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Calshot Castle, Calshot

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Calshot Castle Reviews
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59 reviews
  • This was a great visit! It's a tiny fort but steeped in history from the mid 1500's - hard to imagine that it's origins are from Henry Vllll (as are many other forts in the Hampshire/Solent area; prot...  more »
  • We were warmly welcomed and given a potted history of the castle. The castle was very atmospheric and the displays linked in to the history of the castle. We found the section on the flying boats very...  more »
  • Person on the entrance was very helpful and knowledgeable, it's a great walk round going in to barrack rooms and you can go up to the top , is goes right back to Tudor times , well worth a visit  more »
  • Great place to watch the giant cruise ships plus the biggest cargo ships you will ever see.great for walking about. shingle beach many many activities for young and old great views. Pleasant and reasonable parking plus a decent cafe selling hot and cold snacks/lunches
  • Great place to visit👍 lots of history to explore; the scenery is beautiful with views across to Southampton plus most of the solent and there's a activity centre nearby that has a cafe if you need it
  • Calshot is a coastal village in Hampshire, England at the west corner of Southampton Water where it joins the Solent. The first thing passengers on the ships that approach Southampton Waters notice is the tall tower which is the Coastguard Tower which stands proudly next to Calshot Castle. Calshot was first mentioned in history in 495 AD when it was related in the Saxon Chronicles that a Saxon chieftain had landed somewhere between Lepe and present day Calshot with five ships, this was believed to have been Cericesora, the landing place of Cerdic, a name similar to that used in the manorial roll for the site in 980 AD. Henry VIII was famous for his dissolving of the monasteries and being excommunicated by the Pope so he decided that Couldshore would be a perfect place to construct a castle, which would govern the approaches to Southampton, which during the 15th and 16th centuries deemed to be the third largest Port in England, and it was believed that the French and Spanish were ready to invade England and this seemed a likely place, and this castle would link in well with the other castles at Netley and St Andrew's on the common at Hamble. Calshot Castle was built in a strategic location at Calshot Spit to protect the entry to Southampton Water and the third largest port of the time. Calshot Castle was constructed from Portland Stone and stones quarried from the former Beaulieu Abbey in 1539. It was designed with a three storey keep and a circular structure to counter new and improved cannon fire. During the reign of Elizabeth I, Calshot Castle was damaged in a fire and required some 130 oak trees for its repairs. In 1585 the start of the 80 years war, an artillery garrison comprising seven gunners and one master gunner were stationed at Calshot. Two years later with the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, Roman Catholics across the world were outraged. Her claim to the throne was passed to Philip II of Spain who was granted Papal authority to overthrow Elizabeth I. Repairs at Calshot were ended in 1588 in time for the threat of the Spanish Armada. Despite this rebuilding, Calshot Castle survives in much the same state as that in which it was first built. Calshot is notable for its role in the development of aircraft and flying boats. In 1913 the Royal Flying Corps established Calshot Naval Air Station ( later known as RNAS Calshot and RAF Calshot ) at the end of Calshot Spit. It was also at one point home to Lawrence of Arabia. At the outbreak of WWI, the Schneider Race went on hold. The defence of the English Channel would be headed by Calshot and Dover. Calshot Castle now housed the officers' mess and it was from here that new recruits were trained. Calshot had now become an important base with new buildings of offices, hangars and workshops. In 1927, Flight Lieutenant Webster won the Schneider Cup Competition clocking in a speed of 281.65 mph in a Supermarine S5. The win also granted England the right to hold the next Schneider Competition. The 1929 race took place in the Solent while the teams were based at Calshot. So far, Britain and Italy had taken the title three times, America won twice and France once. This time it would be won by flying officer, H.R.D. Waghorn who flew a Supermarine 6 at a speed of 328 mph.
  • Small castle...not much in there. Good views from the roof. Good flying boat history.
  • Not do often visited. Amaxing stories in the history of England. Great place to be.
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