25 amazing old Royal Navy scenes at Portsmouth Harbour

We thought we’d give you an insight into Portsmouth Harbour from the past. You probably won’t have seen the majority of these images before.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 6:09 pm
French prizes brought into Portsmouth Harbour after Lord Richard Howe’s victory in the naval Battle of Ushant, or the Glorious First of June, during the French Revolutionary Wars, June 1794. Illustration by Rawlandson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
French prizes brought into Portsmouth Harbour after Lord Richard Howe’s victory in the naval Battle of Ushant, or the Glorious First of June, during the French Revolutionary Wars, June 1794. Illustration by Rawlandson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Some of the photos in the galley date back as far as 1770 and span 200 years of Portsmouth’s history.

They give a real idea of what life was like on the waters for the Royal Navy in our harbour years ago and includes many navy vessels that of course are long gone now.

There’s a wealth of historic information that is a delight to absorb.

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A small boat approaching the entrance to Portsmouth harbour, circa 1810. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Join our new Portsmouth Retro Facebook group to find more fascinating photos and memories from Portsmouth’s past.

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Portsmouth Harbour, situated on Portsea Island in Hampshire, circa 1890. (Photo by F. J. Mortimer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
17th February 1906: The most powerful battleship in the world, the HMS 'Dreadnought' at its launch by the King at Portsmouth. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The harbour at Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, circa 1770. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Aerial view on the HMY Britannia sailing to Portsmouth Harbour, UK, 30th May 1965. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
23rd May 1970: Six Sea Cadets stand atop the Polaris submarine HMS Resolution while it docks in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Prison Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour - 1806. From the original painting by Hoppey Turner in the possession of Major E. Emanuel, The Hard, Portsea, Portsmouth Harbour. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The harbour at Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, circa 1790. Original Publication : The Modern Universal British Traveller (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Boats approaching Portsmouth Harbour in choppy seas, circa 1837. Engraved by Finden after a drawing by J D Harding from a sketch by Jendle. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Aerial view the flight deck of the Royal Navy Audacious-class fleet aircraft carrier HMS Eagle as tugboats ease her towards the dockside of Portsmouth harbour to be paid off and scrapped on 26 January 1972 at Portsmouth, United Kingdom. The commando carrier HMS Albion is docked behind HMS Eagle. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images).
The Royal Navy Dreadnought battleship HMS Agincourt with her 7 × twin BL 12-inch Mk XIII guns at anchor in Portsmouth Harbour circa 1914. was originally built to be the Brazilian Navy Rio de Janeiro but was sold whilst under construction to the Ottoman Empire as the Sultan Osman I but on the outbreak of the First World War the British government seized her for use by the Royal Navy, together with another Ottoman dreadnought being constructed in Britain. This act caused resentment in the Ottoman Empire, as the payments for both ships were complete, and contributed to the decision of the Ottoman government to join the Central Powers. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
November 1929: Two Submarines from Chile docked at Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire, circa 1880. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty stands on the conning tower with the officers and crew of the Royal Navy D-class submarine HMS D2 as it leaves Portsmouth Harbour for Spithead on 6 November 1911. D2 was later rammed and sunk by a German patrol boat off Borkum on 25 November 1914, leaving no survivors. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
24th August 1937: Sea Ranger girls of the Girl Guides Association training at Portsmouth. (Photo by A. Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
circa 1900: The old battleship, HMS St Vincent, at Portsmouth. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
11th June 1934: German cruiser, the Leipzig, in the English Channel on its way to Portsmouth harbour, England. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
20th August 1936: Sea Cadets learning how to tie knots on board the training ship 'Implacable' in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
20th August 1936: British sea cadets on board the training ship 'Foudroyant' in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
20th August 1936: Sea Cadets on board the training ship HMS Implacable at Portsmouth harbour, amuse themselves by playing some tunes. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
20th August 1936: Sea Cadets being soaked on board the training ship 'Implacable' in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
11th July 1934: The cruiser Leipzig becoming the first German warship to visit Britain since 1914 as it arrives in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by R. Wesley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Picture released on June 1944 of US Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) in Portsmouth Harbour prior to the Normandy landing, France. (Photo by - / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)
20th August 1936: Sea Cadets receiving instruction in boat drill on board the training ship 'Foudroyant' in Portsmouth harbour. (Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
French prizes brought into Portsmouth Harbour after Lord Richard Howe’s victory in the naval Battle of Ushant, or the Glorious First of June, during the French Revolutionary Wars, June 1794. Illustration by Rawlandson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)