Portsmouth gate is a solid part of the past

An archive picture of King James Gate and, inset, as it is now
An archive picture of King James Gate and, inset, as it is now
Portsmouth in 1717 (from William Gates History of Portsmouth, 1900)

NOSTALGIA: A seed of learning planted 300 years ago that’s blossomed into Portsmouth Grammar School

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No doubt many of you have visited the United Services sports ground in Burnaby Road, Landport.

I know I used to watch Hampshire play there before they moved all games to what used to be called the Rose Bowl. Indeed, I even managed to get Fred Trueman’s autograph.



One of the gates into the ground has a white edifice which most would think rather decorative for a cricket ground. This is, or was, King James’s Gate and was part of the gateway that led from Point or what is now commonly known as Spice Island.

It was located at the east end of Broad Street and at one time was fronted by a moat and drawbridge.

It was built in 1687 and removed when the ramparts of the old town were taken down in 1860. It was first moved to St Michael’s Road and then later to its present position.

Sadly most of the upper stonework was lost in these moves, but it still remains a solid part of Portsmouth’s past.