Portchester Castle #1 – the outer bailey

Portchester Castle lies at the top of Portsmouth Harbour. And, luckily, just over a mile from my house! Originally built by the Romans, and subsequently inhabited by the Saxons and Medieval Kings, today the Castle is open to visitors.

It’s unknown exactly when the first work on the site was carried out. The Romans called the area Portus Adurni, are thought to have built the first fort at Portchester in the 3rd Century AD. Goodall suggests a date of between 285 and 290 AD, while Cunliffe has written about evidence of a small settlement prior to this date. The outer Bailey is the main remaining part of the Roman Castle. It is easily recognisable, constructed from flint and mortar, and remarkably well preserved. There is ample evidence of the different occupiers of the Castle in its stonework. Roman flint, Norman and Medieval stone blocks, and later Georgian and Victorian repairs carried out in red brick. The Roman works in particular were an incredible achievement, with none of the machinery modern builders would rely on. That they are still standing now is testament to their skill.

The Flint Wall of Portchester Castle

The Flint Wall of Portchester Castle

The original walls were some five feet thick and twenty feet high, and include features such as crenellations and fire steps.



There are also large circular bastions in each corner. The Castle also has substantial outer defences – one two sides it faces the sea, and a system of moats on the landward sides. There is an excellent plan of the Castle here.

The Castle’s location is extremely important. Located in the middle of the South Coast, opposite France, and at the top of a well defended harbour, it was an ideal base for travelling to the continent, for defending the local coastine, and assembling armies. The English Armies that sailed to Crecy and Agincourt were assembled at Portchester. As time passed by the top of Portsmouth Harbour silted up, and Portchester was eclipsed by Portsmouth. But in the middle ages, Portchester was a crucial settlement. And naturally, a village soon grew up near the Castle, along the approach road.

After the fall of the Roman Empire the castle was probably taken over by the indigenous english. The area received its current name around the 6th Century AD. Ancient chronicles describe how a Saxon Warrior landed and captured the fort. For the next 4 centuries the Castle was in Saxon hands, and the current Watergate is largely of Saxon origin.



Over time extra bastions have been added, as well as latrine chutes and several gates. In particular, latrine chutes can be seen on the south wall, where the old Priory once stood.



On the north side we can also see a nasty looking archway, where the defenders would have been able to pour boiling hot oil onto any attackers attempting to scale the walls.



After the Norman Conquest the Castle was handed over to one one of William’s trusted Lieutenants. The Domesday Book shows William Mauduit as being the owner of the Castle. This was part of William’s policy of handing Castle and manors to trusted Frenchmen, in order to control the english population.

The large Keep was constructed in the early 12th Century. It now stands at over 100 feet high, after various phases of construction. The Keep was the main stronghold of the castle, surrounded by the inner bailey and then the outer bailey (more on the inner bailey at a later date).

The Keep

The Keep

Located close to the Forest of Bere, a prime hunting area, the Castle was also used by many English Kings as a hunting lodge. Nowadays the Castle is surrounded by trees and other buildings. But for many years it would have been by far the biggest building for miles around, a powerful status symbol of the local lord, and by definition the King. The building of the Round and Square Towers at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour in the 15th Century, and later Southsea Castle in 1544, largely made Portchester obsolete. Redundant as a fortress, it served as a storehouse and a Prison over the following centuries.

My next post will look in detail at the inside of the Castle – in particular the Church, the Inner Bailey, and the Keep.



Filed under Ancient History, Architecture, Local History, Medieval history, out and about, Uncategorized

21 responses to “Portchester Castle #1 – the outer bailey

  1. I wanted to say Appreciate providing these details,
    youre doing a great job with that the site.

  2. Highly descriptive blog, I loved that bit. Will there
    bbe a part 2?

  3. WinterBoard themes, also known as Cydia themes, are theming programs which help you give your Iphone a unique appear that you desire.
    While these themes are much more well-liked as Cydia themes, they are frequently referred to as WinterBoard themes as
    you need the WinterBoard app to activate them. When you obtain this
    application, which is an open up source app, it comes with some pre-installed themes.
    You can go via these themes, and activate the one you like.
    You also get to download these themes from some of the leading sources for this kind
    of themes this kind of as the ModMyiFone, iSpazio,
    BigBoss etc.

    4G: The initial iPad to be embedded with 4G networks assistance by AT&T and Verizon thus provides users super-fast
    web searching experiment. Even if youre in a place with out 4G, you can nonetheless get
    access to fast 3G networks.

    Install that software program . The software program that you have
    selected for the jailbreaking can work each in Mac and Windows .

    While putting in the software program you will see some directions, you have to follow them.
    Once installation is successful, you will be able to accessibility themes, applications and extensions.

    When you go to jailbreak your Iphone, there’s a completely great reason why Iphone
    Jailbreaking sites declare no responsibility for anything that could go
    wrong with your Iphone – something can go wrong. If your Apple
    iphone is flashed improperly or something goes wrong throughout the Jailbreaking process, it could outcome in a non-operating Apple iphone – also known as
    a brick. The Library of Congress’ findings have done
    absolutely nothing to reduce “bricked” iPhones – so be
    cautious Jailbreakers.

    Even if your white Iphone five is totally free of unsightly nicks and scratches, watch out for
    another issue. As many Apple iphone 5 users
    have found, there is a little flash of light that comes from the leading of
    the device. You can observe it in between the show glass and the aluminum
    antenna. This mild leakage is observed when you are in a darkish room or in reduced light.
    Even though not a substantial issue, contemplating the
    quantity that customers shell out for an Iphone,
    they do have a right to really feel a little bit irritated with the build
    quality of the gadget. Other hardware problems consist of a slight rattling
    sound when shaken. This is apparently because of to a loose battery problem.

