Calshot Castle

Calshot Castle is an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII on the Calshot Spit, Hampshire, England, between 1539 and 1540. It formed part of the King’s Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire and defend Southampton Water as it met the Solent. The castle had a keep at its centre, surrounded by a curtain wall and a moat. Initially heavily armed, it had a garrison of 16 men and as many as 36 artillery guns. The castle continued in use for many years, surviving the English Civil War intact and being extensively modernised in the 1770s. During the 19th century, Calshot Castle was used by the coastguard as a base for combating smuggling. In 1894, however, fresh fears of a French invasion led to it being brought back into use as an artillery fort: a large coastal battery was constructed alongside the older castle and a boom built across Southampton Water, controlled from the castle.

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On the 19th May 2016 we travelled to Calshot Castle expecting to find another large English castle cared for by English heritage, well the later is true, it is very well looked after.

After spending about 30 minutes walking around and taking many pictures the visit was over really, very little information was available within the walls, and there is not really a lot to look at other than the huge observation tower close by.

I don’t wish to deter people from going, I suppose if you are like me and love looking at these old buildings then it is a must but you need to be aware that it is not something you’d be able to spend the day at as there is simply nothing to look at.

There is a cafe down the road where the food was very nice and the lady in the castle did have ice creams, nothing else. The view are fantastic and the castle is that of Henry VIII.

The observation tower very close to Calshot Castle.

We were invited to take a look up the observation tower (above) but my legs would not have been able to carry me up so we decided it best not to do it. You can however approach those manning it and say you are interested in Volunteering and wondered if you could take a look – they will let you on those grounds only.

Gun pointing towards the close by Observation tower

Soldiers accommodation

My wife and Calshot castle