Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Portsmouth Point (Portsmouth)

Portsmouth Point is one of the most historic parts of the outstanding maritime city of Portsmouth, in Hampshire.

As its name implies, it is a finger of land pointing across Porstmouth Harbour to Gosport. To the South is the Solent, and to the North is the Camber, the original harbour on which the earliest part of Portsmouth was built.

The Point was actually outside the town wall, and entered by one of the town gates. It long had a reputation for lawlessness, and even today is often known by its alternative name of Spice Island.

The foreshore leading to the Point is strengthened by a portion of the town walls, known as the Hot Walls. At the end of the walls nearer to the Point is the Round Tower, and at the other end is the Square Tower, with the Sally Port in between.

Running along the spine of the Point is Broad Street, with Bath Square ad West street running behind, on the seaward side. at the end, near the Still and Star pub, is now a public open space, complete with seats, which offers an unrivalled view of passing shipping of all sizes.

A print by Thomas Rowlandson, the hugely talented 18th century artist and caricaturist, showed a crowded and bustling scene at the Point.

This was used by William Walton in 1926 as the basis for his rollicking concert overture "Portsmouth Point".


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