    If you want to purchase a new situation for your iPhone 3G, you ought to try the leather-based
    cases because they are much more durable and reliable than plastic or
    silicone instances. From Sena Cases you can find a good searching leather-based case that
    provides an sophisticated and easy design. The Elega Pouch enables you to effortlessly slip
    your gadget into the situation and also to easily take it out from the case.

    What occurs is that when a consumer jailbreaks a telephone, the manufacturer voids your guarantee as a kind of penalty.

    Consequently, there aren’t any legal ramifications.
    The law isn’t going to start busting down your entrance door in the center of the
    evening to arrest you.

    It is just easy to perform DVD on iPad 2 with the over guide!
    And this guide also applies to converting and importing DVD
    to iPod/ Iphone four/iPhone 3GS/iPhone 3G/iMovie/Final Reduce Professional/Final Cut Specific…

  4. WinterBoard themes, also recognized as Cydia themes, are theming programs which help
    you give your Iphone a unique appear that you want.
    While these themes are much more well-liked as
    Cydia themes, they are frequently referred to as WinterBoard themes as
    you need the WinterBoard application to activate
    them. When you obtain this app, which is an open up source app, it arrives with some pre-installed themes.
    You can go through these themes, and activate the one you like.
    You also get to obtain these themes from some of the leading sources for this
    kind of themes such as the ModMyiFone, iSpazio, BigBoss etc.

    Intel dual-main i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors are accessible.

    There is a claimed seven-hrs of battery life, up to 768GB of flash storage, and 8GB
    of RAM. Graphics are provided by built-in Intel Hd 4000 Graphics.

    I was in a position to effectively re-jailbreak my iPad utilizing
    Comex’s “Jailbreakme” iPad 3.two.one jailbreak, but
    there have been reports of bugs, crashes, and total failures.
    Because of to the reality that the new Comex jailbreak is carried
    out online and via the iPad’s Safari browser, bandwidth problems – because of to the stampede of jailbreak hungry iPad users
    – can occur and disrupt the Jailbreaking process. It’s probably very best to use the new jailbreak throughout twilight hrs or when high volume visitors to Jailbreakme.com isn’t most
    likely to be high.

    iPhone 3GS Sliding Style Proguard W/Clear Transluce: Sure, your
    Iphone is extremely dear to you. This Sliding
    Style Proguard tends to make it more so by guarding it from scratches, grime and shocks.

    Durable and easy-to-set up, this proguard snaps on
    easily and fits completely on your telephone. Translucent, this defend also does not mar the
    elegance of your Apple iphone.

    Keyboard With iPad: You can use keyboard dock with your iPad or you can also use the wireless
    keyboard of apple with it. With wireless keyboard, you don’t have to squander time to connect your iPad with it,
    just bring out your wi-fi keyboard and begin operating on your iPad.

    The whole display system is forty five % thinner than before.

    Eliminated optical drive and re-engineered all the components.

    It’s true that optical drives are becoming less related, but nonetheless …

    For me individually, utilizing the iPad the way I want to would be akin to carrying
    a baby squid about the metropolis while taking part in combating cables,
    ink, and screeches. For some, it’s ideal.
    I truthfully believe the goal market for the ipad should be older individuals who don’t require much
    much more than invoice-pay, email, and Hulu.

  5. But Cydelete is definitely a programs that makes you skip
    each one of these measures.

  6. Not only does Clark come across difficulty with villains
    but he also struggles with love. Amazingly no body has been murdered playing the game and
    it has develop into a common summer replacement show.

  7. My two-yr contract integrated paying $25 a month for two gigabytes of information.
    They offer free 24 hour specialized assistance witch is second to
    none. All you require is to follow the instructions carefully.

  8. Apple has launched its first Apple iphone with 4, 8 and sixteen GB internal
    memory. You only require a nifty plan called PwnageTool. That
    includes things like a helpful lockscreen, different SMS applications,
    and much more.

  9. This, nevertheless, doesn’t quite seem to echo the sentiments of
    most Apple followers the globe over. The Iphone four was released in June, 2010 and has given users
    a entire new globe of possibilities.

  10. The iBlacklist application allows you to block phone calls and messages from
    individuals you want to ignore. So you can’t depend on AT&T , Verizon or Apple to repair your
    issues that you encounter.

  11. The foremost is when it drops below this you can’t defragment and prepare your records.
    It’ll be very embarrassing if you go through all this trouble, then you have to go back and
    do it again.

  12. You can select a new service supplier that provides the very best rates
    in town! Therefore, each time a new update is downloaded, you
    will also have to jailbreak the iPhone. Subsequent, go
    to the Resources button, and then to Edit.

  13. Since that’s what it’s meant to be performing the vanity isn’t at fault.
    It has previously had a 0 stereo system installed. An example could
    be anotheris critique that is incorrect for you.

  14. If you would like to look at movies and search the net then this can be a good selection. There’s some threat required if you
    try and put an interior modchip. Although not so great it might surpass the Laptop.

  15. I’m not sure why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me.

    Is anyone else having tthis issue or is it a problem on my end?

    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  16. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great websaite and I look forward to seeing it expand over

  17. I think this is among the most important info for me.

    And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The web site style is great, the
    articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  18. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I founnd this board and I to find It
    truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to present one thing again and aid others like you aided me.

  19. The display by itself is coated with a fingerprint resistant
    oleo phobic coating which protects the iPad from scratches.
    Quick SMS reply: Normally one must stop the current
    application to reply to a textual content message.

  20. If you have an HTC branded Android telephone then your
    digital camera application and gallery will be built-in with Flickr.
    Have you at any time checked your email using Gmail, Yahoo, or
    an Outlook.com account?

  21. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s