Place:Portsea, Hampshire, England

Alt namesAnchorage Parksource: locality in Portsea
Baffinssource: locality in Portsea
Bucklandsource: locality in Portsea
Copnorsource: locality in Portsea
Eastneysource: locality in Portsea
Frattonsource: locality in Portsea
Great Salternssource: locality in Portsea
Hilseasource: locality in Portsea
Landportsource: locality in Portsea
Old Portsmouthsource: locality in Portsea
Portsea Kingstonsource: locality in Portsea
Portsea Miltonsource: locality in Portsea
Portsea North Endsource: locality in Portsea
Southseasource: locality in Portsea
Stamshawsource: locality in Portsea
Tipnersource: locality in Portsea
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates50.792°N 1.092°W
Located inHampshire, England
See alsoPortsdown Hundred, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located until 1835
Portsmouth and Portsea Island Liberty, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located after 1835
Portsmouth, Hampshire, Englandcounty borough into which it was absorbed in 1900
Portsmouth District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on part of an article in Wikipedia

Portsea Island gives its name to the relatively commercial and historic neighbourhood of Portsea which is located to the southwest of Portsmouth, but until 1900 was considered to be a separate civil parish on the island. According to A Vision of Britain through Time, it was absorbed into Portsmouth in 4 parts on the same day, 31 March 1900. This indicates that the various settlements listed below were grouped into various areas of the island.

Portsea itself 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 or Settlements within Portsea

the descriptions are based on those in Wikipedia

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.

Great Salterns

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Great Salterns from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:

"Salterns, Great, par., Hants, in Portsea Island, on Langston harbour, 3 miles NE. of Portsmouth, 346 ac. and 177 tidal water and foreshore, pop. 33."

Great Salterns was considered to be an extra parochial area on the east side of Portsea Island until it was absorbed into Portsmouth County Borough in 1895.


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

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.

Portsea Kingston

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.

Portsea Milton

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.

Anchorage Park

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.

Research Tips

  • Victoria County History of Hampshire, volume 3, chapter on Portsea.
  • GENUKI has a list of archive holders in Hampshire including the Hampshire Record Office, various museums in Portsmouth and Southhampton, the Isle of Wight Record Office and Archives.
  • The Hampshire Online Parish Clerk project has a large collection of transcriptions from Parish Registers across Hampshire.
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 together with tables listing the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered, along with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Do respect the copyright on this material.
  • The three-storey City Museum in Winchester covers the Iron Age and Roman periods, the Middle Ages, and the Victorian period.
  • Volumes in The Victoria County History Series are available for Hampshire through British History Online. There are three volumes and the county is covered by parishes within the old divisions of "hundreds".
A collection of maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrating the English county of Hampshire over the period 1832-1932 (the last two are expandible):
  • A group of maps of the post-1974 municipal districts or boroughs of Hampshire on Wikipedia Commons
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Portsea Island. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.