (open all year). Purchase a gift or two from the Waterfront Gift shop or some beer to take home from the on-site micro brewery. The Castle's event programme includes family activities and trails, plus for adults, the popular Friday night Champagne Bar from May to September. Please note: Some areas of Southsea Castle may be closed or inaccessible for operational purposes, or in the event of a wedding or other event taking place there. To check if there is an event or wedding taking place in the castle, please phone ahead to enquire which parts of the museum are open. If you require any information for your visit, please contact us.

We have relaunched our website! You can read how parts of Southsea Castle have been changed and rebuilt over the centuri...
14/05/2020

We have relaunched our website! You can read how parts of Southsea Castle have been changed and rebuilt over the centuries. Sometimes the castle has fallen into ruins, and once it was even blown up! http://ow.ly/sgmZ50ztbPB
#castle #fortifications #architecture

This photo from just before the First World War shows Royal Garrison Artillery soldiers who manned the defences at South...
12/05/2020

This photo from just before the First World War shows Royal Garrison Artillery soldiers who manned the defences at Southsea Castle. #southseacastle #militaryhistory #WW1

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

We have relaunched our website! You can read how King Henry VIII played a big part in the original design of Southsea Ca...
05/05/2020

We have relaunched our website! You can read how King Henry VIII played a big part in the original design of Southsea Castle, and what made it so unusual. http://ow.ly/YG0o50zt9ge
#castle #fortifications #architecture

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

Can you find the Easter Bunny in each picture? Let us know by commenting below and you'll be able to claim a prize from ...
09/04/2020

Can you find the Easter Bunny in each picture?
Let us know by commenting below and you'll be able to claim a prize from Southsea Castle when we re-open!

Some military history of Southsea Castle for you all today. This is the uniform of Master Gunner Arthur Pointing who ser...
07/04/2020

Some military history of Southsea Castle for you all today. This is the uniform of Master Gunner Arthur Pointing who served for 30 years in the Royal Garrison Artillery 1900s-1930s. Towards the end of the First Would War he was based at Southsea Castle and was responsible for all the local fortifications. #southseacastle #militaryhistory #WW1 #portsmouth #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

Southsea Castle was manned during the First World War. The garrison produced 'The 6" Bore', a house magazine reflecting ...
26/03/2020

Southsea Castle was manned during the First World War. The garrison produced 'The 6" Bore', a house magazine reflecting the what life was like for them at the castle. ‘Bore’ refers to the diameter of a gun – but also the fact that life at the Castle was not very exciting!

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!

Today we are celebrating the local and social history collections as part of Portsmouth Museums' 125th anniversary. Thes...
09/02/2020

Today we are celebrating the local and social history collections as part of Portsmouth Museums' 125th anniversary. These form one of the largest groups of objects and images we have and covers an enormous range of subjects. We focus on collecting material that has either been made in Portsmouth, used by people who live or have lived here or who have a significant connection with the city. As Portsmouth has such an amazing and varied history this means the collection looks at a wide range of people and subjects so we have tried to pick just a few things to represent them.

Pubs have been a huge part of Portsmouth life and the collection contains quite a bit of material relating to them including parts of pub fronts including the Black Dog and some of the interior of the Hearts of Oak. The city boasted several local breweries and the pubs often had their names in tiles like this example by Long & Co Ltd who were taken over by Brickwood & Co in 1933.

The collection also represents some of the industries that have operated in the city, these tools are from one of the many iron and brass foundries that Portsmouth had, often supplying the Dockyard.

Objects representing people are really important and it is these individual stories that add up to tell the story of Portsmouth. People like Margaret Haly who lived in Portsmouth for the latter part of her life and died here. This is a medal presented to her in 1912. She was a Suffragette who was force-fed in Holloway Prison while taking part in a protest hunger strike. On the lid of the presentation box there is the following text, 'Presented to Margaret Haly by the Women's Social and Political Union in recognition of a gallant [act]ion whereby through endurance and hardship, a great principle of political justice was vindicated.'

The Portsmouth Historic Environment Record (HER) is constantly being updated as archaeological work takes place at devel...
08/02/2020

The Portsmouth Historic Environment Record (HER) is constantly being updated as archaeological work takes place at development sites. After the work is completed a report by the archaeology unit is sent to the HER Officer who records information about the investigation and the details of any archaeology that was found on the database. As well as recording known archaeology the HER also conducts research using documentary sources held at the museum and Portsmouth History Centre to identify sites that may be of interest. This can include researching standing buildings or structures, or those known only from historic records such as maps and deeds. A few years ago the HER conducted a research project looking at the many farms that used to be in the city. Previous archaeological work and finds that have not been recorded on the HER are also being identified using files, photographs and old journals held in the museum archaeology collection. Why not take a look at the @PortsmouthHER to find out more about the work of the HER and the sites it records?

The original records have since been enhanced and many new records added, and it is now known as the Portsmouth Historic Environment Record (HER). This database is the primary source of information for archaeology and historic sites within the City of Portsmouth, including stray finds, archaeological investigations, Scheduled Monuments, historic buildings (Listed and non-listed) and parks and gardens.

The HER Officer regularly carries out searches of the database for archaeologists, planners, developers, academic researchers and members of the public. It is possible to search a specific geographical area, or for a particular type or date of find/monument/building e.g. Bronze Age burials or Medieval occupation.

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

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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.