The Past

About the Area

An Island City surrounded by water, Portsmouth is a place shaped by its association with the sea over many centuries. The origins of the City are centered in `Old` Portsmouth the original walled town and much evidence of its historic past can still be seen today.

It was from here that the first convoys of convicts & settlers sailed for Australia and from where Nelson set sail in H.M.S. Victory to meet his destiny at Trafalgar.

Long gone are the press gangs that operated among the many Taverns & Houses of Ill repute that made the area infamous , today this corner of the City is as vibrant as ever with a charming & fascinating variety of buildings forming a patchwork quilt of architectural styles which now provide homes to suit all tastes.

Portsmouth has long been considered the home of the Royal Navy and the Historic Dockyard & Naval base occupies a huge area of the City.

As the Port grew in importance and scale, so other areas of the City were developed as housing was needed not just for Sailors & their families but also the thousands of dockyard workers whose numbers grew exponentially throughout the 19th Century and the reign of Victoria, as the British Empire approached its zenith.

This was an era of great prosperity for Portsmouth and it was in this period that the Suburb of Southsea developed eastwards providing larger residences for the more affluent families and their servants and its reputation as a Seaside resort began to be established.

One of the key figures of this time was Thomas Ellis Owen who was responsible for many of the fine Villas & Terraces which we still admire today and which has helped to shape modern day Southsea.

In the early part of the 20th century further development continued as the city spread Northwards across the lower slopes of Portsdown Hill creating the suburbs of Cosham, Drayton, Farlington & Bedhampton which continue to provide excellent & highly regarded family homes.

During the Second World War the City suffered many devastating bombing raids and in the decades that followed, both the Navy & Dockyard gradually declined.

These factors have helped to dramatically change the geographical and architectural landscape of Portsmouth and the surrounding towns, villages, & suburbs.

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