Portsmouth City Council's Building Services, working with Culture and Leisure, have managed a significant repair and restoration project at Southsea Castle. Two key projects focused on the external brickwork and stonework of the parapets as well as toilet refurbishment.
Portsmouth City Council are responsible for maintaining the historic attraction which is open to members of the public throughout the year.
Following an extensive survey, a multiple projects were outlined in order to extend the buildings lifespan and ensure it remains a safe place for people to visit.
The castle was originally built in the 1500s and was one of King Henry VIII many fortifications along the south coast. Now owned by Portsmouth City Council, the historical attraction can bring in up to 100,000 visitors and tourists each year.
During the external brickwork and stonework project, over 90 square meters of stone was repointed and 146 bricks were replaced. Grout injection was also carried out to the seaward brick parapet walls to infill voids that had opened up within the structure. The purpose to reduce the amount of rainwater penetration into the interior.
Following the completion of the project Cllr Steve Pitt said:
"As one of Portsmouth's most iconic landmarks, the repair work completed throughout Southsea Castle helps to preserve the important building for generations to come.
Ensuring the castle remained opened to visitors during one of the busiest periods of the year with minimal disruption was essential.
I am delighted with the results which have given the castle a much needed face-lift and ensured it remains safe for Portsmouth residents and visitors."
The two projects took 20 weeks to complete and careful planning ensured that the castle was still accessible during the busy summer period to the general public, weddings and other events.
The works to the parapets were completed July 2019.
Contractors used to complete the work were Paye Stonework and Restoration Ltd.
Lighting in the castle is currently undergoing planned upgrade work which will improve visibility in low-light areas. In particular, the tunnel lights have been replaced with energy efficient dimmable lighting which will allow safe access through the tunnel to the general public.
In the Keep, in consultation with Historical England; the power, lighting and heating has been replaced with the new energy efficient lighting gives better control of the lighting to show off the exhibits.