Take three castles …

Over the last 12 months, I have had the good fortune to visit three castles – all with The Hound in tow – and they couldn’t have been more different. Take Southsea Castle, where in my mind’s eye, I can visualise a stressed and desolate King Henry VIII, standing proudly whilst watching his tried and tested flagship,…

Another day, another Castle!

I have visited Southsea Castle, Portsmouth, on more occasions than I care to remember but I have to say, on this last and most recent visit, the old girl is looking better than ever! Located on Southsea Beach, between the common and South Parade Pier, you can easily understand its strategic importance and why Henry VIII…

The Mary Rose Museum has landed …

From certain angles, the award-winning Mary Rose Museum has the look of a flying saucer, landing right next to Nelson’s historic flagship, HMS Victory in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.  When you step inside however, that is where the similarity ends – even though the technology that has brought us to this point in Mary Rose’s history is…

The Ragged School

My accountant, Chris Stolborg, told me about John Pounds and said his story was inspirational.  So, one fine day, I ventured out to the High Street in Old Portsmouth to the Unitarian Chapel named in his honour to find out more. Walking down the side of the church, I caught sight of a memorial to John Pounds…

The last days of Nelson …

As a proud Portsmuthian, you can’t live in this naval city without knowing a little bit about Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson – it would be unthinkable.  We have his flagship HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, his memorial atop Portsdown Hill and even Fort Nelson, one of Palmeston’s Follies – a brilliant museum to visit….

The best view of The Solent: Portsdown Hill

I would suggest to any Portsmouth visitor that they should first drive up to Portsdown Hill to gain an unbeatable vista over the city and the Solent.  Obviously it’s best when the weather is clement but that view is intriguing for me (and most locals) in any weather system. To orientate you, on the left hand…

Singular Statues: #7 King William III

I am just a little shocked at the excess shown by this double gilded gold-leafed vision of King William III, which stands at the eastern end of The Porter’s Garden of Portsmouth Dockyard, just inside the main entrance. You will be unsurprised to hear that it was sculpted “in the manner of the Caesars” by the…

Singular Statues: #6 Captain Robert Falcon Scott

This statue of Captain Robert Falcon Scott commemorating his ill-fated second expedition to the South Pole, stands at the western end of The Porter’s Garden of Portsmouth Dockyard, just inside the main entrance. Sculpted by his widow, Lady Kathleen in 1915, the Grade II listed bronze statue of Captain Scott with one of his faithful…

Singular Statues: #4 HMS Trafalgar Figurehead

I discovered this magnificent carved and decorated figurehead featuring Admiral Lord Nelson lying quite close to HMS Victory, his famous ship, in Portsmouth Dockyard one fine day.  As you can see, the right eye remains unpainted as he famously lost his sight in this eye in the siege of Calvi in 1794. Research relates that…

Pic of the Month: Doctor Who’s Tardis

I took this picture a couple of years back but truthfully, only really looked at it closely this week.  I was visiting Portsmouth Dockyard and had sat down for a quick cup of coffee between ship-spotting. Imagine my surprise when I spied a Tardis in my orbit!  As a Doctor Who fan, it certainly drew my…