Walk back in time to mark Gunwharf's 15th birthday

To celebrate Gunwharf Quays's 15th birthday there will be a series of free historical walks around the site.

Friday, 12th February 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 7:20 am
The impressive Vulcan Building at Gunwharf before it became HMS Vernon with a range of naval armaments ready to be fitted to ships. Picture: costen.co.uk

They start tomorrow, run until February 21 and include visits to the 1814 Grand Storehouse, Nelson’s Gate and the Old Customs House.

The tour guide, Michael Underwood, last year published Gunwharf Quays – a Guide to the History of the Site.

His experience as the architect responsible for repairing and conserving the historic buildings at Gunwharf during its development means he is perfectly qualified to tell the unique story of the site.

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The Vulcan Building today, restored to its original magnificence. Picture: César Moreno Huerta PPP-160126-143434001

Each tour lasts 45 minutes and for the timings go to gunwharf-quays.com/history.

Although Gunwharf Quays opened on February 28, 2001, the complex starts its celebrations on Monday with a special cake-cutting ceremony by the lord mayor of Portsmouth at 3pm

Yesterday we looked at HMS Vernon, the ‘stone frigate’ which preceded Gunwharf Quays before it was redeveloped over six years into one of the south’s leading shopping, residential and leisure complexes.

Today we recall the building programme which transformed the site.

Blake House in a view from the upper penthouse level under construction in 2001
The huge hole excavated for Gunwharf Quays's massive underground car park with The Hard in the background
A site you will rarely see today - a deserted Gunwharf Quays shortly before it opened in February 2001
The Vulcan Building today, restored to its original magnificence. Picture: César Moreno Huerta PPP-160126-143434001
Blake House in a view from the upper penthouse level under construction in 2001
The huge hole excavated for Gunwharf Quays's massive underground car park with The Hard in the background
A site you will rarely see today - a deserted Gunwharf Quays shortly before it opened in February 2001