Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Milton, Fratton, Hilsea (Listed Buildings)

The merest hints of the former villages of Milton, Fratton and Hilsea before they were swallowed by the rapid Victorian expansion of Portsmouth east and north, with a few old houses (including the TE Owen former vicarage opposite the impressive St Mary’s church, Gatcombe and Great Saltern houses). Otherwise, the listed buildings among the dense terraced houses are institutional: the former workhouse of St Mary’s House north of the hospital, cemetery chapels, C20 churches, the prison, Carnegie Library, and St James Hospital. Here I present the listed buildings in these areas. All photos taken in Feb 2014 by myself.




Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Stamshaw (Listed Buildings)

A 19th Century dairy depot, a converted 20th Century church,  a couple of pubs, a smart row of townhouses reminiscent of Southsea, and that’s pretty much it for listed buildings in this area. The rest of west Portsmouth near the Motorway is row upon row of victorian terraces and post-war developments, among which these old and distinctive buildings can be found.

Hampshire Architecture – Hinton Ampner (Listed Buildings)

Hinton Ampner, together with Bramdean forms a parish midway between Winchester and Petersfield, close to and on the A272. For the purposes of  this post, here I am only posting photographs of the listed buildings in Hinton Ampner, with Bramdean to follow at some point. Hinton Ampner is dominated by the Hinton Ampner House estate, now owned by the National Trust. The house and many of the nearby cottages and farmhouse are rented from the Trust. Along the main road towards Bramdean are four further listed buildings including an old school built in the 1700s due to a will of William Blake (not the William Blake, I don’t think) and the old toll building, Turnpike House. Hinton Ampner House was built in 1790, remodelled in 1875 and 1936, and much of what we see today was rebuilt after a fire in 1960. Next to the house is All Saints church and just down the hill, Hinton House, the imposing former rectory. Several thatched cottages were built on the hill up from the main road, and at the top are two large farmhouses, Godwins and Manor Farmhouse. Many of the cottages date back to the 1500s.

Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Mile End / Buckland (Listed Buildings)

There’s little pocket of Georgian and Victorian buildings hiding a few meters from the end of the motorway as you arrive in Portsmouth. 393 Old Commercial Road (the south end of Mile End Terrace) was the birthplace of Charles Dickens. Also nearby is All Saints Church next to the very busy roundabout and the former Market  Tavern, remodelled as accommodation for the ferry port just to the west.

Former Chapel Old Commercial Road Portsmouth 1885 387 and 389 Old Commercial Road Portsmouth c1800 379, 381 and 383 Old Commercial Road Portsmouth C19 Ferry House Lodge (Market House Tavern) Mile End Road Portsmouth c1840

393, 395, 397, 399 (Mile End Terrace) Old Commercial Road Portsmouth C18 393 (Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum) Old Commercial Road Portsmouth C18 391 Old Commercial Road Portsmouth C18

All Saints Church (North) Commercial Road Portsmouth 1827

All Saints Church Commercial Road Portsmouth 1827


Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: City Centre

Heavily bombed in the Second World War (and by a Zeppelin in the First) not so many Victorian or older buildings remain in this area of southern Landport. The photos below cover the University Quarter, Guildhall Walk and Square, Commercial Road (South) and West towards HMS Nelson. Mainly Victorian, the listed buildings are pubs, a former cinema, a theatre, assurance offices, banks, military and religious. Seemingly politics (Guildhall), finance (Prudential and Pearl), religion (the RC Cathedral and St Agathas), education (Park Building) and the military (Wardroom) compete for dominance of scale here. (Note that Park Building, behind the Guildhall, was covered in scaffolding today, so I used pictures I’d taken previously.)

Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Eastney (Listed Buildings)

Eastney is at the south east corner of Portsea Island, meeting Southsea to the west and Milton to the north. Mainly residential with its late Victorian and early C20 terraces, the area near the coast is dominated by the large barracks built in the 1860s. These impressive military buildings are now apartments and the Royal Marines Museum. They were Designed by William Scamp of the Admiralty Works Department and include a water/clock tower, and the longest barrack block after Woolwich. DW Lloyd says:

The carefully laid-out site beside the seashore reflects its use by Marines; it is also probably the last large defensible barracks built in the country. Part of the best and most complete barracks of the post-Crimean War period.

Immediately to the east and west are the Eastney forts. Just to the north is the Portsmouth Pumping Station with its Beam Engine House and associated boiler room and other listed buildings on the site. Also included here, although really in Southsea, are the Eastfield Hotel (by pub architect AE Cogswell) and St Patrick’s church (a most unusual and appealing church by GE Smith). Being so different to the municipal and military architecture, these are shown first and then all of the listed buildings of Eastney (apart from Fort Cumberland.)

