Portsmouth City Museum

Portsmouth City Museum Portsmouth's leading Museum.Come along and enjoy a brilliant day out...FREE of charge! We are a 10 min walk from the City Centre and Portsmouth and Southsea train station. Free Parking in the Museum grounds 6 days a week, on street nearby.
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Did you get it? The chalk pits were the giveaway.That little detail comes from this gorgeous painting by J. Calcott 'Vie...
29/05/2020

Did you get it? The chalk pits were the giveaway.

That little detail comes from this gorgeous painting by J. Calcott 'View from Portsdown' with the chalk pits on the right. The view takes in the whole of Portsea Island which is looking very rural at this date of about 1850.

Calcott was a Portsmouth drawing 'professor' and artist born in 1804.

So while we were looking for images of Queen Street we came across some wonderful views from the Dowling collection too ...
28/05/2020

So while we were looking for images of Queen Street we came across some wonderful views from the Dowling collection too good not to share.

This is a view of the Royal Naval Arms on the corner of Queen Street and Military Row with the Royal Standard next door. Taken on 29th August 1963. We are just having a bit of trouble getting our bearings but think Lion Terrace is opposite.

Today's brain teaser is a bit more tricky. This is a detail from one of the oil paintings in the collection so see if yo...
28/05/2020

Today's brain teaser is a bit more tricky. This is a detail from one of the oil paintings in the collection so see if you can work out which one it is!

We have posted the whole painting before so it is already on our page somewhere, or you could pop over to Art UK to see all our oil paintings and see if you can track it down. Good luck!

Which monarch was it? It was Queen Anne in fact. There are lots of Queen Streets across the country and quite often they...
28/05/2020

Which monarch was it? It was Queen Anne in fact. There are lots of Queen Streets across the country and quite often they are named after Queen Victoria but in Portsea's case it is Anne for a very good reason.

The area we now know as Portsea began to develop at the end of the 17th century as the old town became overcrowded. The governor of the dockyard did not like the buildings as he was concerned that they would provide cover for anyone trying to attack.

In 1703 he threatened to demolish any buildings within range of the guns on the dockyard walls. The inhabitants petitioned Queen Anne to intervene and royal consent was given for the development in 1704.

So, thank you once again for suggesting things you would like to see from the collection. We recently had a request to l...
27/05/2020

So, thank you once again for suggesting things you would like to see from the collection. We recently had a request to look at paintings by The Coles and what a great opportunity to showcase this very talented local artistic family.

So, starting with George Cole who was born in Portsmouth in 1810. As a young man he was an apprentice in the Royal Navy Dockyard as ship’s painter. By all accounts he was a self-taught artist producing mostly portraits and animals paintings.

In later life he changed his subject matter to paint landscapes, which is what he earned a living from. Shown here are two works by George Cole titled 'Cato' and 'Scene in Hampshire' which capture his love of animals and nature.

27/05/2020

The quiz continues! Today's quiz question is which monarch is Queen Street named after and why?

Did you manage to sort these birds and animals out yesterday? So, here are the identifications of the creatures for you....
27/05/2020

Did you manage to sort these birds and animals out yesterday?

So, here are the identifications of the creatures for you. Animals on the top row from left to right are Tawny Owl, Collared Dover, Red Squirrel and animals on the bottom row from left to right are a Little Owl, Woodpigeon, Grey Squirrel

And the answer to the question, which of these animals are native to Britain and which have been introduced is...the Little Owl was introduced in the 19th century, the Grey Squirrel was introduced in the late 19th century or early 20th century and the Collared Dove in the 1950s.

Thought another of those lovely Cotton watercolours would be nice to end the day, love this view over the lake and like ...
26/05/2020

Thought another of those lovely Cotton watercolours would be nice to end the day, love this view over the lake and like all the others it has its own caption hand written in the album:

'The late Sir George Thomas Staunton was a great orientalist, having gone to China with his Father when he was only 16 years of age. He resided there the greatest part of his life. On his return to England in 1819 he purchased Leigh Park, and must have spent a vast deal of money in laying out the grounds so notoriously beautiful as they are. The accompanying views shew parts of the artificial lake in the lower part of the grounds bordering on the Forest of Bere...'

