Production of Hurst Castle began in 1541 by one of the most notorious and iconic monarchs in British history, Henry VIII, and was completed 1544.
The fortress was built at the seaward end of a shingle split extending 1.5 miles from Milford on Sea as the perfect location to defend against enemy invaders approaching to the Solent, and guard the Needles Passage. Hurst was one of many coastal fortresses built, and held Charles I prisoner in 1648 before he was taken to London to be executed.
On the 26th April 2017, building on the British Heritage site began as parts of the landmark required repairing, having worn down over time. With a budget of £1m, the conservation project will focus on parts of the fortress built in the 20th century. In the 1860s, a pair of huge wing batteries were added, and throughout the First and Second World War, Hurst Castle was fully garrisoned to guard the Western Entrance to the Solent. The project will focus mostly on the wartime look-out tower, the fortress’ gun emplacements and the searchlight position on the top of the wing batteries.
Speaking to the BBC, English Heritage Properties Curator, Roy Porter, commented, “We’re looking at the concrete structures added around 1902 and also to the top of the castle in the 1940s. These were thrown up in a hurry at a time of national emergency. Our job is to make these temporary structures permanent and protected for the future.”
While the repair work takes place, Hurst Castle will be open to the public as normal, and it is hoped the restoration process will be completed by October.
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