On both sides of the harbour, Pompey's fortifications, military garrison, dockyard, naval and air defence establishments-and much more-are fully featured in this enthralling new history ...
Portsmouth Harbour has offered a secure anchorage for fighting fleets since Roman times. The growth of `Pompey' from an adjunct to the ancient military centre at Portchester to the world's premier naval base in Britain's imperial heyday is fully explained and described in this new book, which, for the first time, brings together the history of the harbour's fortifications, military garrison, dockyard, naval and air defence establishments.
Portsmouth was an important naval base by the early Middle Ages, but it was not until the 18th century and the beginning of the long series of wars with France and Spain that it began its rapid rise to pre-eminence. Many establishments sprang up to support this growth, on both sides of the harbour. Naval, military and Marine barracks, the Gunwharf, the great Dockyard, Haslar Hospital, Priddy's Hard, Clarence Victualling Yard and the Gunnery School, HMS Excellent. All are fully featured in this comprehensive, yet compelling, condensation of tons of archives into a very readable book.
Not confined to the evolution of facilities and fortifications, the author's narrative highlights the many defensive and offensive innovations that were developed locally, and the parts played by such individuals as Jonas Hanway, Agnes Weston, Sarah Robinson, Admiral Sir Jacky Fisher, Dr. James Lind and William and Robert Froude. Well illustrated by carefully selected engravings and rare photographs, many never previously published, this book will undoubtedly become the standard work; essential to interested residents and visitors and of great value to naval and military historians everywhere.