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Old Portsmouth also known as "Spice Island" is the area covered by the original town of Portsmouth as planned by Jean de Gisors. Situated in the southwest corner of Portsea Island this is where the old dock is and where many Spice ships used to enter and trade. There are many areas and buildings of interest within Old Portsmouth include The Royal Garrison Church, Portsmouth cathedral, the Round Tower as well as the entrance to the Harbour.

Residential Area...

Old Portsmouth has a mixture of housing, ranging from contemporary quayside apartments to 16th Century town houses. Along Broad St. and Lombard St. Situates the few surviving old Georgian houses, which are particularly popular along with the more modern apartments, opposite The Royal Garrison Church with their views of the harbour. Most of the modern build have their own parking spaces allocated however on street parking is available with a permit, which can be obtained from Portsmouth City Council.  


Although limited when it comes to shopping in Old Portsmouth, there are number of hidden treasures. Viviers ltd is the South Coast's largest merchant of crabs and lobsters. They are open to both trade customers and the public. There is also a beautifully presented beauty salon and a quaint bridal boutique just around the corner should you be preparing for your big day. Other than that there is one local convenience store and a locally run tearoom.


Pubs, Bars & Clubs - Old Portsmouth is popular for its traditional English pubs dominate Old Portsmouth where you are just as likely to find a group of students sitting next to local residents.  The Spice Island, The Still and West and The Duke of Buckingham are all hugely popular as is the American Bar and Bistro. Typically once Old Portsmouth closes down for the evening those that wish to continue their evening head over to Gunwharf Quays which is just a 5 minute walk away

Restaurants - Along with most of the above pubs that serve food there is also a popular Chinese restaurant called the Good Fortune and Manna Tearoom.


Portsmouth Grammar School is a private school that was founded in 1732 by Dr William Smith, philanthropic Mayor of Portsmouth, PGS is Portsmouth's oldest school.  The school has a unique standing within the city and its reputation attracts girls and boys from a wide catchment area.  The main points of entry are 4+, 7+, 11+, 13+ and Sixth Form.


Road - many of the streets are cobbled and remain untouched for years, however the A3 (London to Portsmouth Road) runs through Old Portsmouth, passing the Anglican Cathedral, where it ends at the 15th century harbour.

Rail - the nearest railway station is located at Gunwharf Quays

Ferry - there is a passenger & car ferry to the Isle of Wight just on the border of Old Portsmouth & Gunwharf Quays

Bus / Coach - there are regular bus routes through Old Portsmouth, along the A3 road

Places of Interest...

  • The Royal Garrison Church - The Royal Garrison Church is the oldest British Garrison Church in the world and has been called "The British Military Cathedral". But the church dates back to 1212.
  • Portsmouth Cathedral - Portsmouth Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Portsmouth.  It is the base of the Bishop of Portsmouth, and the focal point for many diocese-wide services and events.
  • The Round Tower - One of Portsmouth's oldest permanent fortifications. The Round Tower was built in around 1418 to defend the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour and prevent raids on the city by French ships. Inside there is a fine vaulted brick ceiling dating from the early 19th Century. It was part of the city's defences until 1960. The top of the building is open at all times, but the ground floor is only open on selected occasions.
  • Long Curtain & The Moat - From Spur Redoubt, there is a tunnel, which passes through Long Curtain and is reputed to be part of Nelson's route when he embarked to board H.M.S. Victory prior the Battle of Trafalgar. Passing through the tunnel there is a ramp to the left leading to the top of Long Curtain and King's Bastion or the path on the right runs through to Pembroke Road. By the end of this path, the cottage named Williamsgate was originally the guardhouse to King William's Gate (1833) which stood at this point on the southeastern side of the fortified town.
  • John Pound Memorial Garden - John Poundís shop used to stand nearby to the High Street and in memory of his work, there is now a memorial garden and replica of his shop situated next to John Pounds Memorial Church along the High Street.
  • Duke of Buckingham ñ A short walk from the PGS is 11 High Street, this was where George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham was assassinated by John Felton on 23rd August 1628. The House has had many uses and owners since then - from a public house to a finishing school for girls. It is originally a Tudor build but has been modified considerably notably though the Stewart period.