Sources for Portchester Castle
The following lists provide a summary of the main sources for our knowledge and understanding of Portchester Castle.
Primary sources relating to Portchester Castle have survived quite well, especially those documenting the medieval building phases. Most of these can be found in The National Archives, among the Pipe Rolls, the Letters Close and Patent and the Exchequer accounts. They have been fully treated in RA Brown, HM Colvin and AJ Taylor, The History of the King’s Works, vol 2: The Middle Ages (London, 1963). Many of them are catalogued, transcribed and discussed in:
- Munby, J, ‘Documentary sources for building work’ in B Cunliffe et al, Excavations at Portchester Castle, Volume IV: Medieval, the Inner Bailey, Society of Antiquaries Research Report 43 (London, 1985), 134–209
Documents relating to the later history of the castle as a camp for prisoners of war are among the records of the Admiralty (ADM) and the War Office (WO) at The National Archives. An in-depth discussion of records relating to this period can be found in:
- Cunliffe, B, et al, Excavations at Portchester Castle, Volume V: Post Medieval 1609–1819, Society of Antiquaries Research Report 52 (London, 1994), 130–63
Many of the more important documents are to be found in the Admiralty letter books (TNA ADM/98/1–9,16–18).
The material archive from the excavations carried out by Barry Cunliffe between 1959 and 1975 consists of some 1,200 boxes of archaeological material including animal bone (both worked and unworked), pottery, metalwork, glass and stone dating from the Roman, Saxon, medieval and post-medieval periods.
The Cunliffe excavation archive (paper and material), the 1930s excavation material and the Central Archaeology Unit archive for 1992 are all held at Fort Brockhurst, Gosport, by English Heritage curatorial staff.
A major catalogue of finds can be found in B Cunliffe et al, Excavations at Portchester Castle, 5 vols, Society of Antiquaries Research Reports Series (London, 1975–94).
The exhibition at the castle tracing the development of the site includes objects from the Roman, Saxon, medieval and post-medieval periods, notably a complete Roman leather shoe, a Saxon purse mount, and pottery, glass and bone objects.
Several historic topographical and cartographic representations of the castle survive. These have been catalogued in:
- Cunliffe, B, et al, Excavations at Portchester Castle, Volume V: Post Medieval 1609–1819, Society of Antiquaries Research Report 52 (London, 1994), 7–19 and plates I–XXV
Some of the more important views and plans include:
- Francis Grose, six pen and wash sketches of Portchester Castle, 1760–61 (Portsmouth City Museum, IP/1987/7, IP/1987 (32a), IP/1987/2 (35a), IP/1987/3 (35b), IP/1987/4 (75), IP/1987/5 (31))
- Unknown artist, ‘A Birds Eye View of Portchester Castle Novr 1817’ (Portsmouth City Museum, 350/1980)
- Plan of Portchester Castle, 1740 (The National Archives, ADM1/3528)
- Late 19th-century photographs in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, London
- Hampshire Museums Service holds several watercolours of the castle, in the Captain Durrant collection, painted in the early 19th century. Among these are paintings of the castle in use as a prisoner-of-war camp.
Historic England Archive
Items in the Historic England Archive at Swindon relating to Portchester Castle include:
- a large collection of more than 600 survey drawings dating from the early 20th century to the present (PF/POR)
- an external and an internal view, both ‘Dedicated to the Officers of the Militia. Engraved from a drawing taken on the spot by an Officer’; coloured engravings by James Peake, 1720 (Mayson Beeton Print Collection, N110146 and N110147).
More details of these and many other items can be found in the online catalogue. Some material is not yet listed online, including a large collection of aerial photography; for a full search, please contact the search team.
Copies of images and documents can be ordered through the website or by contacting the archive. For details of current charges for these services see the archive price list.
Sources marked * represent key works in which our understanding was significantly altered, summaries showing the state of knowledge and theories at particular dates, or works detailing recent discoveries.
