We visited Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth on the south coast, a couple of years ago, and I thought, I had posted about the castle, I had up loaded the photos, but it would seem, that’s as far as I got. This is a gem of castle, and its remarkable history begins in the 3rd century, when the Romans built a fort to combat attacks by barbarian pirates. In the 5th century it was transformed into a Saxon stronghold, or burgh, to protect that part of the coast from Viking roads. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, a castle was built inside the Roman Walls. It later became a Royal residence. Occupied until the 17th century, it was converted into a prison during the Napoleonic wars.
As there is quite a lot to see, we will start the tour, with the Romans……..Since they were constructed over 1,700 years ago, the walls, towers and enclosing ditches of the square planned Roman fort have been at the constant and defining elements of the site. Within the huge nine acre area they enclose, great changes have taken place.
From the top of the Norman Keep, you can see how the Roman fort was laid out.
As it exists today, the layout broadly reflects the medieval arrangement of the site, with a great tower or keep, at one corner surround by other important castle buildings in the inner bailey.
Next we come to the Normans, who built the castle in about 1130.
Now in the 1390’s a royal residence was erected for Richard the II.
There was a display area, that takes you through the history of castle.
Now there is just time to explore the site, before heading over to that very interesting looking church in the other corner of the fort…….continued in the the post. I have added a few photos of Portchester Village, some nice buildings are left in the this ancient village.