Calshot Castle was built by Henry VIII in 1539, as part of his chain of defences along the English south coast. At the time invasions were feared from either the French or Spanish navies and the Castle was built on a shingle spit close to the deep water channel at the mouth of Southampton Water.
Severely damaged by fire in the reign of Elizabeth I, its repair required 127 New Forest oak trees. For over 400 years the Castle remained a fully manned artillery base.
Calshot Naval Air Station opened in 1913, the year when First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill took his first seaplane flight from Calshot.
During the First World War, Calshot provided Channel defence and a training base for pilots.
In the 1929 and 1931, Calshot was the venue of the famous Schneider Cup Trophy race and one of the servicemen assigned to help with event was Aircraftsman Shaw, better known today as Lawrence of Arabia.
Calshot played an important role in the Second World War and became home to the Sunderland Flying Boat. After a long, chequered military history, RAF Calshot closed in 1961.
Today Calshot Castle is part of the Hampshire County Council-run Calshot Activities Centre, which since 1963, has become established as one of the premier outdoor education facilities in Britain.
The Castle is also available for private group visits. These must be booked in advance.
For more information, contact us by phone on 023 8089 2077, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Calshot Castle is closed for the winter