Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle has many elements from different eras and overlooks Portsmouth. The keep is the central stronghold of the castle, it dates from the Norman time and provided secure residential accommodation. Originally it was a single story building that was raised to the present height in the 14th century and in the 18th and 19th centuries was used as a prison.

Richard II's palace built between 1396 and 1399 forms the south and west ranges of the inner bailey with the great hall to the south and range of apartments to the west. The Constable's house is Norman and was rebuilt in the fourteenth century. It provided accommodation for the custodian of the castle.

Ashton's Tower was added by Sir Robert of Ashton between 1376 to 1381 who was constable during this time. It was added as an additional defence as an extension to the constable's house. The east ranges date from the 13th century and were made into a mansion in the 17th century.

The Gatehouse is of Norman origin and was progressively extended between the 12th and 17th centuries. The Watergate was built into the southern half of the Roman gateway. The church was built for the Augustinian priory founded here in the 1120s which moved to Southwick by 1950.

The Tudor Storehouse was erected in the 1520s and was later removed to Portsmouth. The outer walls of the Roman fort were very well preserved and the Landgate had Roman origins and was rebuilt at various times. The above picture is looking down from the keep into the castle. Most of Portchester Castle is outside so it needs to be a nice day when visiting it.

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