Iconic road to Portsea now lies beyond navy walls

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At one time it was possible to walk from Lennox Row, Portsea through to Landport via the rear of the Royal Naval Barracks, Victory Barracks, which is now HMS Nelson, and the Royal Hospital along Flathouse Road.

The right of way passed to the outside of the Victorian wall for the whole distance from Portsea to the junction of Prospect Road and Flathouse Quay.

That was when the stone-built Unicorn Gate was one of the main entrances to the dockyard. Flathouse, as Flathouse Road was always shortened to, passed to the front of Unicorn Gate.

When security was tightened a new large wooden gate was set back a further 200 yards down Unicorn Road where it stands today.

The dockyard wall either side of the original was demolished and the gate made into a roundabout.

Flathouse Road now lies within the naval base and the majority is closed completely to the public.

A single length from Hope Street to Trafalgar Gate past Morrisons can still be used.

I was recently allowed within the dockyard (as oldens still call it) to take some photographs for my retake of Smitten City photographs and managed to take this shot of part of Flathouse Road today.

Owing to security I was not allowed to take a then-and-now of the black-and-white shot of Unicorn Gate but it was still a fascinating visit.

In the colour picture we see Flathouse Road today with the Unicorn Gate in the far distance.

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