Search Result
By Category
Show on Map
Moment in time
  • Cook's Castle
    Cook's Castle was "created" around 1774 sat on the top of St. Martin's down,..
On the map

History Castles and Fortifications

East Cowes Fort

REF NR: 351

It was once believed that the name Cowes came from the two forts or 'cowe castles' that Henry VIII built at the entrance of the Medina River using stone from the abbeys at Quarr and Beaulieu.


The John Nash built East Cowes fort/castle ended up being demolished soon after it was built. All that remains of Henry VIII’s fort on the eastern side of the Medina is the name and racing mark off Old Castle Point. To modernise the Royal Yacht Squadron (West Cowe Fort), stone from the demolition was transferred over.

Many people think the old bathing house at the end of the esplanade is the fort, which is believed to be the bathing house of Norris Castle. However the exact location of the fort is thought to be further west and was probably built on shifting sands and thus was easily undermined by the sea. There is a suggestion that at the corner of Columbine plant and opposite, the new superstore - a part of the original wall of the castle, still exists. Once it was abandoned the building stone is thought to have been spirited away, stone by stone, by the locals. 


The exact position of the castle is still a mystery. It is thought to be at the corner of Maresfield Road and Colombine Road near the East Cowes parade. The image attached is thought to show some of the stones of the old castle. 


"The two Great cowes that in loud thunder roar, / This on the eastern that on the western shore."

- John Leland, 1545