Much of the historic High Street, once said to be one of the most attractive in the country, was destroyed during the Second World War and sadly few buildings survived.
As elsewhere, the post-war architecture was abysmal and bland.German bombs and post-war town planning transformed much of the heart of 19th century Old Portsmouth and Landport.
Although many interesting and historic buildings were lost, Southsea still retains an interesting mixture of late-Regency and Edwardian seaside resort: with elegant back streets of large 19th century middle-class houses, its own secluded shopping area, but leading into the more working-class districts around Albert Road and Fratton.
However, while there is little from before the 15th century, there are many good examples of the sheer variety of English architecturural styles, changing commercial fortunes and social history to be seen since then.
In his book Portsmouth In 50 Buildings (Amberley £14.99) Garth Groombridge explores Portsmouth’s rich history through some of its best architectural treasures.