Children sitting on gun at Hurst Castle

What’s On


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

Some winter species are leaving us and we wait, expectantly, for the summer visitors.

Brent Goose – the main flock has returned to their breeding grounds in Siberia leaving about 90 in the area. They will depart soon.
Shelduck – over a dozen in the patch; one feeding flock of about 10 and starting to pair off.
Eider – a beautiful male in the estuary; no sign of a female.
Great Crested Grebe – 2, in full summer plumage, in the river mouth. They will move away to breed on inland lakes
Little Egret – 4 counted across the patch
Oystercatchers, Redshanks taking up territories.
Ringed Plover – 1 has returned to old territory but other RP territories have been flooded out by extreme high tides.
We are monitoring closely.
Turnstone – 43 counted across the patch
Black-headed Gull – the small number of local birds have been boosted by incoming roosting birds. The Keyhaven river is a recognised roosting site.
No sign of attempted nest building on the marsh as the marshes have been under water recently with extremely high tides.
Med Gulls – 2 heard ,then seen, at Sturt Pond
Sandwich Tern – 1 seen in the Keyhaven River.

We hope the weather warms up for our spring arrivals

Kind regards.


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Hurst Castle
Hampshire, SO41 0TP
Tel: 01590 642500
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