It was built upon a rocky island just off the east coast of Guernsey, opposite the town of St. Peter Port. Until the present breakwater was built in the 1860s, the castle could only be reached on foot at low spring tides. It was started around 1250 but was captured by the French in 1338 who then held it for 7 years. It was rebuilt in the early 15th century when its size was almost doubled with a round keep in between the old and new halves. Henry VIII strengthened its defences in the 1540s and 1550s by adding a new wall all around the site and equipping it with gun batteries.
It was held for the King in 1643 during the Civil War and only surrendered in 1651 after the King's death. In 1672 a lightning strike on the keep caused the gun powder magazine inside to explode, demolishing the keep and other buildings. During World War 2 the Germans employed anti-aircraft guns at the castle.
The castle is now run by Guernsey Museums and is open daily.
|St Perter Port, Guernsey GY1 6JN|