Netley Castle

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Netley Castle in 2008.

Netley Castle is a castle in Netley in Hampshire, England. The castle, near the village of Netley Abbey on Southampton Water, was built circa 1542 as part of the Device Forts, Henry VIII's chain of coastal fortifications. It was one of the twelve forts built under the direction of Sir William Paulet for the defence of Southampton and Portsmouth. It was largely built from stones taken from Netley Abbey after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[1]

The castle proper is a scheduled monument, (reference Hants 233), whilst both the castle and its adjacent buildings are also Listed Grade II* in the Department of the Environment’s List of Buildings of Architectural and Historic Interest (DoE, 1980).[2] The original design appears to have been a rectangular single-storey fort topped by thick battlements.[3]

Netley Castle as seen from shore.


Netley Castle in 2011

The site of the castle was originally occupied by a gatehouse for the Abbey. The Abbey was closed as part of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, by which point its fortunes had already declined to the point where there were only seven monks remaining.[4]

The castle was built immediately after the dissolution of the monasteries when, in 1542, Henry VIII sought to add to the chain of fortifications guarding the Solent. The construction of the castle is thought to have utilised many of the stones from the ruined abbey.[5]

Netley Castle was functioning by 25 March 1545 when payments to the garrison - a captain, two soldiers, four gunners and a porter - began to be recorded.[5] The castle was manned until shortly after 1627, when it became a private house.[3][5] It was still intact and largely unchanged in 1840.[3] Over the next couple of decades the battlements were filled in to allow the construction of an extra storey and a tower was built at the south-east end.[3] In 1881 it was sold to Col. Sir Harry Chrichton, and converted into a private house. Chrichton lived at the Castle until his death in 1922. During the second half of the 1880s, under the plans of J.D. Sedding the structure gained a third storey the tower was raised and a new wing was added on the south-east end.[3]

In 1938 the castle was purchased by Middlesex County Council and spent much of the 20th century as a publicly owned convalescent home. The building was sold in the 1990s,[citation needed] and has been converted into privately owned apartments.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The Solent Way to Hamble". Ordnance Survey Blog. Ordnance Survey. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-17. The castle, largely built from stones taken from the abbey, has been carefully extended in recent years and converted to apartments. 
  2. ^ "Ancient Monuments, Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings and the Local List". Eastleigh Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Pevsner, Nikolaus; LLoyd, David (1967). The Buildings of England Hampshire and the Isle of wight. Penguin Books. pp. 348–350. ISBN 0140710329. 
  4. ^ Moore, Amanda; Banham, Helen. "Netley Castle". Hampshire History. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Page, William (1908). A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. British History Online (Victoria County History). pp. 472–478. 

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Coordinates: 50°52′41″N 1°21′36″W / 50.878°N 1.360°W / 50.878; -1.360