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Hurst Castle


Ferries - Lighthouses - Castle - Tramway
 
 
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of Hurst Castle, its ferries, lighthouses, and the tramway which used to connect the castle with the quay. Hurst Ferries run a regular ferry service from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle, which was built by Henry VIII and once held King Charles I prisoner. Hurst Castle is the nearest point to the Isle of Wight and the views of the big ships passing by are spectacular. The history notes below are from the Hurst Castle website: www.hurstcastle.co.uk.

Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1½ mile from Milford-On-Sea. The end of the spit is only ¾ of a mile from the Isle of Wight, and the views of the big ships passing through are spectacular.

Hurst Castle was the perfect location to defend the western approach to the Solent. The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. A critical element in the improvement of the defences of the south coast by Henry VIII was the protection of the Solent, for this stretch of water gave access to the important ports of Portsmouth and Southampton. Calshot Castle and Hurst Castle were both strategically situated to provide their protection. Calshot was sited on a shingle spit close to the deep water channel at the mouth of Southampton Water. Although one of the smaller of Henry VIII's forts, its three-storey keep and outer curtain wall nevertheless gave it full command of its position. Hurst Castle was sited at the narrow entrance to the Solent where the ebb and flow of the tides creates strong currents, putting would-be invaders at its mercy.

Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London for his trial and execution. The castle was modernised during the Napoleonic wars and again in the 1880’s when the enormous armoured wings were constructed. Two of the huge 38-ton guns installed in the 1870’s can still be viewed in their casemates. An 18ins gauge tramway was built around 1895 to transport stores and ammunition around the site, and to a pier. During World War II, Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights.

To travel on these ferries visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html

The map below shows the location of Hurst Castle, and the mainland departure quay at Keyhaven:-




Sections on this Page:-
Hurst Castle Ferries
Hurst Castle
Hurst Castle Tramway
Hurst Point Lighthouses
 
Hurst Ferries on this Page:-
Associated Pages:-
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Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
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www.hurstcastle.co.uk
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References:-
Hurst Castle - An Illustrated History: by Jude James - Dovecote Press
 
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Hurst Castle Ferries

2010 images link to larger copies which open in a new tab/window


In the 1970s , S.Crane and R.Pitt ran the Felicity (1931) on cruises to Yarmouth and the Needles. By 1981 S.Crane (alone) was running Solent Rose (1) (1960, previously Star Queen 3 at Hamble) and Wild Rose (1981) alongside Felicity, which had been renamed Wight Rose. For 1983 the company was being marketed as  Hurst Castle Ferry & Cruises had added the Island Rose (1985, previously Maid Marion at Southampton), and Wight Rose in place of Wild Rose. In 1991 the Haven Rose (1970, previously the Maid of Brownsea at Poole) was added to the fleet. Wight Rose was soon sold. In 1995 Solent Rose (1) was replaced by Solent Rose (2) (previously Maid of the Harbour of Harvey's at Poole). She had been built in 1968 and at 94 passengers became the largest boat in the fleet. Island Rose was withdrawn in 2005, followed by the sale of Haven Rose to G.H.Pill at Falmouth for the 2007 season. The first of three Dutch-built small 12-passenger ferries arrived at this time. These low draught vessels operate a shuttle service to Hurst castle and they can berth at any tide. They are named Catherine Rose, Henrietta Rose and Victoria Rose. The company also operates the Eleanor Rose as a workboat to supply the lighthouse, although she is licensed to carry passengers. They also have a fast RIB Wightwater Rose and a smaller open passenger ferry Rosebud used as a water taxi.

To travel on these ferries visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html


2004 Sailing Brochure







Solent Rose (2)

Solent Rose (2) runs the longer trips from Keyhaven to Yarmouth and the Needles. She is unable to dock at Hurst Castle at low tide. She replaced Solent Rose (1) in the fleet in 1995 and had previously been the Maid of the Harbour of Harvey's at Poole. Solent Rose (2) was built in 1968 and at 94 passengers became the largest boat in the fleet.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



Solent Rose at Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose at Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose returning to Keyhaven on her morning cruise to Yarmouth
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose returning to Keyhaven on her morning cruise to Yarmouth
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose returning to Keyhaven on her morning cruise to Yarmouth
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose returning to Keyhaven on her morning cruise to Yarmouth
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose returning to Keyhaven on her morning cruise to Yarmouth
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose on a late morning cruise from Keyhaven to the Needles
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose on a late morning cruise from Keyhaven to the Needles
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Solent Rose on a late morning cruise from Keyhaven to the Needles
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
SOLENT ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Catherine Rose

