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NETLEY CASTLE

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A Henrician artillery castle, built in 1542-5 by Sir William Paulet for Henry VIII to guard the anchorage at Southampton Water. It was built as part of the network of coastal defences to defend England against the threat of French and Spanish invasion. It consisted of a single-storey rectangular tower (19.5m wide by 14m deep) flanked by gun platforms on either side. There were four embrasures facing the sea on the roof of the main building, through which the artillery fired through. The castle was maintained and garrisoned until at least 1626-7 and possibly as late as 1642. In the early 19th century the fort was converted into a private residence and in 1840-60 it was modified and a Gothic tower built. It was extensively altered in 1885-90 when a two-storey central block with attic and basement was built and the castle became a convalescent home in 1946. In 2001 the castle was converted into apartments.

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