Round Tower (Portsmouth)

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Coordinates: 50°47.432′N 001°06.531′W / 50.790533°N 1.108850°W / 50.790533; -1.108850

The Round Tower

The Round Tower is a fortification at the entrance to Portsmouth harbour.[1] It is a Grade I listed building. [2]


The site was originally occupied by a wooden tower before being replaced by a stone one.[3]

The wooden tower[edit]

The wooden tower was built between 1418 and 1426 on the orders of King Henry V.[3] In 1422 a defensive chain that could be raised in an emergency was built from the round tower across the harbour entrance.[4]

The stone tower[edit]

A depiction of how the round tower appeared in 1545

In the 1490s the tower was rebuilt in stone.[5] In the 1680s a line of ramparts was added that connected the tower to the square tower.[5] The upper section was later rebuilt during the Napoleonic wars.[1] Between 1847 and 1850 the roof of the tower was modified to serve as a gun platform.[6] Portsmouth city council purchased the tower in 1958.[7]


  1. ^ a b Pettifer, Adrian (2000). English Castles: A Guide by Counties. Boydell & Brewer. p. 89. ISBN 0-85115-782-3. 
  2. ^ "Name: THE ROUND TOWER List entry Number: 1386901". Historic England. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "History of Portsmouth". Portsmouth City Council. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  4. ^ Head of cultural services (3 June 2005). "Round Tower, Bronze Plaque" (PDF). Portsmouth City Council. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Brown, Paul (2005). Maritime Portsmouth A History and Guide. Tempus Publishing Ltd. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-7524-3537-X. 
  6. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; LLoyd, David (1967). The Buildings of England Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Penguin Books. p. 422. ISBN 0140710329. 
  7. ^ Gates, William G (1987). Peak, Nigel, ed. The Portsmouth that has Passed: With a Glimpse of Gosport. Milestone Publications. p. 16. ISBN 1-85265-111-3. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]