What’s Yarmouth’s best kept secret? It’s Yarmouth Castle, so make sure you don’t miss it when you visit this sleepy little port. Henry VIII was so worried about invasion, he built this castle. It’s not hard to find, just a few steps from the George Hotel, down a short passageway.
In fact the castle entrance was once through what is now the garden of the hotel. Now it is down a passageway next to the ferry port and you pay at a kiosk and gift shop in a small castle room.
By the wall is a brick trench full of seawater, part of a sluice that fed the latrines! A little door with chain mail curtain leads to the gunpowder store and on through to the master gunners’ lodgings, complete with open fire!
Walk further in and a door to your right leads into the parlour of the Master Gunner’s lodgings, which was originally the Captain’s House (c. 1560). A door from the back of this room leads to his kitchen, complete with a large canon trained on the hotel garden! Part of an arrow-head bastion, this meant the castle was ready for action at any time.
Outside a stone staircase leads up to the gun platform, with great views out over the Solent – there’s even one canon still in place. Bring a picnic up here and you’ll have one of the best views of the harbour in Yarmouth.
Off of the platform are the upper floors of the Master Gunner’s lodgings, including a room used for barracks that now house exhibitions on the castle and Yarmouth.
The arrow shaped room above the kitchen has a ‘Wrecks of the Isle of Wight’ exhibition, although it was once the Master Gunner’s bedroom.
You can’t see much from the outside, but there’s plenty to discover inside Yarmouth Castle.