St Andrews Castle

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House, and also as a Questionable Artillery Fort, and also as a Questionable Urban Defence

There are masonry footings remains

NameSt Andrews Castle
Alternative NamesSt Andrews Point; Hamble Castle
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishHamble le Rice

The site of St Andrew's Castle will also, despite the loss of the superstructure, contain environmental information and archaeological evidence concerning the construction of the castle. The close association of the sites enhances the value of Hamble Common as an area of archaeological and historical importance.

The monument includes a linear bank and ditch of Iron Age date which separates the Hamble Point promontory from the western half of Hamble Common, a sub-rectangular medieval enclosure at the north western corner of the common, and another linear bank and ditch further to the east, also of medieval date. It also includes the remains of the 16th century St Andrew's Castle, a 19th century gun battery north west of the castle, and a Second World War anti-aircraft gun emplacement at the south eastern corner of the common. The Iron Age earthwork, a bank and ditch c.300m long, crosses from near the shore at the south western side of the common to an inlet of the River Hamble on its northern side. It has been suggested that the earthwork is associated with a promontory fort on the eastern half of the common. The bank, which is south east of the ditch, is generally 1m to 2m in height and between 5m and 10m wide, but is smaller and less well defined near the inlet. The ditch is up to 5m wide and enters, or is interrupted by, a pond approximately midway across the common; the bank here rises to a height of c.3m. The medieval enclosure, probably for stock, lies in the north western corner of the common some 90m west of the Iron Age earthwork. The southern, eastern and northern sides of the enclosure, consisting of a bank and outer ditch, can be traced, and it has maximum internal dimensions of c.140m (north west to south east) by 135m. The western end of the northern side is less well preserved, but leads towards a modern ditch which may continue the line of the earlier feature

A short length of bank and ditch extends from the north east corner towards the Hamble inlet. The bank and ditch are both up to 4m wide, the bank rising up to 1.2m above the bottom of the ditch. A bank and ditch also of possible medieval date run for at least 240m from east to west across the north eastern part of the common; they also lead towards an arm of the Hamble inlet, but are too overgrown at the western end for this to be securely established. The bank, up to 3m wide and 0.3m high, is on the north side of a 2m wide ditch. The remains of St Andrew's Castle, built in the 16th century, are on the shore between high and low water marks adjacent to the southern terminal of the Iron Age linear ditch. Three roughly parallel wall foundations can be seen, set at a right-angle to the edge of the common, up to 3m apart and between 0.6m and 1.1m wide. Displaced masonry and scattered blocks of stone lie nearby. The eastern and western foundations, which are roughly constructed, extend southward beneath alluvium. The southern end of the central foundation is made of ashlar blocks and tapers to a sharp point. Excavation has shown that the foundations formed the sides of a moat and central pier of a bridge. Excavation also located another section of the moat and displaced wall foundations c.25m to the east, and a possible wooden breakwater c.40m from high water mark; these features are not now visible. With the exception of the site of St Andrew's Castle, there are no known records of archaeological excavation on the common. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Artillery Fort, built 1543-4, dismantled in 1642. A three tier fort with a round gun tower. Fragments of masonry and a break-water can be seen on the shore line. Excavated in 1971-2. Barron writes this is also suggested as a fortified wall for Hamble-le-Rice or, his preference, a C16 fortified manor house.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU479059
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Osborne, Mike, 2011, Defending Hampshire: The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present (Stroud: The History Press) p. 245 (listed in Appendix)
  • Harrington, Peter, 2007, The Castles of Henry VIII (Oxford: Osprey) p. 28, 56, 58, 61
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 50
  • Barron, W.G., 1985, The Castles of Hampshire and Isle of Wight (Paul Cave) p. 23
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 195
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) p. 404, 406, 547-549
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1912, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 5 p. 331, 465



  • Aldsworth, F.G., 1981, 'St Andrew's Castle, Hamble, Hampshire' Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 37 p. 5-11
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1979, 'An aspect of the 1559 survey of the Isle of Wight: The State of all the Queenes maties Fortresses and Castelles' Post-Medieval Archaeology Vol. 13 p. 61-77 esp. 75-6
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1978, 'St Andrew's Castle, Hampshire, in 1623' Fort Vol. 6 p. 24-5
  • Aldsworth, F.G. and Stubbs, K., 1972, 'Hamble Common' Hamsphire Newsletter Vol. 2.3 p. 9-10

Primary Sources

  • A Survey of the Isle of Wight with plans of fortifications, 20 Nov 1559 (D(W)1778/III/0/1, Staffordshire Record Office)
  • SP12/253/109 (Survey of 1595) The National Archives reference