Portland Castle is situated in a stunning spot overlooking Portland Harbour in Dorset and is one of a number of artillery forts built by King Henry VIII along the south coast of England. The castle was built as a response to the threat of war from France and Spain after 1538 and shows us a great deal about defensive fort design and characteristics.
A visit to this fascinating Castle could support your studies in Tudors, Civil War, castles, Henry VIII, or the Second World.
“Fitted in with everything we are doing on the subject”
Image © Historic England Archive
Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Portland Castle will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.
- KS1: Local history study
- KS2: Local history study, studies beyond 1066
- KS3: Britain 1509 – 1745, World War II
Free Self-Led Visits
Book a free self-led visit to Portland Castle and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Portland Castle is one of the best preserved examples of the series of coastal defences built by Henry VIII in the 16th century. See the Tudor kitchen and step inside the Garrison Hall to come face to face with King Henry himself. Enjoy stunning sea views from the gun platforms and get up close to the powerful cannons.
The site consists of the main keep building and beautiful outdoor areas including an amphitheatre and a herb garden. There is also a small education room available to use during your visit.Enquire Now
Plan Your Trip
We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit our what to expect page.
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 once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.
Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.
Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!
Teaching Tudors and Stuarts
Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of the Tudors and Stuarts.
A Mini Guide to Castles
Discover how castles developed over time with this short introduction.
Why did England have a Civil War?
Portland Castle changed hands many times during the Civil War. Use our introductory video to find out more about why the conflict happened.
Teaching the 20th Century
Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of 20th century history.
1940s World War II Make Up Tutorial
Find out more about the importance of makeup to members of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) stationed at Dover during the Second World War with Makeup Artist Rebecca Butterworth and Fashion Historian Amber Butchart.
0370 333 0606
If you’d like more information about a site or one of our workshops, get in touch using the online form on our bookings page to speak to your local Education Visits Officer. We look forward to seeing you soon.