• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Portchester Castle Q1

Extracts from this document...


Portchester Castle was originally an important Roman fort and by the 14th Century had been re-fortified several times, yet by the 16th Century had fallen into disrepair. Why did this happen? Portchester was built originally by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Carausius (285-293) as a defensive for that was part of many other 'Saxon Shore Forts' that had been built along the south and east coasts of Britain to protect themselves against Saxon raids. Portchester itself was built in such a place that it could protect the area and be vigilant against enemy attacks, but also where it could defend the harbour. This made Portchester a perfect anchorage for Rome's navy and the fort had an excellent vantage point over all of this. They also built other defensive structures such as a curtain wall and bastions around the outside. The original fort had a curtain wall built around it, made primarily from timber that was just a straight rectangle around the buildings inside. ...read more.


The gatehouse was extended and refortified several times to protect itself against new technologies that were now arriving in castle attack. It's not unfair to say that the Normans made the most progress into what we see today because they need to use the castle as a weapon of power and intimidation against the locals who had been recently invaded. However, in the middle of the 12th century, the castle was passed over to the crown and Henry I saw it as an excellent place to store the treasury bullion. At the same time, Portsmouth was founded a small way away and it started to rapidly develop as a dockyard. Because of this, although Portchester was still an important strategic royal castle, it started to become rather overshadowed and isolated. During the Medieval period, the castle began to decline slightly in importance, but was still vital as a strategic area of defence. The Hundred Years War was a time were the castle got some much needed improvement and refurbishment. ...read more.


Portchester harbour was now too small and had silted up, making it impractical for the new large ships being brought in for docking. By now, the castle was spending periods of time uninhabited and nearly no money was being spent on refurbishment or reconstruction. In the 17th Century, Portchester was inhabited again for a while as it was being used as a prison, first during the Dutch War of 1665-7 and then in the 18th century when it was housing Spanish and French prisoners. It took even more prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and evidence of its use as a prison can still be seen today such as: within the keep, hooks where hammocks in which prisoners slept in and barracks in the outer bailey that housed soldiers. Portchester Castle was now no longer useful as a protector of the harbour and was technologically out of date, despite some additions like Ashton's tower, rendering it useless against newer gunpowder weapons like cannon in the 16th Century. It was also being overshadowed by the better naval base at Portsmouth, meaning the castle's strategic importance was now declining. In the 19th Century, Portchester Castle finally became a ruin and was later taken over by English Heritage. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. 'Bodiam Castle shows today more than any document, the way in which castle buildings ...

    It informs us where and why certain castles in England were built and fortified under the orders of William the Conqueror in the 1000s. It is valuable as it gives an account of how needed and useful castles were, i.e.

  2. Was Oystermouth Castle typical of the castles built in Wales during the middle Ages?

    Though later on it was built a century later in the late 13th - 14th century. We are able to guess these were present from source B "A drawing of Oystermouth Castle as it may have appeared in 1400" as we are able to see its curtain walls.

  1. Like most castles in the South of England, all of the changes at Portchester ...

    The Romans brought a new style of leadership to Britain. They built an effective road structure, towns, and homes and made Britain into one of the wealthiest and most valuable provinces in the Roman Empire. A Roman named Carausius was in charge of the construction of Portchester Fort.

  2. During the Medieval Period why was it important for nobles to build castles?

    This was also fenced in with a wooden palisade and housed what was, more or less, a small village. In this way, a motte and bailey could almost be self sufficient with animal pens and such they could survive for an extended length of time if needs be.

  1. The Royal Pavilion

    public display meant that he was pestered by bailiffs all the time. So, the Prince decided to move south to Brighthelmstone and live in a farmhouse, something very odd for royalty to do. However he did not move there alone.

  2. How useful is a visit to the Tudor parts of Hampton Court to find ...

    Also before the Victorians there was William and Mary who owned the palace. They built a new section, knocking down a lot of the Tudor parts of the palace. This is why Hampton Court is so different from both ends.

  1. Ludlow Castle.

    secondary sources, I will decide the stages the castle went through in the past. I will come to a conclusion- whether it be that it did indeed begin life as a fortress and end as a palace, or whether it started as a fortress and fulfilled many other roles and did not end as a palace.

  2. Describing Advances in Weaponry in WW2.

    Finally the Tiger Tank was a great turning point in tanks as it was a heavy tank with heavy armour. This made it a complete devastator as it was very hard to destroy and it had a lot of firepower in its arsenal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work