Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Portsmouth Cathedral (Anglican) (Portsmouth)

The Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury stands in the High Street of Old Portsmouth, the original town from which this major maritime city grew.

John de Gisors gave a grant of land in 1180 to the Augustinians of Portsea, on which to found a church in honour of the recently murdered Archbishop.

The present building incorporates the transepts and the choir from this church.

During the Civil War, the nave and tower had to be demolished, as they had been so badly damaged, but Charles II decreed that money should be collected in churches throughout England for restoration, and in 1693 a new nave and tower were completed.

The see of Portsmouth was created in 1927, and more building work took place, only being completed in the final years of the 20th century.

The cathedral includes a major 13th century painting of the Last Judgement.

There is also a Navy Aisle, to which members of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines subscribed. It was erected in 1938.

There is a lantern on top of the tower, which has been acting as a beacon for ships entering Portsmouth Harbour since 1702.

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