Eastfield Hotel (The Eastfield) Southsea 1906

St Patrick's Church (North) Southsea 1906

Hampshire Architecture – Droxford

Droxford is a Hampshire village situated in the Meon Valley. It has the busy A32 running through the middle of it, with the river Meon just to the East along with the former Meon Valley Railway. Most of the old buildings are right on the main road, with some set back on Mill Lane and near the church. In the village you will find listed cottages and houses from the C15 to the C19, although mainly Georgian. Larger houses are the Manor House (II*), Fir Hill, West House and The Old Rectory (II*). Next to the river is the church, of Norman origin. Out of the village are some listed farmhouses, barns and their C18 granaries.

Here I present all of the listed buildings in the parish, except for a couple of barns that I couldn’t get access to. Thank you to all the property owners who gave me permission to photograph. My favourites today are The Malt House and Mill Cottage, appearing first.

The Malt House Droxford C18 Mill Cottage Droxford C16

Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Portsea and Gunwharf

Portsea was Old Portsmouth’s first suburb, outside of the defensive walls of the old town and of the naval base. Formerly known as Portsmouth Common, the area quickly outgrew Old Portsmouth. It was heavily bombed in WWII but dotted among the C20 and C21 redevelopments are a few C19 town houses, St George’s church in the New England Colonial style, and The George Inn. In Bishop Street there’s the old ironworks and warehouses of the Treadgold company, an interesting mix of former houses and C19 warehouses. A couple of the houses-turned-workshop hint at the former slums in this area. The university to the East has acquired the former barracks at Mildam, next to the registry office.

Just to the south is Gunwharf, the former HMS Vernon and ordnance site for the Royal Navy. Sold privately, some of the historic naval buildings have been very well restored: the impressive Vulcan Block, the infirmary and the Old Customs House, once the ordnance offices. Nearby is the former gated entrance and King James Gate, removed from Broad Street, Old Portsmouth.

At Home – Bill Bryson

I recently finished this very interesting and informative book. It’s basically a social history, in the context of the home. During the second half of the book I began to note extracts worth sharing. In my own words:


By the late C19, 80% of English wallpaper contained arsenic. William Morris’s famous greens were made from an arsenic-based pigment. Green rooms were suspiciously free of bedbugs. No wonder a change of air could really help health!

The average person today has more than 600 times more lead in their system than 50 years ago.

Lead poisoning can induce seeing halos around objects – an effect Van Gogh used. It is probable that he was suffering from lead poisoning, as many artists did.


The expression ‘sleep tight’ comes from when beds were made from a lattice of ropes that could be tightened.

When sleeping at an Inn before the 19th Century, it was common to share a bed with a stranger.


Visitors and residents at Versailles could be assured in 1715 that corridors and stairwells would be cleared of faeces weekly.

A typical report found that one London house had 3 feet of human waste in the basement. The yard was six inches deep with excrement, with bricks as stepping stones.


In the mid 1600s when buttons came in, people were very keen on them, sewing them in arrays in places they had no use. A relic of this is the row of buttons, often overlapping, on a suit jacket sleeve, serving no purpose.

Artificial moles in the late 1700s took shapes like stars and moons, worn on the face, neck and shoulders. For men, which cheek indicated your political leanings.

Around the same time, it became briefly fashionable to where false eyebrows made of mouse fur.


During the 20th Century, when stately homes became tourist attractions, one elderly resident refused to leave the sitting room while the horse racing was on. “She was voted the best exhibit.”

One person in Tanzania takes a year to emit the same carbon emissions as someone in Europe produces every 2.5 days, or 28 hours in the USA.

Highly recommended reading!

Hampshire Architecture – Later Southsea

TE Owen was responsible for some additional building away from the lodges and villas of western Southsea. At South Parade there is one of his terraces, and just behind in Eastern Villas Road, three more. He also built two chapels and a lodge at the Highland Road Cemetery. Elsewhere, the drained land of Southsea was quickly built upon, with road after road of terraced houses, generally developing west to east. Interspersed in these residential areas are the large Victorian and Edwardian structures: the schools, town churches, a former convent, and the entertainment centres of The Kings Theatre and The Plaza, which is now the mosque. Near the theatre is a set of mill cottages next to which there used to be a windmill. Here I present the listed buildings of Southsea, away from the western terraces and the main part of TE Owen’s Southsea.

Journal 8 June 2013

Yesterday’s shock hanging over me, Saturday was another day of excursions, driving for the school. Before setting off there were many well-wishes, “I heard about the news yesterday”, and “Did you sleep okay?”. I don’t know if it was the novelty or what but a lot of the students wanted to travel in my minibus. Perhaps because I didn’t say no to music being played. My only rule was “don’t have it so loud your crappy dock speakers distort” as they are fond of doing to foist their tracks as much as possible. So to a soundtrack of some kind of hispanic trance pop, pop and dance we headed towards Andover and Tree Runners It was easy to find, just off the A303, down a bumpy track into the woods.

