Ten things you didn’t know about Portsmouth

You obviously know that Portsmouth is home to the Emirates Spinnaker Tower which is 560ft tall and weighs 30,000 tonnes. However, here is what you may not know about the city of Portsmouth …

10) Portsmouth or ‘Portis Mouth’ was discovered to exist on the oldest surviving map from 1360 and was signified on the map by one red bricked building.

9) Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth and later included the city in his novel ‘Nicholas Nickleby’.

8) Other literary greats have also spent their time in Portsmouth including Rudyard Kipling and H. G. Wells. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, even practiced as a doctor in Southsea and wrote fiction while waiting for patients. In fact Doyle’s medical colleague was named Dr. Watson!

7) Two paintings of the artist Turner that were believed to be of Venice were later discovered in 2003 to be a depiction of Portsmouth.

6) Despite being built with 11,000 cubic metres of concrete, the Spinnaker Tower was structurally designed to sway in the wind.  At 115 metres up and in high winds, the Tower can flex approximately 150mm.

5) The Gosport Ferry has existed for centuries and back in 1809 the boat used was a double-ended rowing boat named a ‘Wherry’. This is in stark contrast to the large ferry boats which carry 297 passengers between Gosport and Portsmouth today.

5) Lord Nelson ate his last breakfast on English soil in Portsmouth at The George Inn before departing to join the HMS Victory. Unfortunately, this inn was destroyed in the 1940 World War 2 air raids on Portsmouth.


3) Many musical greats of the past and present have graced the Portsmouth Guildhall stage since its opening in 1890. These artists included The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.

2) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and ‘Terminator’, once lived in Portsmouth and was a member of a Southsea gym in the 1960s.

1) Portsmouth Football Club is a record holder for gaining the title of FA Cup Champions for the longest time. This was largely due to World War 2 – which cancelled the competition for 7 years after Portsmouth’s victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1939.