Portchester Castle

Schools

With 1700 years of history, Portchester Castle covers everything from the Romans, to medieval kings, all the way to the Napoleonic Wars. Follow in their footsteps and explore its exciting and varied history.

"The children had a great day - a very informative visit"

KS2 Teacher

Information about your visit

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 Risk Assessment.
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.
  • English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over. The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested. For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  Most of our English Heritage sites are now open, including indoor spaces and cafes.  At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

Curriculum Links

Portchester Castle covers multiple time periods within the history curriculum, as well as cross-curricular links across numerous subjects.

  • KS1 History: Identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different time periods; significant historical events, people and places in their own locality
  • KS2 History: The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. Britain's settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends the pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2-3 History: A local history study
  • KS3 History: The development of church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509. Ideas, political power, industry & empire: Britain 1745-1901: the French Revolutionary wars & Napoloeonic wars

Free Self-Led Visits

Enjoy a free self-led visit to Portchester Castle and design your own day to suit your curriculum needs. Walk within the Roman walls, explore the ruins of Richard II's Palace and stand at the top of the Great Tower to survey the landscape. Discover the more recent history of the castle as a prison during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, when it housed up to 8,000 prisoners at any one time, including black and mixed race prisoners from the Caribbean. Download our resources at the bottom of this page for historical information and activity suggestions to support your visit.  

Enquire now

Expert-led Discovery Visits

Immerse your class in the history of Portchester Castle. Our costumed re-enactors will lead your pupils on a Discovery Visit. At just £100 per session, they're a great way to delve deeper into the history of the castle and the people who lived there. 

Our Discovery Visit has been adapted to follow health and safety guidelines and will still offer your students a quality and fun learning experience.

Find out more

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • COURTYARD AND CASTLE GROUNDS: All outdoor areas within the castle walls will be open.
    • KEEP AND INDOOR AREAS: The castle keep and other indoor areas will be open, using a one way system monitored by members of castle staff. The castle keep roof will remain closed.
    • EXHIBITION: The castle's exhibition will be open for you to enjoy.
    • PARKING: Free car park, 200m from entrance with 100 parking spaces. Disabled parking is available in the car park. There is space for 3 coaches. The car park is managed by Fareham Borough Council.
    • TOILETS: Unfortunately there are no toilets inside Portchester Castle. Public toilets, including accessible toilets, are available in the car park. These are managed by Fareham Borough Council.
    • BAG STORAGE: Waterproof boxes will be provided for pupils to store their lunch boxes in. 
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic and eat in the Outer Bailey, or there is a dedicated picnic area in the Inner Bailey, with picnic benches. 
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is currently unavailable.
  • Enquire now

  • School visits academic year 2020-21

    In line with government guidance, we’re pleased to confirm we’re now taking bookings online.

    Our COVID-secure measures will remain in place until all restrictions are lifted.  Visitor numbers are limited, and all bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance.

    English Heritage are legally required to request and record the contact details of customers and visitors aged 16 years and over.  The information that you provide will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested.  For more information and for details of our safety measures, please see our what to expect page.

    Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer.

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