South East Castles

Pevensey Castle

PevenseyThe ruins of Pevensey Castle are found within the walls of the Roman Fort of Anderitum, which dates back to 290AD. This is one of the largest remaining examples of its kind. The English army, under King Harold II remained at the fort during the summer of 1066, before abandoning it to move further south.

Robert of Mortain, half-brother to William the Conqueror, built a stone keep and bailey enclosure castle in the fort’s eastern corner. The site had been abandoned for over 600 years, but only minor repairs were needed to the walls that formed the outer bailey.

By the beginning of the 1500s, the sea had receded considerably and the castle was no longer considered useful. It was abandoned once more, until 1588, when it was strengthened and gun ports added to help defend against the invasion from the Spanish Armada. The castle was next refortified during World War II, when a command post and observation platform were added.

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Nearest Club Site: Norman’s Bay

Arundel Castle

ArundelThe castle has been the home of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years. It was originally a motte and bailey castle built by Roger de Montgomery, the first Earl of Arundel in 1068. During the Civil War (1642-45), the castle was badly damaged when it was attacked twice - firstly by Royalists who took control, and then by Cromwell's Parliamentarian, forces who destroyed its fortifications. Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk carried out considerable restoration work and improvements in the late 18th century. Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk refurbished the castle prior to the visit by Queen Victoria in 1846. The suite of rooms in which Victoria stayed are as they were and are now called the "Victoria Rooms". The castle is still owned by the Howard family.

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Nearest Club Site: Slindon

Leeds Castle

LeedsThe first building on the site was a Saxon manor, which was replaced in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur. In 1278, the castle was transformed into a Royal palace for King Edward I, when a barbican with drawbridge, gateway and portcullis was added. During the reign of Henry VIII, the castle was again improved as a residence for his first wife Katherine of Aragon, and was the place where his daughter, Elizabeth I was imprisoned before being made Queen. The Culpeper family was resident in the castle at the time of the Civil War and because they were Parliamentarian sympathisers, the castle did not sustain any damage. In 1926, the castle was purchased by the Honourable Lady Olive Baillie. A wealthy Anglo-American, she was responsible for redesigning and decorating the interiors and having the castle totally renovated by French architects and designers.

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Nearest Club Site: Oldbury Hill

Carisbrooke Castle

CarisbrookeThe site was an Anglo-Saxon stronghold from as early as the 8th century. A wall was built around the structure around 1000 to defend it against Viking raids. After the Norman invasion, William Fitz Osbern built a motte-and-bailey castle within the existing defences. The keep was added to the castle in the 13th century, and the castle held out against an unsuccessful attack by a French raiding force in 1377. In the reign of Elizabeth I, when the Spanish Armada was expected, it was surrounded by a set of outer earthworks to house artillery. Charles I was imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle for fourteen months before his execution in 1649. At first comfortably accommodated in the Constable's Lodging, his plots to renew the war later made him a closely guarded captive. An attempt to escape was foiled only when he became wedged in the window bars.

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Nearest Club Site: Adgestone

Windsor Castle

Windsor CastleToday, Windsor it is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the longest-occupied palace in Europe. It was originally built by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago and Henry I, fourth son of William I and succeeding monarchs have used the castle as a Royal residence. It survived the Civil War when it was used as a military headquarters for Parliament.

Charles II rebuilt much of the castle, while George III and George IV renovated many of Charles II’s refurbishments. Nowadays, Windsor Castle remains Elizabeth II’s preferred weekend home. Visitors can see the magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection and Queen Mary's Doll’s House, a masterpiece in miniature.

The lower ward of the castle includes St George’s Chapel, built in the 15th century and contains the burial place of ten monarchs including Edward IV, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Charles I and Jane Seymour, amongst others. The castle is surrounded to the north and east by extensive parkland and remains one of Britain’s top visitor attractions.

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Nearest Club Site: Chertsey