Castles have so much to offer and make a great day out for all the family. The castles listed below are all close to Littlesea Holiday Park.
Dartmouth Castle, Dartmouth, Devon - a mainly intact small coastal fort. Guarding the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the strategic port of Dartmouth, the castle defences were started in 1388. Almost a century later the imposing Gun-tower was added, making it the first English coastal fortress specifically built to mount the heavy artillery required to sink shipping. During the Civil War the castle taken by the Royalists, who held on to it for three years before it was re-taken by the Parliamentarians in 1646. The castle battery remained in military use throughout World War I & II. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Powderham Castle, near Exeter - was built in the late 14th century and early 15th century, Powderham Castle was badly damaged during the Civil War although it was repaired in the early 18th century. Further additions to the castle were made in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in 1952 it was classified as a Grade I listed building. Open to visitors during the summer months, entrance fees apply.
Yarmouth Castle, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight - was built by Henry VIII as part of a chain of defences to protect England's coast from foreign invasion. Constructed to guard the entrance to Yarmouth's harbour from the Solent, it was finished in 1547, one of the last castles to be built in Henry's ambitious plan and the first to adopt the new 'arrowhead' artillery bastion design. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Carisbrooke Castle and Museum, Nr Newport, Isle of Wight - the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle. Carisbrooke experienced its only serious action in 1377, when it was unsuccessfully attacked by a French raiding force. Following his defeat in the English Civil War, King Charles I was imprisoned at the castle for fourteen months before his execution in 1649. His attempt to escape failed after he became wedged in the window bars. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Portchester Castle, Portsmouth, Hampshire - is one of the best-preserved of the Roman Saxon Shore forts. The original Roman fort was built between AD 285 and AD 290 to protect the southern coastline of Britain from Saxon raiders. Possibly home to the Roman fleet that defended Britain, when the fort was abandoned it eventually found use as a high-status Saxon residence. In the medieval period King Henry I added to the defences, and Richard II built a series of domestic quarters, including a great hall and kitchens. The castle passed out of royal control in 1632 when Charles I sold it and was last used in the 19th century as a gaol for over 7,000 French prisoners. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Winchester Castle, Winchester, Hampshire - was built in 1067 just a year after the Norman Conquest of England, it was one of the grandest fortresses in England. Rebuilt in stone and flint by Henry III, the royal apartments were further extended by Edward II. After the English Civil War in 1646 Oliver Cromwell ordered its destruction. Today, only Henry III's Great Hall survives intact, attached to which is a small museum detailing the history of Winchester. Entrance charges apply.