Camber Castle

Camber Castle, East Sussex
Photo © Oust House Archive,
6 June 2009

Camber Castle, East Sussex
Photo © Simon Carey,
10 March 2007

Camber Castle
Photo © Simon Carey, 10 March 2007

Camber Castle is one of Henry VIII's Device Forts, also known as Henrician Castles, built to protect the huge Rye anchorage. It is approximately 2km south of Rye and 2km northeast of Winchelsea.

Between 1512 and 1514 Sir Edward Guldeford built a circular tower to defend the harbour. This tower was incorporated into a new fort which was built between 1539 and 1544. It was expanded to become a highly symmetrical artillery fort. The original tower was augmented with four outer towers linked by an octagonal wall concealing a covered passage. Finally, four large D-shaped bastions serving as gun platforms were placed in front of the earlier towers. As the shoreline receded south the height of the central tower was raised in order to maintain the range of the castle's cannon. However by the end of the 16th century the silting of the Camber made the castle largely obsolete and in 1637 it was disbanded. It is now owned by English Heritage after being taken over by the state in 1967 and is open to the public at weekends from July to September.


  • Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
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