Though many of English Heritage’s Free to Enter sites remain open to visitors, unfortunately it has been necessary – as a result of advice relating to coronavirus - to close Royal Garrison Church for operational reasons, in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Royal Garrison Church was built in about 1212 by the Bishop of Winchester as part of a hospital and hostel for pilgrims. Used as an ammunition store after the Reformation, it became part of the governor of Portsmouth’s house during Elizabeth I’s reign. The church was restored in the 19th century, and although the nave was badly damaged in a 1941 firebomb raid on Portsmouth, the chancel is still roofed and furnished. Fine 20th-century stained-glass windows depict scenes from the Second World War and from the church’s own history.
Read more about the history of Royal Garrison Church.
Before You Go
Parking: There is short-stay, roadside parking adjacent to the church. There is also a charged car park within a minute from the site, not managed by English Heritage.
Opening Times: The church is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am - 4pm, from April until September. The site is closed from October until April and on bank holidays. View details.
Access: Parts of the site are wheelchair accessible.
Dogs: Assistance dogs only.
Plan a Great Day Out
Make the most of your day in Portsmouth by including a walk around the town to view the King James's and Landport Gates.
You could also visit Fort Brockhurst, a largely unaltered example of a fort built in the 1850s to protect Portsmouth against French invasion. Please check the opening hours before you visit as they are limited.
Or why not follow the history of the impressive Portchester Castle. An exhibition in the Keep includes finds excavated on the site and the audio tour explains life in the castle from the point of view of people who worked or were imprisoned there. Finish up your visit with a picnic in the castle grounds or on the shore of the Solent, and don't forget to browse in the gift shop.