From at least Roman times, Portsmouth’s unique island site has ensured its place in English history. During 2000 years it has grown to become the chief naval base in the country, a city steeped in memories and mementoes of past naval actions and glories, a city where geography and history have carved out a certain spirit and character, a city where almost every corner reveals some aspect of its great heritage.
In the Tudor years Portsmouth was declared a Royal Dockyard and Garrison Town and from then on its future growth and prosperity relied almost entirely on the dockyard developments, a succession of European wars and decisions made in the high reaches of the Foreign Office and Admiralty. Portsmouth’s associated fortifications and defences had earned it the title ‘of one of the most protected areas in Northern Europe’ as long ago as the fifteenth century and some 400 years later in the latter half of the nineteenth century it was often described as ‘the most heavily defended place in the world’.
It is these simple facts backed by the long held notion tht ‘the strength of a country is reflected by the strength of the fleet’ that makes Portsmouth such a fascinating place to visit and explore. This book seeks to portray a sense of Portsmouth’s outstanding heritage with photographs and a degree of historical text that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. Many of the well-known attractions are illustrated here, together with other elements still waiting to be discovered. In the 200 years since the Battle of Trafalgar, this is an enduring portrait of a remarkable city and home of the Royal Navy.
ISBN 1 84114 454 1, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages.