Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle from East of Hurst Spit

Hurst Castle is one of Henry VIII's Device Forts built at the end of a long shingle spit at the west end of the Solent to guard the approaches to Portsmouth. Hurst Castle was sited at the narrow entrance to the Solent where the ebb and flow of the tides creates strong currents, putting would-be invaders at its mercy.

Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London to his trial and execution.

It was given extensive new wing batteries after the 1859 Royal Commission report, and the modifications were completed in 1873. During World War II, Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights. The castle is now owned by English Heritage and is open to the public.

Hurst Castle - west bastion

The castle is the closest point on the British mainland to the Isle of Wight, with Colwell Bay on the island lying less than two kilometres to the southeast. The castle is open to tourists throughout the year.

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