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Portsmouth Town Defences

In the civil parish of Portsmouth.
In the historic county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Modern Authority of Portsmouth; City of.
1974 county of Hampshire.
Medieval County of Hampshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SZ63359910
Latitude 50.78786° Longitude -1.10228°

Portsmouth Town Defences has been described as a certain Urban Defence, and also as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The defences for Portsmouth were under construction between 1421 and 1424 but by 1539 they were so decayed that new ramparts had to be thrown up. These had fallen down two years later but were rebuilt in the late 16th century. During the Civil War Portsmouth was one of the most important and heavily defended south coast ports. The Royalist garrison was secure behind the medieval earth ramparts and stone walls until Portsmouth surrendered in September 1642. The fortifications were remodelled by Sir Bernard de Gomme between 1665-8 and a map by de Gomme shows that these defences were practically identical with those shown on the OS 25'' of 1867. By 1800 the town had become a military fortress. The town walls were demolished between 1871 and 1878. (PastScape)

Earth rampart raised on landward side of town in 1386, continued along seafront from 1560 and strengthened elsewhere by arrow head bastions. Now mainly demolished. Kings Bastion surviving part of Portsmouth's defences. Rebuilt to its present stone form in C17. Begun as an earthwork c.1522. Also The Saluting Platform - Battery Platform dated c.1522-1526 and altered in 1568. It was redesigned in the late C16 and early C19. In 1987 part of the wall collapsed during a storm. See also Round and Square Towers which survive and formed part of these defences. Murage granted in 1342 but town petitioned for its repel because of lost trade two years later.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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