Guildhall Square - before it became pedestrianised

Photograph of Town Hall Square taken in 1902.
Photograph of Town Hall Square taken in 1902.
A little fuzzy perhaps but here we see Portsdown Hill Road where it meets London Road. The George pub would be on the right behind the soldiers. 'Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: PoWs forced to cut height of Portsdown Hill

0
Have your say

Long before the Spinnaker Tower was erected, Portsmouth had another landmark synonymous with the city: the Guildhall.

But while the familiar steps and clock tower have changed little over the years, the Guildhall Square has changed a lot.

A photograph of the Town Hall Square taken in the middle of the twenties, with the Hippodrome in the distance

A photograph of the Town Hall Square taken in the middle of the twenties, with the Hippodrome in the distance

In the first photograph, we see a view taken in 1902 from the high level platform of what was then the town station.

Unfortunately it is impossible to take the same shot today.

Several buildings can be seen which remained until the square was made a walk-through in the early ’70s, the Sussex pub on the left being one of them.

Queen Victoria’s statue looks over the scene in the distance. She too was removed to be placed where she is today outside the Civic Offices.

The second photograph shows the same view but taken some 20 years later – it appears to be the mid ’20s by the dress.

It is definitely after 1907 as the Hippodrome theatre can be seen towering over everything in the distance. It was opened on May 13, 1907 and closed its doors after being destroyed by bombing on January 10, 1941.

News of this tragic event had a huge impact on the community, it being a popular social venue.

Both of these photographs also show what the Guildhall Square looked like before it was pedestrianised.

A tram stop has been located in the square by this date.