Isle of Wight

If you have had a few pints of the best ale, served at the bar, in the George Hotel, you could be forgiven for not knowing you were standing next to the remains of a blockhouse fort erected c.1547 with cannon in mind. It was one of a chain of fortifications to defend the south coast of England from French attacks.

King Henry VIII employed the services of the engineer and mason, Thomas Berty. It is probably to his designs that John Molton, who called himself, ‘master masonne unto the King’s majestie’,

together with Nicholas Ellis, mason, built this castle.

After John Molton’s death in 1547, Nicholas went on to become, Master Mason of the King’s Works and later to be a warden of the London Masons, and in 1552 he was referred to as, Esquire; mason of Westminster; officer of the King’s Buildings, and chief Mason to King Edward VI.

It is now in the care of English Heritage and is open to the public.

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