Catherine Rose is one of three Dutch-built small 12-passenger ferries which run a shuttle service from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle. The others are Henrietta Rose and Victoria Rose.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



Catherine Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Catherine Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
CATHERINE  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Henrietta Rose

Henrietta Rose is one of three Dutch-built small 12-passenger ferries which run a shuttle service from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle. The others are Catherine Rose and Victoria Rose.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



Henrietta Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose returning to Keyhaven from Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose leaving Hurst Castle
The fast RIB in the background is also owned by the company - Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose leaving Hurst Castle
The fast RIB in the background is also owned by the company - Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Henrietta Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
HENRIETTA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose is one of three Dutch-built small 12-passenger ferries which run a shuttle service from Keyhaven to Hurst Castle. The others are Henrietta Rose and Catherine Rose.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



Victoria Rose at Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose at Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Victoria Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
VICTORIA  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Eleanor Rose

Eleanor Rose is a workboat with 12 passenger license owned since 2009. One of her uses is supplying the Hurst Lighthouse for which the company have the contract. Eleanor Rose replaced the Felicity Rose.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



Eleanor Rose moored off Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
ELEANOR  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Eleanor Rose moored off Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
ELEANOR  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Eleanor Rose moored off Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
ELEANOR  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Rosebud

The company operates a water taxi Rosebud from Keyhaven to ferry yachtsmen to their moored boats.

To travel on this ferry visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html



 The water taxi Rosebud moored off Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
Water taxi of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 The water taxi Rosebud moored off Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
Water taxi of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 The water taxi Rosebud moored off Keyhaven
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010
Water taxi of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Wightwater Rose

Wightwater Rose is a fast RIB. She is used to transport personnel to the lighthouse and is also available for charter.

To travel on this vessel visit:- www.hurstcastle.co.uk/ferries.html




Wightwater Rose moored near Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - this image does NOT link to a larger copy
WIGHTWATER  ROSE of Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 22nd June 2010 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Haven Rose
(Not in 2010 fleet)

 In 1991 the Haven Rose (1970, previously the Maid of Brownsea at Poole) was added to the fleet. She has since been sold to G.H.Pill at Falmouth for the 2007 season, where she ran cruises from Prince of Wales Pier to the Helford River. In 2010 she has been renamed Medina Mist and carries 12 passengers only.


More images of Haven Rose



Haven Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Haven Rose arriving at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004 - this image does NOT link to a larger copy
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Haven Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Haven Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Haven Rose at Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Haven Rose leaving Hurst Castle
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004
HAVEN  ROSE at Hurst Castle Ferries - Photo:  Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004 - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Felicity Rose
(Not in 2010 fleet)

Felicity Rose was used to support the lighthouse. She has been replaced by Eleanor Rose.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.



Felicity Rose moored near Hurst Castle on 5th June 2004.
Photo: © Ian Boyle.







Hurst Castle
 
The core of the present castle was built by Henry Vlll between 1541 - 44 in response to the threat of invasion posed by the European Catholic powers. The building comprised of a central twelve sided keep surrounded by three bastions linked by a curtain wall. Its location was ideal for defending the western passage into the Solent and the naval cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. During the Civil War (1642 - 6) it was held by Parliament and in December 1648 became, for three weeks, the prison of Charles l.
 
Although never to see action, Hurst was periodically refurbished in order to keep up with advances in fortifications and naval technology. The vaulted ceilings in the Tudor keep were built in 1803 - 6 to support the weight of the new guns positioned on the roof. At the same time the roof of the basement was also strengthened to protect the magazine.
The major structural changes that took place in the nineteenth century resulted in the Castle as it appears today. From 1861 onwards the East and West wings were built in response to the new faster, iron-hulled ships such as the Warrior (currently on display in Portsmouth's Historic Naval Base). Only thirty years later, in 1893, this massive weaponry was superseded by a battery of three quick firing guns. The remains of this emplacement can still be seen outside the fort at the end of the east wing.
 
Hurst was garrisoned in both world wars and formed part of the Coastal Artillery defences until 1956. Remains of twentieth century armaments can be seen on the roof of the west wing.
 
These history notes are from the Hurst Castle website: www.hurstcastle.co.uk.



Aerial view of Hurst Castle, showing Henry VIII's central keep and the east and west wings added in the 1880s.
The approximate route of the tramway outside the castle can be seen behind the east wing (right), passing the lighthouse to the sea.



