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Like most castles in the South of England, all of the changes at Portchester Castle took place because people were worried about being attacked from abroad. Discuss.

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Porchester Castle Coursework In this piece of course work I am going to justify the hypothesis: "Like most castles in the South of England, all of the changes at Portchester Castle took place because people were worried about being attacked from abroad.". I will prove whether this hypothesis is right or wrong by using detailed facts and evidence from sources; I will also use pictures and maps of the castle from each time period so that I can create a visual comparison. Portchester Castle (known in Latin as Portus Adurni - 'port at the hill') is a Roman fort at the northern end of Portsmouth harbour. It was originally a square enclosure with each corner having a bastion. On each of the four sides between the corner bastions, there are another four evenly-spaced bastions. In the centre of the west wall, there is a main gate, and on the east side again in the centre is a smaller water gate. Both gates are exactly opposite each other. As for the internal layout, it was probably similar to Bird Oswald fort on Hadrian's wall. Today it is an almost complete Roman fort. Almost all of the walls are intact apart from the loss of six of its original 'D'-shaped bastions. The keep in the north-west corner has taken some of the wall and one corner bastion from the northern side. Also missing are two bastions from the western side, and two bastions from the eastern seaward side, and lastly the bastion on the south-west corner is missing. It has, however, been stripped of some of the more useful limestone. (Birds eye view of Porchester castle) It was not long ago that I took an educational trip to see look at Porchester, I was given a tour of the castle and I was very intrigued to see a lot of the castle still in tact. ...read more.


This happened again in 1369 when the French burned Portsmouth, making the threat of an invasion more imminent. This called for more improvements to be made concerning Portchester's defence. The gates and walls were repaired, the Watergate was extended and a new portcullis made for it, and a round tower was constructed next to the church. In 1376, a fortified tower, which included a suite of rooms, was constructed in the north-east corner of the inner bailey. The tower had gun ports in an enclosed gallery and gun ports in the chambers, possibly facing in all directions, therefore giving the tower all around protection. This was a new feature in castles as hand-held guns were only recently developed at that time. This tower was built by Sir Robert of Ashton and because of this is named Ashton's Tower. This tower was probably constructed as another way of defending the castle from any attackers and would have been built because of the war with France. I have been lead to believe that this time period agrees and disagrees with my hypothesis. I know this because I have referred to the earlier changes being concerntrated on modernising the castle, and making it more practical. However, especially from the date 1337 the castle faced things like the hundred year war that meant that people had to think about the security of the castle. It is because of these reasons that during Edward II and Edward III's reign the castle went through a lot of change for both practical and defensive reasons. Richard II 1396-1400AD Many changes were made at Portchester during this period of time as the castle was turned into a miniature palace. In order for this transformation to take place, a lot of changes and alterations were required. The keep's outer fore buildings were demolished and two-storey ranges replaced the majority of the earlier royal apartments with the main rooms on the first floor. ...read more.


This was the same for the time of John's reign, as he altered Portchester for his own, personal comfort. The changes made at other castles, at that time, were also comfort-orientated ones. There were changes made for comfort during the reigns of Edward II and Edward III as well. These two monarchs also made changes to bring Portchester up to date and for accommodation, so this disagrees with the hypothesis. Although this is true, the two kings also made changes for defence when there was the threat of attack from France. This part of their alterations does agree with the hypothesis. This is not the case for the changes made by Richard II who made changes at Portchester for aesthetics. No defensive changes were made at Portchester during the early Tudor period either, and the castle was used as a hospital. At other castles, though, there were changes made for protection when the Spanish Armada threatened. This part, therefore, agrees with the hypothesis. Sir Thomas Cornwallis made changes which do not agree with the hypothesis, as he modernised the castle. Other castles in the south were also modernised, so nothing at that time agrees with the hypothesis. This is the same during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, though it was for a different reason. This time the castle was used to hold prisoners of war. The changes to Portchester in modern times are totally different to those of the past, but still disagree with the hypothesis. The castle, as with most castles now, is used for tourism and was repaired and restored because of this. My research tells us that during the earlier time periods of Portchester castle, the changes were made for protective reasons. However the later changes were more for comfort and tourism. Therefore, my rewritten hypothesis is 'the earlier time periods such as the Romans and the Saxons built on Portchester Castle for defensive reasons, however the later time periods used Portchester for comfort and educational purposes.' ?? ?? ?? ?? Ellie Wilmshurst 10NC miss Lang Porchester Castle - 1 - ...read more.

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