Published Works – General
Butler, RM, ‘A Roman gateway at Portchester Castle?’, Antiquaries Journal, 35 (1955), 219–2 [subscription required; accessed 30 Nov 2017]
*Colvin, H, et al, The History of the King’s Works, vols 1–5 (London, 1963–76) [offers a concise overview of the history of the castle into the 16th century and references to much of the essential documentation]
Crawford, OGS, ‘Crop-mark at Portchester Castle’, Antiquity, 11:48 (1938), 478–9 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
Cunliffe, B, ‘Excavations at Portchester Castle, Hants, 1961–3: first interim report’, Antiquaries Journal, 43 (1963), 218–27 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
Cunliffe, B, ‘Excavations at Portchester Castle, Hants, 1963–5: second interim report’, Antiquaries Journal, 46 (1966), 39–40 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
Cunliffe, B, ‘Excavations at Portchester Castle, Hants, 1966–8: third interim report’, Antiquaries Journal, 49 (1969), 62–74 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
Cunliffe, B, ‘The Saxon culture-sequence at Portchester Castle’, Antiquaries Journal, 50 (1970), 67–85 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
Cunliffe, B, ‘The Tudor store-house at Portchester Castle, Hampshire’, Post-Medieval Archaeology, 5 (1971), 188–90 [subscription required; accessed 5 March 2018]
Cunliffe, B, ‘Excavations at Portchester Castle, Hants, 1969–71: fourth interim report’, Antiquaries Journal, 52 (1972), 70–83 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
*Cunliffe, B, et al, Excavations at Portchester Castle, 5 vols, Society of Antiquaries Research Reports Series (London, 1975–94) [draws together all the essential primary material on the history of the site]
Fulford, MG, ‘Links with the past: pervasive “ritual” behaviour in Roman Britain’, Britannia, 32 (2001), 199–218 [subscription required; accessed 27 July 2012]
*Goodall, J, The English Castle (New Haven and London, 2011) [sets the development of Portchester as a castle within an overarching history of this building type]
Goodall, J, Portchester Castle (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2008) [buy the guidebook]
Hare, M, ‘The Watergate at Portchester and the Anglo-Saxon porch at Titchfield: a reconsideration of the evidence’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society, 40 (1984), 71–80
Hartshorne, CH, The History and Architecture of Porchester [sic] Castle, drawing attention especially to the Roman character of its structure and masonry (Winchester, 1846)
Hill, D, ‘The Burghal Hidage: Southampton’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club, 24 (1967), 59–61
Hill, D, ‘The Burghal Hidage: the establishment of a text’, Medieval Archaeology, 13 (1969), 84–92 [accessed 9 June 2015]
Hoad, M, ‘The origins of Portsmouth’, in Hampshire Studies, ed J Webb, N Yates and S Peacock (Portsmouth, 1981), 1–30
Hodson, D, Maps of Portsmouth before 1801, Portsmouth Records Series, 4 (Portsmouth, 1978)
Jope, EM, ‘Titchfield church and the Roman gateways of Portchester’, Antiquaries Journal, 38 (1958), 246–7 [subscription required; accessed 9 June 2015]
*Mason, E, ‘The king, the chamberlain and Southwick Priory’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 53:127 (May 1980), 1–10 [the standard account of the foundation of the priory at Portchester and its move to Southwick; subscription required; accessed 27 July 2012]
*Mason, E, ‘The Maudits and the chamberlainship of the Exchequer’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 49:119 (1976), 1–23 [subscription required; accessed 27 July 2012]
Mason, E (ed), The Beauchamp Cartulary, Pipe Roll Society, new series, 43 (1980), no. 167
Munby, J, ‘Portchester’, in The Saxon Shore: A Handbook, ed VA Maxfield, Exeter Studies in History 25 (Exeter, 1989), 160–62
Munby, J, Portchester Castle, Hampshire (English Heritage guidebook, London, 1990)
Page, W (ed), Victoria County History: Hampshire, vol 3 (London, 1908), 151–61 [accessed 21 Dec 2017]
Peers, C, Portchester Castle, Hampshire (Ministry of Works guidebook, London, 1953)
Pevsner, N and Lloyd, D, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (London, 1967)
Renn, DF, Portchester Castle (Dept of the Environment guidebook, London, 1972)
Rigold, SE, Portchester Castle, Hampshire, 3rd edn (Ministry of Public Buildings and Works guidebook, London, 1965)
Williams, A, 'A bell house and a burh-geat: lordly residences in England before the Conquest', in Anglo-Norman Castles, ed R Liddiard (Woodbridge, 2003), 23–8
Williams-Freeman, JP, Field Archaeology as Illustrated by Hampshire (London, 1915)
Wolffe, B, Henry VI (London, 1981)
Woodward, W, Portchester Castle: Its Origins, History and Antiquities (1845)
Woodward, B, Wilkes, T and Lockhart, C, A General History of Hampshire, vol 3 (London, undated but probably 1858–69)
Published Works about Prisoners of War
Abell, F, Prisoners of War in Britain 1756 to 1815: A Record of Their Lives, Their Romance, and Their Sufferings (London, 1914; reprinted 2015)
Besant, W, The Holy Rose (London, 1890) [accessed 30 Nov 2017; a novel that draws on contemporary memories of prisoners held at Portchester Castle]
Biddell, B, Napoleonic Prisoners of War in and around Bishop’s Waltham (Barnham, 2007)
Chamberlain, P, Hell upon Water: Prisoners of War in Britain 1793–1815 (Stroud, 2008)
Cooke, JH, Portchester Castle: Its Romance in Tradition and History (Fareham, 2008; first published 1928)
Garneray, L (trans R Rose), The Floating Prison (London, 2003)
Lines, P, The York Chasseurs: A Condemned Regiment of George III (London, 2010) [contains a brief section on the later military deserters’ prison at Portchester]
Lloyd, C, A History of Napoleonic and American Prisoners of War, 1756–1816: Hulk, Depot and Parole (Woodbridge, 2007)
Lloyd, C, The Arts and Crafts of Napoleonic and American Prisoners of War, 1756–1816 (Woodbridge, 2007)
Smith, D, The Prisoners of Cabrera: Napoleon’s Forgotten Soldiers, 1809–1814 (New York, 2001)
The reports listed below can all be downloaded from the Historic England Research Department Reports database.
Coy, JP, ‘Fish bones from medieval and post-medieval layers of the inner bailey at Portchester Castle, Hampshire’, unpublished report, AML Reports (Old Series) 3083, English Heritage (undated)
Harcourt, R, ‘The dog bones from Portchester Castle’, unpublished report, AML Reports (Old Series) 1570, English Heritage (undated)
Stewart, S and Manning, T, ‘Wall painting condition audit, Portchester Castle, Hampshire’, unpublished report, AML Reports (New Series) 53/1997, English Heritage (1997)
Williams, DF, ‘Note on a Roman sherd from Portchester Castle’, unpublished report, AML Reports (Old Series) 4826, English Heritage (undated)