Hurst Castle  Hampshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hurst Castle like this:

HURST CASTLE, a fortress in Hordle parish, Hants; on the coast, on the end of a narrow peninsula, at the W entrance of the Solent, opposite Albert fort and Victoria fort in the Isle of Wight, and 4 miles S by W of Lymington. The peninsula is nearly 2 miles long, and in most parts only about 200 yards wide; consists of waterworn chalk flints and gravel; and is little else than a submarine cliff, ranging to a depth of 200 feet; yet, though swept by a very rapid tide, is remarkable for stability. ...

The Solent here is only about a mile wide, and is crossed by an electric cable. The fortress was built, in the time of Henry VIII., along with other fortresses in Hants, to defend the coast; and now, with the new fortresses of Albert and Victoria on the opposite shore, it guards well the entrance to the Solent. It comprises a central tower of 2 stories, with 6 guns on the top; three outer towers, connected by curtains, and all mounted with heavy guns; two outworks, also well mounted; a gate tower, with portcullis; and an encompassing wet ditch. The date 1535 is on the wall; but the outworks are modern, and are being very considerably enlarged to accommodate a garrison 500 strong. The entire fortress is kept in a state of efficiency, and is usually occupied by a company of artillery. Two lighthouses are adjacent, put up in 1812, standing 755 feet apart, respectively 66 and 29 feet high; and having fixed lights visible at the distance of 12 and 9 miles.

Additional information about this locality is available for Milford on Sea

Hurst Castle through time

Hurst Castle is now part of New Forest district. Click here for graphs and data of how New Forest has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Hurst Castle itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hurst Castle, in New Forest and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 06th December 2021

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