NOSTALGIA: Wrens' entrance to old Portsmouth barracks

The photograph I posted last week of one of the gates to the former Victoria barracks in Old Portsmouth was seen by Alan Hudspeth. It was taken at the junction of Victoria Avenue and Pembroke Road.

Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 9:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 2:46 pm
The entrance to Victoria Barracks. All the buildings have been demolished although the gate remains. Picture: Robert James Collection

Alan says: ‘It is the back gate to the barracks, if my memory serves me, and was only used for Wren officers to access their wardroom which ran parallel to Pembroke Road. The building was a mirror image of the one in Museum Road,’ he adds.

The windows and brickwork behind the left gate post is the rear fire escape from the Holiday Inn hotel. Today, the gate leads to Chatham Drive, a private residential estate.

What a shame these barracks were not converted as were the former Royal Marine Barracks at Eastney.

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NOW: The gate remains with the Holiday Inn replacing the former clock tower at the barracks.

n Thanks to Robert James’s postcard collection we have a pre-war view of Clarence Pier, Southsea, I have never seen before. At one time horse trams from the Town Station terminated on the pier so passengers could board cross-Solent ferries. The long building to the rear is the Esplanade Hotel. On the left is a rollercoaster, the forerunner of the Wild Mouse. Pembroke Road is behind the trees.

I have never seen an aerial view of Clarence Pier, Southsea, as it was before it was blitzed in the Second World War. Picture: Robert James