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Worsleys Tower, Sharpnode Point

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sharpenrode; Round Tower Point

In the civil parish of Freshwater.
In the historic county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Modern Authority of Isle of Wight.
1974 county of Isle of Wight.
Medieval County of Hampshire, Isle of Wight.

OS Map Grid Reference: SZ332892
Latitude 50.70353° Longitude -1.53039°

Worsleys Tower, Sharpnode Point has been described as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are no visible remains.


The site of Worsley's Tower, a small artillery tower, built in 1522-5 by Sir James Worsley for Henry VIII. Built at a time of conflict with the French, the tower was designed to defend the strategic Needles Passage in conjunction with Hurst Castle on the mainland. The tower was probably demolished in 1628-31 by the Governor of the Isle of Wight Lord Conway, having been replaced by the Sharpenode Battery. Worsley's Tower stood near to the shore, at a place which is known today as Round Tower Point. Its ruins have been gradually eroded away by coastal erosion, until nothing now remains, and the only indication of its presence is the name Round Tower Point.
The castle consisted of a squat, octagonal tower, six metres high and eight metres wide, with a single entrance. It was probably a single-storey structure with the artillery mounted on the roof so that it could fire through the embrasures on the parapets. There were gun ports in the lower walls near ground level which would have provided flanking fire. (PastScape)

Sir James Worseley (d.1538) built a round tower on the Isle of Wight. In 1539 the Earl of Southampton reported that if this "ill-devised" tower was rebuilt and a castle erected at Hurst, all shipping through the Solent could be commanded (Craster 1976).
Probably built 1522-5. The tower was a squat, octagonal tower 19 feet high and 26 feet in diameter with a single entrance. It was probably single storeyed mounting artillery through the roof parapets, and gun ports through the lower walls flanking the tower. This would have been a similar arrangement to the forts at Dover, Camber and Portsmouth. In 1559 it was fortified with 15 arquebuses, and 20 bows, pikes and bills. Probably demolished in 1628-31, having been replaced by the Sharpenode Battery (Kenyon 1979, Kenyon 1983, King 1983). (PastScape)

On the west point of the entrance to the Yarmouth haven a watch and ward was kept day and night in the 14th century, and here in the reign of Elizabeth Sir George Carey built a 'sconce' called after his name, while half a mile to the west of it on the high ground of Norton Common Richard Worsley raised an outlook tower afterwards taken down by Lord Conway. (VCH)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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