Surrounded by walls built by the Romans eighteen centuries ago, Portchester is a 12th century Norman castle overlooking Portsmouth Harbour on the south coast of England. Not really on the tourist circuit, it is used mainly by locals for Sunday picnics and walking the dog.
Kids' cricket is popular (apparently as well as climbing the Roman walls - all very relaxed and no interference from authority).
The 12th century keep and inner bailey is protected by a moat
The 12th century St Mary's parish church, formerly a monastery, was built inside the Roman walls.
Most of the gravestones date from the 19th and early 20th century.
A visitor examines the Roman walls and the Royal Navy radar establishment on the hills beyond.
Tower and residence on the east side of the inner bailey
St Mary's appears to be missing its south transept. There is evidence of the original roof line.
The north side of the church with its complete transept.
The square Roman tower on the east wall of the outer bailey overlooks Portsmouth Harbour and helped to protect the fort from Saxon pirates.
A peaceful view of St Mary's with the Roman walls in the background.
Picnic by the moat surrounding the 12th century inner bailey; 3rd century Roman walls beyond.
Across the "drawbridge" into the inner bailey. This gatehouse is from the late 12th century.
The 12th century Great Tower. Richard II's palace (to the left) was added 200 years later.
A glimpse into the ruins of Richard II's royal apartments.
There appears to have been little attempt to control the plant overgrowth or to restore the fabric of the castle.
The inner bailey of the castle seen from the churchyard.
The pretty architecture of nearby Castle Street, Portchester.
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