Grand old wardroom for sale

The wardroom in Queen Street, Portsmouth
The wardroom in Queen Street, Portsmouth
Landport Gate, from Garth Groombridges book Portsmouth In 50 Buildings, published by Amberley at �14.99 					All pictures: Garth Groombridge

Stories behind Portsmouth’s historic gates

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You might have seen the report in The News that several MoD buildings will come on to the market soon to release land for even more building on Portsea Island.

One coming up for sale is the magnificent wardroom across the road from HMS Nelson’s main gate in Queen Street, Portsea.

The wardroom for officers from HM Barracks set for an official dinner. Note the murals.

The wardroom for officers from HM Barracks set for an official dinner. Note the murals.

I suppose with the reduction in naval numbers there are now far fewer officers than there were 50 years ago.

There must be many of you who used the wardroom, either as a billet or who worked there as a chef or steward? If so, I would like to hear your memories of this grand establishment.

In his book The History of the Royal Naval Barracks by Instructor Lieutenant DJ Dwyer, published in 1961, he tells of a silver replica of King Arthur’s round table presented to HMS Hampshire by the women of Hampshire in 1905.

The wooden staircase leading to the upper corridor is ornamented with carvings of ships and on the wall is a portrait of the Queen by Simon Elwes.

Flanking the entrance to the mess room were two carved and gilt panels from the Royal Yacht Alberta (1863-1912) presented by George V.

In the television room was a gong made from a shell case used at the siege of Nanking in 1813 and a hammer made from wood of HMS Formidable (1828-1869). Many other artefacts are mentioned in the book and I wonder if anyone remembers them.