Our trip to Portchester was the next attraction included in this series of posts about Portsmouth Historical Dockyard. If you would like to check out the preceding posts then just follow the links below.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 2016
Portsmouth 2017 - Mary Rose
Portsmouth 2017 - Historic Dockyard
The Roman Portchester Fort is thought to have been constructed by Marcus Aurelius Carausius in the third century around 285-290 AD during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. One of several such constructions built along the English south coast as a defence against sea raiders such as the early Saxons, the fortress is also thought to have been built to protect the main Roman naval base that would have patrolled the Channel.
The earliest mention of Portchester is possibly a fourth century reference to Portus Adurni in a list of Civil and Military posts in the Roman Empire.
Today Portchester remains one of the most complete Roman Forts of its type and seems to pop up on just about any documentary about the Roman occupation of Britain.
|Roman Fortress of Portchester with the north west corner at the top of the picture|
In 904, Edward, King of the West Saxons received 'Porceastra' from the Bishop of Winchester with the fort subsequently turned into a burgh as part of the defence structure of Wessex.
|The Norman Keep and Bailey were added in the 1130's in the north west corner of the walled enclosure|
|The view of the north wall|
Most famously this is the place where Henry V launched his Agincourt campaign in 1415 and where, during his stay a plot to depose him was uncovered and the conspirators executed.
My school days came flooding back as I remembered my Shakespearian studies pouring over and memorising key parts from Henry IVth and Vth - ah happy days!
|St Mary's Church, doing good business on the very wet Sunday we visited.|
|The view of the eastern ramparts with St Mary's Church just on the right of picture|
|The remains of one of the Roman round towers can be seen in the north east corner of the original wall|
|The inner wall of one of the Roman towers that provided a bit of shelter during one particularly heavy downpour|
|The Norman keep seen in the north west corner of the fortress walled enclosure|
|The Norman keep with the inner bailey and forward ditch visible at the foot of the wall.|
|The eastern Roman wall facing out towards Portsmouth harbour with the round towers positioned along its length|
|The main gate on the eastern wall looking south out along the Solent|
|The south east corner of the wall facing towards the Portsmouth shore|
|The southern wall facing towards the mouth of the Solent and the Channel beyond|
|Portsmouth Dockyard seen from the castle|
Next up the final part of this series with a visit to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport and the final touches to the Talavera 208 Orders of Battle and scenario plan as I take a much needed break here in Murcia in Spain and use the time to get ready for the first game in June.