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Sandsfoot Castle, Weymouth

4.6
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Weymouth
Sandsfoot Castle, also known historically as Weymouth Castle, is an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII near Weymouth, Dorset. It formed part of the King's Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, and defended the Weymouth Bay anchorage. The stone castle had an octagonal gun platform, linked to a residential blockhouse, and was completed by 1542 at a cost of £3,887. Earthwork defences were built around the landward side of the castle, probably in 1623. Sandsfoot saw service during the English Civil War, when it was held by Parliament and Royalists in turn during the conflict. It survived the interregnum but, following Charles II's restoration to the throne, the fortress was withdrawn from military use in 1665.
By the early 18th century, Sandsfoot was in ruins, its stonework taken for use in local building projects. The clay cliffs on which the castle had been built had always been unstable and subject to erosion. The castle's gun platform began to collapse into the sea and, by the 1950s, had been entirely destroyed. The ruins were closed to visitors on safety grounds, although civic gardens were planted alongside it in 1951. Repairs were undertaken between 2009 and 2012 at a total cost of £217,800, enabling the site to be reopened to the public. Historic England considers Sandsfoot to be "one of the most substantial examples" of the 16th-century blockhouses to survive in England.
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Sandsfoot Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
313 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • As always I have to go and see the castle as I was brought up near here. This time with some funding they have made it possible to go inside the castle and read about it which was lovely. The only dow...  more »
  • This hidden gem is out on the outskirts of Weymouth,with lovely views of the sea. Sandsfoot Castle which you can walk around. Free..There is a cafe also but not sure if it open during the winter. Alwa...  more »
  • It’s a small ruined fort with a lot of history. Being small you can stand inside and using the information boards understand how it all worked. Even better there are lovely gardens and it’s free! As i...  more »
Google
  • This is one of the local treasures of Weymouth. The park is situated with a gorgeous view over Portland Harbour. There is a well kept Tudor-style garden laid out below a small cafe, which is very convenient for ice creams in the summer. And then there are the castle ruins. Sandsfoot Castle was built in the era of Henry VIII and the remains are perched on the cliff top overlooking the harbour. The site has some permanent metal fencing which closes off some areas for safety, but otherwise you are free to wander in and have a look around at your leisure. The lookout point at the rear of the castle offers one of the best views around of the harbour area. The best part is that the park and castle are completely free to enter. This is an ideal picnic location and on carnival day when the red arrows fly over Weymouth this is probably the best spot in town to see them. Castle Cove beach is within easy walking distance. The only drawback is that parking is very limited. Your best bet is to have a gentle cycle up the Rodwell trail to get there.
  • Went at 8pm in the evening with my family. My kids ran in, excited to see a castle. Stumbled across the local teenage hang out. Didn't stay to long, did a loop around and left them to it. Will try again in the day light.
  • Lovely spot to reflect. This is somewhere we visit regularly as it's a lovely spot to stop on our dog walk. The cafe also does amazing strawberry cream scones. The cafe opens most days.
  • This is a lovely spot away from the crowds within beautiful gardens and magnificent views across to Portland. A great place to sit and relax. Hard to find a parking spot at peak season times but well worth the try.
  • Unassuming little gem to stumble across. A made-safe Henry VIII ruin that transports you back 500 years. Free to visit & there's gardens too + a café. Enjoy the view, worth walking the coast path or old railway line to find it.
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