Approaching Hurst Castle from the Solent, seen from the SS Shieldhall on a Round Isle of Wight cruise.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th September 2004.



Hurst Castle seen from the SS Shieldhall.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th September 2004.



The seaward side of Hurst Castle seen from the SS Shieldhall.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th September 2004.



Hurst Spit looking toward the mainland from the Castle.
Photo: Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



Hurst Castle keep from the east wing.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



Hurst Castle east wing from the keep.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



Hurst Castle west wing looking towards the keep.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.






Hurst Castle Tramway
 
An 18ins gauge tramway was built at Hurst Castle to transport stores and ammunition around the site. Separate branches entered the east and west wings through the main gateways, and ran to a pier outside the castle (just off the plan below - the tramway is shown in red). The tramway was laid around 1895, and donkeys were used to pull the ammunition and stores wagons - locomotives were never provided.
 
 
Plan of Hurst Castle and the tramway (in red).
Copyright Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England.



The tramway running along the back of the gun batteries, with the junction to the west wing gateway.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway running along the back of the gun batteries, looking west.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway running along the back of the gun batteries, looking west.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



View in the opposite direction, looking east, from where the photo above was taken.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway running along the back of the gun batteries, looking west.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



Replica tramway wagon with shells.
Donkeys were used to pull the trucks, no locomotives were ever provided.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



Replica tramway wagon with shells.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway running along the back of the gun batteries, looking east.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway tracks to the gateway in the east wing of the castle.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The tramway tracks in the east wing of the castle, viewed from the east gateway.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.






Lighthouses
 
 
Hurst Point Lighthouse, Position 50 42'. 44 N 01 32'.94 W, guides vessels through the hazardous western approaches to the Solent, indicating the line of approach through the Needles Channel.
 
Although it is said that a light was shown on Hurst Point as early as 1733, the first Trinity House record relates to a meeting of shipmasters and merchants in 1781 to approve the terms of a formal petition to Trinity House for lights in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Wight. As a result a patent was obtained in January 1782 which stated that "ships and vessels have been lost... and the lives, ships and goods of His Majesty's subjects as well as the King's Royal Navy continue to be exposed to the like calamities more especially in the night time and in hard southerly gales". The patent directed that the lights should be "kept burning in the night season whereby seafaring men and mariners might take notice of and avoid dangers..... and ships and other vessels of war might safely cruise during the night season in the British Channel".
 
In 1785, negotiations with Tatnell fell through and Trinity House erected to the designs of R. Jupp three lighthouses at the Needles, St. Catherine's Point and Hurst. The Hurst Tower, sited to the south west of the old Hurst Castle, was lit for the first time on 29th September 1786. In due course, however, shipping found that this light was obscured from certain directions and the Corporation constructed in 1812 an additional and higher light, both to remedy this defect and to give a guiding line to vessels. Extensive additions were made to the castle between 1865 and 1873 necessitating the repositioning of the lights.
 
In 1866, a new lighthouse which was called the Low Light, was built to replace the old Hurst Tower. The new lighthouse consisted of a white circular granite tower with a red lantern. This light was replaced in 1911 with a new Low Lighthouse, a red square metal structure standing on a framework of steel joists attached to the wall of Hurst Castle. The 1812 High Lighthouse was also replaced in 1867 by the 26 metre tower which is still working today.
 
A major modernisation of Hurst Point High Lighthouse was completed in July 1997. Prompted by the growth in volume and diversity of traffic using the Needles Channel and following extensive consultation with the marine community, high intensity projectors were installed on Hurst High Lighthouse. These are exhibited day and night to mark the channel between the Needles and the Shingles Bank. The projectors, sited in the service room below the lantern of the High Lighthouse, provide an accurate system of red, green and white directional lights giving precise cut offs over narrow arcs of visibility which can be realigned in the event of movement of the Shingles Bank.
The main light at Hurst High still uses the unusual first order lens which is separated into sectors of different focal lengths with a red sector provided by shades inside the lantern. The acetylene light source has been replaced by standard Trinity House electrically powered equipment. The Low Lighthouse, which was built on the wall of Hurst Castle, was decommissioned and painted grey to match the surrounding background colours in order to eliminate navigational confusion.
 
These lighthouse notes are from the Hurst Castle website: www.hurstcastle.co.uk.



The High Lighthouse of 1867.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The Low Light of 1866 is on the right, with its 1911 metal replacement behind.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



The Low Light of 1911.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.



View of the west wing from the keep, with the Low Light of 1866, and its 1911 metal replacement behind.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 5th June 2004.





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