Portsea Island gives its name to the relatively commercial and historic neighbourhood of Portsea which is located to the southwest of Portsmouth, but has long been a separate parish of the island.
The area was originally known as the "Common" and lay between the town of Portsmouth and the nearby Dockyard. The Common started to be developed at the end of the 17th century as a response to the overcrowding in the walled town of Portsmouth. This development worried the governor of the dockyard as he feared that the new buildings would provide cover for any forces attempting to attack the dockyard. In 1703, he threatened to demolish any buildings within range of the cannons mounted on the dockyard walls. However, after a petition to Queen Anne, royal consent for the development was granted in 1704. In 1792 the name of the area was changed from the Common to Portsea. By then it was home to a mixed dockside population.
By the start of the 20th century Portsmouth council had started to clear much of the slum housing in Portsea. The city's first council houses were built in the district in 1911. The 1920s and 1930s saw extensive redevelopment of the area, with many of the older slums being replaced by new council houses.
The area's proximity to the dockyard resulted in its taking massive bomb damage during World War II. After the war the area was redeveloped as all council housing, in a mixture of houses, maisonettes and tower blocks.
Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Britain Street, Portsea, in 1806; writer Charles Dickens was born nearby at Landport, on 7 February 1812; the professor William Garnett (mathematician, physicist, engineer) was born in Portsea on 30 December 1850.
Localities within Portsea
Portsea has a number of localites within it, all of which have been redirected here. Some of these go back to the 19th and even the 18th century; others were formed more recently. The three places prefaced "Portsea" are so named to prevent confusion with other small places of the same names elsewhere in Hampshire.
Southsea occupies the southern end of Portsmouth in Portsea Island, within a mile of Portsmouth's city centre focal point, its harbour. From 1885 until 1914, Southsea had its own railway branch line, named the Southsea Railway.
Copnor is an area located on the eastern side of Portsea Island. As Copenore, it was one of the three villages listed as being on Portsea Island in the Domesday book. In the late 19th, early 20th century the rapid expansion of Portsmouth saw the original village engulfed. The west of the district is now a predominantly residential area of 1930s housing. The east of the district is an industrial and commercial area.
Eastney is a district located in the south east corner of Portsmouth, England on Portsea Island. The actual electoral ward is called Eastney and Craneswater. At the 2011 Census the population of this ward was 13,591.
Fratton is a residential and formerly industrial area of Portsmouth. It consists of mostly Victorian terraced houses, and is typical of the residential areas in the city. In the past it housed a huge railway depot.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Great Salterns from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:
Hilsea is the northwestern district of the city. Located at the northern end of Portsea Island, for most of its history Hilsea was a small hamlet on the Portsmouth to London road. The boundaries of Portsmouth were not extended to encompass the hamlet until 1832. The last working farm in Portsmouth, Green Farm, was located in the area up to the 1990s.
Landport is at the north end of Portsea Island. Residential parts of Landport are separated from its trade and distribution premises alongside Albert Johnson Quay by the M275/A3, the main road link between Portsea and the mainland. The Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum is located in his birthplace home.
Old Portsmouth lies on the southwest corner of Portsea Island and forms the eastern side of the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at the port's mouth. Old Portsmouth contains most of the traditional High Street and heritage of the original old town of Portsmouth, including Portsmouth Point (also known as 'Spice Island') and the Camber Dock.
Stamshaw is a residential district of Portsmouth, located on the north western corner of Portsea Island. Much of it consists of dense rows of 'two up, two down' terraced housing built during the late 19th century and early 20th century for dockyard workers and their families.
This small northwest corner includes the public parkland point, Tipner Point, but the area as a whole is a mixture of roads, retail/distribution outlets and housing.
Kingston is a residential area of the city of Portsmouth in the English county of Hampshire, located between Buckland, Fratton and North End. It was a recognised suburb of the city by the middle of the 19th century.
Milton is the area is located on the southeastern side of Portsea Island. It is bordered on the east by Langstone Harbour. Eastney lies to the south, Southsea to the south west, Baffins to the north and Fratton to the west. Milton was originally a small village on Portsea Island, surrounded by farmland until it was swallowed up by city expansion in the early years of the 20th century.
Portsea North End
North End is a residential area to the centre-north of the island.
A modern development
A modern development
A central neighbourhood at the heart of the island, directly south of North End and north-east of Landport.