I hadn’t expected to be able to join in due to numbers, but after chatting to one of the staff I asked if Petter and I could join in. No worries. We were fitted into our harnesses and then taught the clipping in system at ground level. The owner wanted me as a hand model and took close-ups of their system. Having been to a Go Ape before, it seems they have gone one step further with a clutch mechanism that ensures one clip is on the safety wire all of the time. It’s an easy system and reassuring. Just as well when you are meters up in the trees.

The courses are graded like a ski resort, easy to hard: green, blue, red and black. I never made it past the blue stage myself, but that was fear aplenty after yesterday. Good fear though, testing one’s mettle, yet entirely safe (although Petter did end up with some kind of heat graze). Everyone really enjoyed it, it seemed, and the students were having a great time on the red and black course. For me the zip wires were the best, way longer than at Alice Holt Go Ape, speeding deep into the forest to land on a padded platform. There’s some novelty sections too, like a snowboard and a bicycle. Perhaps the most scary is the leap of faith at the end of each run, where you step off the platform trusting the friction mechanism to lower you safely.

We ate lunch in the woods then went to Andover to kill time before our group booking at Stonehenge. I didn’t see more than the Lidl car park, not fancying a Saturday town centre. Some other students didn’t go far, preferring to get high on ice lollies.

Now to the unexpected quality of Gang Starr, we headed to Stonehenge not too far away. I’d been a few years before with my girlfriend’s brothers so knew what to expect of it these days. In the early 2000s I went to one of the summer solstice’s where you can go amongst the stones (and the thousands of people). Although back then it wasn’t such a popular and festival-like thing to do. When I was young, still in the 1970s, one could always walk up to the stones, but with more than a million visitors a year this is no longer possible. On the solstices they have to open it up as to try to keep people out got too violent.

Thing is with stonehenge, there’s not much to see if you don’t look and wonder, and if you are not careful it’s over in minutes. We had two hours before due to meet back at the vans. I wondered slowly around, taking some photos, struck at the openness of the site, marvelling at the fact the stones came from 150 miles away, appreciating the Lego-style blobs on the tops of the standing stone to fit into hollows of those on top. We also took some obligatory group photos. I’m on the left doing something or other:

Then while most of the group played around at making human henges and such, I sat down to while the time away, in the bright sunshine and stiff breeze. I was drawn to sit on a bench where a well-dressed lady was writing and observing the scene quite intently. Her attention was caught by our cheerful group, by this stage jumping into rows of arms. I said “I’m with them” and we got to talking about the school, a bit about Krishnamurti, and then about what she was doing there. Earlier we had passed a man doing very detailed drawings of the stones, in a kind of silver pencil. Very impressive work. It turns out the artist is her husband, Mark Anstee, and they’ve been coming to stonehenge for a project lasting for a year. He’s a well known artist and she works in television production I think she said, and also writes. Here’s their web site.

Gabi and I spent over half an hour talking and it was very pleasant and interesting, and relaxingly down-to-earth after yesterday. We talked about how stonehenge was, how it will be with the new visitor centre and side road closed, about who comes to visit and their habits, about their work, and about a man (or was it a woman?) I’d seen earlier in a robe and band of flowers around their long hair. I thought it was a man, some students thought it was a woman. Gabi told me s/he is transgender and designed the country’s air traffic control system(!) and is a leading scientist. On weekends s/he likes to come to stonehenge and is some kind of shaman.

This is exactly what I saw Mark working on on Saturday:

I just looked up their blog and Gabi wrote this about our group:

“A large education group of young people arrive on the grass and have the idea of recreating Stonehenge using bodies. They organise themselves into threes and attempt to build trilithons with two people holding someone planking above their heads with mixed results. They swiftly abandon this plan and go for another picture opportunity with five boys lining up with their arms outstretched while another takes an almighty run-up, and with an impressive leap, twists and lands accurately on the platform of arms. These guys are having the best time here.”

I like it when two blogs meet.

After quite some time I was cold and most of the group had completed the circular tour, so I moved on. There’s a ridiculously small visitor centre (=gift shop). I hope the new one is several hundred times better and suits this unique site. I wonder how the plump tourists will travel the mile from the new one to the stones.

Then it was time for a more mellow musical drive back to Brockwood and home for a quiet evening. I was in bed before 2030 and asleep before sunset.

