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This website has been created to celebrate the History of Gosport.
Here you will find information about people, places, objects and events from Gosport’s past.

 

Gosport Heritage:
The 2016 RSA Heritage Index places Gosport 7th in the Top 10 Heritage places in England. Its overall score was in the top 3% whilst for Industrial Heritage it was in the top 0%.

 

Location:
Gosport is located in the south of England, on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour, with extensive views over Portsmouth, north to Portchester and beyond, to the chalk hills of the south downs and south, across the Solent, to the Isle of Wight.

 

Beginnings:
Gosport began as small fortified seaport on the west side of Portsmouth Harbour and for many years served as an important Garrison Town with connections to the Royal Navy.

Many of its military buildings still survive, including Fort Blockhouse, some of the great Victorian Land Front Forts and The Clarence Yard complex, now converted to modern use.

Seals of Alverstoke and Gosport

 

Gosport Town Origins:
Bishop Godfrey de Lucy’s endowment charter of 1204 gave Winchester Cathedral “all the profit that reasonably results from the newly built town at the haven in the Manor of Alverstoke….” In 1922 the parish of Alverstoke was united with Gosport. King George V granted a Municipal Borough Charter to Gosport and Alverstoke on 4th November 1922.

 

The origin of the name, Gosport, is still to this day rather vague. Legend tells of the landing in mid 12th century of Henry de Blois, the Bishop of Winchester, caught in a fierce storm when returning from Normandy and brought ashore by local fishermen. He decreed that the place be called God’s Port, these words ‘God’s Port Our Haven’ are shown on the Gosport crest designed by local artist Martin Snape in 1922. Another derivation, Goss Port, is based on the gorse or goss that prevailed on the shores of creeks in the area. Finally Goose Port is another possibility. The earliest absolute fact is that a place called Goseport existed it 1241.
(God’s Port the Origins of Gosport by Philip Eley)

 

Gosport Town today:
Gosport is now home to Explosion Museum at Priddy’s Hard, The Submarine Museum at Haslar and the Diving Museum at Stokes Bay. It has a Discovery Centre with a small ‘Museum on the Mezzanine’.

 

There are some beautiful buildings such as the Victorian New Barracks later, St. George Barracks, and Clarence Yard with the Victorian Gosport station nearby. It has fine churches such as St. Mary’s at Alverstoke, St. John’s at Forton, St. Thomas at Elson and Holy Trinity church in the town centre with its Handel organ.

 

It has a sheltered beach at Stokes Bay with many opportunities for water sports and superb views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Gosport has a cross harbour ferry connecting it with Portsmouth city.

 

If you have any information or research that you would like to share then please contact the webmaster. webmaster@gosportheritage.uk