Children sitting on gun at Hurst Castle

What’s On

Summer Fun at the Castle

Join us in our family friendly activities, with a touch of history!
Included with your castle admission we have these exciting events lined up:


2024 has seen conservation continue at Hurst Castle. Since the most recent stage of work last year – in which English Heritage commissioned a study of extensive geotechnical investigations around the castle – the charity has maintained the structural movement monitoring system within the east and west wings which currently show stability with movement within tolerance and has reinforced the timber groynes to the foreshore of the west wing.

Hurst Castle will re-open to the public in March, and by July the castle will also enjoy brand new interpretation around the site, providing a thorough explanation of the castle’s rich history, from the Tudor period to its involvement in the Second World War.

On site, visitors may also spot conservation in action as HehHattention is turned towards maintaining the Coal Store, Canteen Bar and Tap areas of the castle. Unfortunately, during a recent survey structural cracks in the walls on the front of the Canteen building were found which means it is necessary to close the area while alterations to the roof are considered and the brickwork is conserved. The situation will continue to be monitored.

Elsewhere on site, there will be conservation to the Keep stairway. Added during the late 1880s, when the internal stair between the ground and first floor of the keep was removed, it is a cantilever stair built using limestone blocks. At some point in its history timber supports were also added underneath, but the stonework is showing signs of wear and needs new support, while the harsh coastal setting has also caused the wrought iron balustrades to corrode. English Heritage will be adding a temporary support to keep the stair safe while the limestone treads are conserved, and the balustrade is repaired.

Whilst English Heritage is pleased to be able to proceed with its conservation efforts, it must be stressed that there can be no quick fix to the complex issues facing the castle, from sea level rise to climate change. However, these conservation works and investigations will prove invaluable for future protection of the historic structure.

Bird spotting notes

A few notes from recent visit.
June has been generally quiet birdwise but the resident species are busy in the breeding season.

Shelduck – 4 pairs counted on the marsh.
Mallard – a gathering of around 80 on Sturt Pond.
Great Crested Grebe – an adult in superb summer plumage seen in the river near Hurst.
Little Egret – 4 spread across the marsh.
Oystercatchers, Redshank and Ringed Plovers are busy in their breeding territories.
Lapwing – several seen flying around the marsh.
Black-headed Gull – about 100 across the area during the day but none breeding west of Keyhaven River.
Med Gull – 1 heard and seen at Hurst.
Great Black-backed Gull – pair seen regularly together on the marsh.
Sandwich, Little and Common Terns regularly seen feeding in the creeks or just offshore.

Some ‘out-of-area’ news – a pair of Roseate Terns are nesting on Normandy lagoon. Very unusual.

Kind regards

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Hurst Castle
Hampshire, SO41 0TP
Tel: 01590 642500
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