Here’s some photos I took of the stones:Stonehenge 6

Stonehenge 7

Stonehenge 8

Stonehenge 3

Stonehenge 4

Stonehenge 5

Stonehenge 1

Stonehenge 2

Hampshire Architecture – TE Owen’s Southsea

In the 19th Century Southsea spread eastwards from the initial building east of the Portsmouth walls. This growth was slow at first, from around 1830-60, with the creation of the villa suburbs around Kent Road, Sussex Road, Queens Crescent, Portland Road, Grove Road South, The Vale and Villers Road. These roads were planned and built for the most part by TE Owen, who gave them a spacious feel with walled gardens, curved roads and gentrified villas, lodges and terraces. It’s some kind of leafy, expensive, stucco heaven. He centred this new suburb on St Jude’s Church (1851). To the south are Netley and Clifton Terraces, by Gauntlett.

Thank you to all the owners who allowed me on their property to get better views. Here I present the listed buildings of central Southsea, along with some general views, starting with my favourite today, 3 Queens Place:

3 Queens Place Southsea 1847 (Owen)

Hampshire Architecture – Southsea: The Terraces, Castle Road and King Street areas

In the early Nineteenth Century, building spread outside of the city’s defensive walls with their moats and vast ravelins. Facing the battlements to the west, running north to south, several terraces were established, beginning around 1809. Southsea meets Portsmouth here and the space offered must have been very appealing compared to the cramped conditions of Old Portsmouth and Portsea. From the north, the terraces are named Hampshire, Landport, King’s, Jubilee and Bellevue. Much of the area was bombed in WWII and since modified, but many of the early C19 houses survive, with the characteristic maritime bay windows seen in Old Portsmouth. Behind the terraces, small streets were established by skilled tradesmen: the ‘mineral streets’ of Croxton Town – but were all bombed. Just further east are Great Southsea Street and Castle Street, with many plain but stylish town houses, my favourite designs, and a couple of older villas, along with early 1900s pubs and antique shops. Southsea Lodge was built in the C18, before there really was a Southsea, and before it was a resort, in what must have been a fairly rural area. To the north are a couple of other pockets of C19 houses, in King Street and Gloucester View and Mews. Gloucester View is a well kept secret, a superb terrace of identical houses in a cul-de-sac. Gloucester Mews in Norfolk Street hints at Owen’s Southsea to come. Park Lodge may have been built by T. E. Owen’s father. Further west towards the old city are the former Clarence Barracks, now Portsmouth Museum, a quite spectacular affair built for officers, and the Victorian lower school of the grammar school.

Here I present the listed buildings of west Southsea, and Portsmouth east of the wall:

How King’s Terrace once looked:

Kings Terrace Southsea

Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: High Street, Penny Street, Peacock Lane, Grand Parade

Here we have the central area of Old Portsmouth. High street runs from just inside the now flattened defensive town walls, down to the coast near to the Square Tower, where it meets Broad Street and Grand Parade, just past the cathedral. At the north eastern end are the former Cambridge Barracks, now the Portsmouth Grammar School. In between are many C18 and C19 town houses, pubs and a former bank. Grand Parade is next to the Royal Garrison Church, and Penny Street runs parallel with the High Street, with a few surviving pre-war buildings. The narrow Peacock lane joins the two streets. Pembroke Road joins Old Portsmouth to Southsea, where along with Landport, gentrified properties overspilled when the old town got too crowded. The Cathedral was started in the C13 and underwent many additions over the centuries, including a large extension to the south west in the 1990s. To the north is Landport Gate, redesigned in 1760 and remaining in its original location but without the earth banks of the walls either side. Here are all the listed buildings of this area and a couple of street views:

A map of Portsmouth in 1762, showing the defensive walls and extent of the old town:

Portsmouth Map C18 1762

Hampshire Architecture – Portsmouth: Lombard Street, St Thomas Street, Broad Street, Bath Square

This area of Old Portsmouth feels very nautical, with narrow town houses, usually three story, squeezed in to form non-uniform terraces, many with those characteristic maritime bays on the first floor. Lombard Street and St Thomas Street are just east of The Camber harbour, with The Point being on the west side: Broad Street and Bath Square leading towards the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. All of this area was within the old walled city. Apart from the town houses, one can find fortifications, an old savings bank, historic inns, a former bathing house (Quebec House), the Popinjays warehouse, the sailing club and an old customs watch house with an observation hut. Most of the buildings are C18, with some C17 and C19. The landmark former Seagull Restaurant is from the early C20.

Lombard Street:Lombard St Portsmouth

The listed buildings of Lombard Street and St Thomas Street, Old Portsmouth:

Broad Street Portsmouth:

Broad St Portsmouth

The listed buildings of The Point / Spice Island, Old Portsmouth: