Essex Castle is the only castle on the island amidst the numerous fortifications. A castle was built in Henry VIII’s reign overlooking Longy Harbour. Protector Somerset (1500-52) pushed the building forward but the work ceased in 1550 when Somerset was overthrown. The Tudor castle was demolished in the 1840s, leaving only the north and west walls, and Fort Essex built in its place. The remains of this fort were amalgamated with a more modern building and called Essex Castle. The Nazis gave it an ugly concrete addition during the occupation. It is now a private residence.
The castle was named after the 2nd Earl of Essex, KG (1565-1601) who purchased the governorship of Alderney in 1591 without ever visiting the island.
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