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**Historical Development and Landmarks:**
– Portsmouth was founded around 1180 by Jean de Gisors, an Anglo-Norman merchant.
– The city was granted market-town status by Richard I in 1194.
– Key historical events include being a pivotal embarkation point for the D-Day landings in WWII.
– Landmarks like The Great Stone Dock and Spinnaker Tower dominate Portsmouth Harbour.
– The city’s significance in medieval times, the Stuart to Georgian era, and industrial developments are notable.

**Military and Naval History:**
– Portsmouth became England’s only national Royal Dockyard under Henry VII.
– Admiral Nelson departed from Portsmouth for the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
– The Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron operated from Portsmouth in 1808 to combat the slave trade.
– Portsmouth’s role in the Falklands War and the transfer of Hong Kong in 1997 are significant military events.
– The Palmerston Forts built around Portsmouth in 1859 aimed at defense.

**Infrastructure and Economic Development:**
– Portsmouth has several mainline railway stations connecting to London.
– Portsmouth International Port is the second busiest in the UK after Dover.
– The city attracted new industries like electrical engineering and insurance.
– Traditional industries like shipbuilding declined, and industrial estates were built in various areas.
– Shipbuilding jobs declined from 46% of the workforce in 1951 to 14% in 1966.

**Population Growth, Public Health, and Urban Redevelopment:**
– Portsmouth’s population reached 100,000 by 1871, with areas like Somerstown being developed.
– The city saw improvements in public health but also faced challenges like a smallpox epidemic in 1872.
– Urban redevelopment projects in the 1960s led to the demolition of controversial buildings like the Tricorn Centre.
– Redevelopment of HMS Vernon into Gunwharf Quays and the construction of the Spinnaker Tower are notable projects.
– Portsmouth’s urban landscape evolved, with changes in industrial sectors and population decline by the late 1960s.

**Geography and Transportation:**
– Portsmouth is located on Portsea Island, separated from the mainland by Portsbridge Creek.
– The city’s highest natural elevation is 21 feet, with Portsmouth Harbour and Langstone Harbour being significant features.
– Portsmouth is well-connected to London, Brighton, and Southampton by road and railway bridges.
– The city’s transportation infrastructure includes mainline railway stations, the second busiest port in the UK, and historical events like the Zeppelin airship bombing in 1916.
– Portsmouth’s geographical features, like Spithead and the Solent, play a crucial role in its maritime history and connectivity.

Portsmouth (Wikipedia)

Portsmouth (/ˈpɔːrtsməθ/ PORTS-məth) is a port city and unitary authority in Hampshire, England. Most of Portsmouth is located on Portsea Island, off the south coast of England in the Solent. This means Portsmouth is the only English city not located primarily on the mainland. Located 74 miles (119 km) south-west of London, 50 miles (80 km) west of Brighton and Hove, and 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Southampton; Portsmouth is part of the South Hampshire conurbation. It is the most densely populated city in the United Kingdom, with a population last recorded at 208,100.

Clockwise from top: the city viewed from Portsdown Hill; HMS Victory; Portsmouth Guildhall; Portsmouth Cathedral; the Spinnaker Tower alongside Portsmouth Harbour; Gunwharf Quays; Portchester Castle; and Old Portsmouth
Flag of Portsmouth
Official logo of Portsmouth
Heaven's Light Our Guide
Shown within Hampshire
Shown within Hampshire
Portsmouth is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Portsmouth is located in England
Location within England
Portsmouth is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 50°48′21″N 01°05′14″W / 50.80583°N 1.08722°W / 50.80583; -1.08722
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial county Hampshire
 • TypeUnitary authority, city
 • Governing bodyPortsmouth City Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet
 • Council controlNo overall control since 2018 (LD minority administration)
 • Members of ParliamentPenny Mordaunt (C)
Stephen Morgan (L)
 • City and unitary authority40.25 km2 (15.54 sq mi)
 (2011, 2021)
 • City and unitary authority208,100
 • Urban
 • Metro
855,679 (South Hampshire)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (Wednesday 8:30 am)
Postal code
Area code023
Vehicle registration area codesHK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HR, HS, HT, HU, HV, HX, HY
PoliceHampshire and Isle of Wight
AmbulanceSouth Central
FireHampshire and Isle of Wight

Portsmouth's history can be traced to Roman times and has been a significant Royal Navy dockyard and base for centuries. Portsmouth was founded c. 1180 by Anglo-Norman merchant Jean de Gisors in the south-west area of Portsea Island, a location now known as Old Portsmouth. Around this time, de Gisors ordered the construction of a chapel dedicated to St Thomas Becket. This became a parish church by the 14th century. Portsmouth was established as a town with a royal charter on 2 May 1194. The city is home to the first drydock ever built. It was constructed by Henry VII in 1496.

Portsmouth has the world's oldest dry dock, "The Great Stone Dock"; originally built in 1698, rebuilt in 1769 and presently known as "No.5 Dock". The world's first mass production line was established at the naval base's Block Mills which produced pulley blocks for the Royal Navy fleet. By the early-19th century, Portsmouth was the most heavily fortified city in the world, and was considered "the world's greatest naval port" at the height of the British Empire throughout Pax Britannica. By 1859, a ring of defensive land and sea forts, known as the Palmerston Forts had been built around Portsmouth in anticipation of an invasion from continental Europe.

In the 20th century, Portsmouth achieved city status on 21 April 1926. During the Second World War, the city was a pivotal embarkation point for the D-Day landings and was bombed extensively in the Portsmouth Blitz, which resulted in the deaths of 930 people. In 1982, a large Royal Navy task force departed from Portsmouth for the Falklands War. Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia was formerly based in Portsmouth and oversaw the transfer of Hong Kong in 1997, after which Britannia was retired from royal service, decommissioned and relocated to Leith as a museum ship.

HMNB Portsmouth is an operational Royal Navy base and is home to two-thirds of the UK's surface fleet. The base has long been nicknamed Pompey, a nickname it shares with the wider city of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Football Club. The naval base also contains the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard; which has a collection of historic warships, including the Mary Rose, Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory (the world's oldest naval ship still in commission), and HMS Warrior, the Royal Navy's first ironclad warship.

The former HMS Vernon shore establishment has been redeveloped into a large retail outlet destination known as Gunwharf Quays which opened in 2001. Portsmouth is among the few British cities with two cathedrals: the Anglican Cathedral of St Thomas and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist. The waterfront and Portsmouth Harbour are dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, one of the United Kingdom's tallest structures at 560 feet (170 m).

Southsea is Portsmouth's seaside resort, which was named after Southsea Castle. Southsea has two piers; Clarence Pier amusement park and South Parade Pier. The world's only regular hovercraft service operates from Southsea Hoverport to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Southsea Common is a large open-air public recreation space which serves as a venue for a wide variety of annual events.

The city has several mainline railway stations that connect to London Victoria and London Waterloo amongst other lines in southern England. Portsmouth International Port is a commercial cruise ship and ferry port for international destinations. The port is the second busiest in the United Kingdom after Dover, handling around three million passengers a year. The city formerly had its own airport, Portsmouth Airport, until its closure in 1973. The University of Portsmouth enrolls 23,000 students.

Portsmouth is the birthplace of notable people such as author Charles Dickens, engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, former Prime Minister James Callaghan, actor Peter Sellers and author-journalist Christopher Hitchens.

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