Southsea Castle Lighthouse A0691








5046.7'N 105.3'W


Southsea, Southampton


Iso W 2s

Height of tower:   

10 m


16 m


11 M

First lit:                 


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.

This lighthouse is built atop the western rampart of the castle, marking the east side of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. The owner is: Portsmouth City Council and the site manager: Southsea Castle.

The lighthouse was added to the western rampart of the castle in 1820. It still serves as an aid to navigation guiding ships through the deep water channel into Portsmouth Harbour.

We saw this lighthouse after a lovely trip on the Hovercraft from the Isle of Wight on a beautiful day in May 2008.


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