So, continuing with our quiz for this week we have a brain teaser from our natural history teamWhich of these animals ar...
26/05/2020

So, continuing with our quiz for this week we have a brain teaser from our natural history team

Which of these animals are native to Britain and which have been introduced? Answers tomorrow!

Sure you all stormed through that quiz yesterday but before we give you the answers we have a small confession. We got t...
26/05/2020

Sure you all stormed through that quiz yesterday but before we give you the answers we have a small confession. We got the date wrong on question 5, it should have read 1662 not 1660, sorry about that! Now, to put you out of your misery here are the answers:

1. 1194 Richard I
2. Alexandra Road
3. Buckland (Bocheland), Fratton (Frodintone), Copnor (Copenore), Wymering (Wimeringes), Cosham (Coseham)
4. Palmerston’s Follies. Lord Palmerston sanctioned the building of the forts when he was Prime Minister in 1860. The term ‘follies’ was used because by the time the forts were completed the threat of a French invasion had passed
5. Catherine of Braganza
6. The Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway. The trams originally ran from Horndean to Cosham, alongside the London Road (A3). By the mid-1920s the light railway trams used the Portsmouth Corporation tramlines to run all the way to Southsea
7. Hilsea Lido
8. HMS Vanguard. The world’s last battle ship launched 30th November 1944 and commissioned 12th May 1946. Vanguard was decommissioned 7th June 1960. She ran aground near the Still and West while being towed out of Potrtsmouth harbour to a breakers yard in Faslane, Scotland, on the 5th August 1960
9. Lieutenant-Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb
10. George Villiers Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham was stabbed to death by Lieutenant John Felton while staying at the Greyhound Inn (Buckingham House)

This week for a bit of fun we thought we would do a quiz, nothing too challenging especially today as it is a bank holid...
25/05/2020

This week for a bit of fun we thought we would do a quiz, nothing too challenging especially today as it is a bank holiday.

Here are today's questions and we will post the answers tomorrow.

1. In what year did Portsmouth receive it’s first Charter and who was it granted by?
2. What was Museum Road called before Portsmouth Museum opened in 1972?
3. Name one of the settlements in Portsmouth recorded in Domesday Book
4. By what name are the ring of Victorian forts that were built to defend Portsmouth known?
5. Who famously drank tea in Portsmouth when they arrived in the port in 1660?
6. If you were travelling from Horndean to Portsmouth between 1903-1935 which transport link would you have used?
7. Which public amenity opened in the north of the city in 1935?
8. What nearly demolished the Still and West in 1960?
9. Which Royal Navy Frogman stayed at the Sally Port Hotel before ‘disappearing’ in suspicious circumstances in 1956?
10. Which aristocrat was assassinated in a house in the High Street in 1628?

Great series on churches on Portsmouth Historic Environment Record and good to see paintings from the collection being u...
23/05/2020

Great series on churches on Portsmouth Historic Environment Record and good to see paintings from the collection being used in different ways!

The second St Mary’s was designed by Thomas Ellis Owen. Built in 1843, it provided an increased seating capacity for the rapidly expanding population in the parish. However, the design was not entirely practical, it was said to be dark and not all of the congregation could see the pulpit, and the church was only in existence for just over 40 years.

This painting shows the second church, which retained the 16th century bell tower

OK, we know you can't get enough of Edward King so due to popular demand we will post some more. This is Penny Street in...
23/05/2020

OK, we know you can't get enough of Edward King so due to popular demand we will post some more. This is Penny Street in 1941 which was extensively damaged by bombs during the Blitz.

It is definitely feeling more like summer and we have been thinking about green spaces again, or possibly dreaming of th...
22/05/2020

It is definitely feeling more like summer and we have been thinking about green spaces again, or possibly dreaming of them!

We noticed that you all loved that watercolour of Leigh Park and since it is one of a set we thought we had better post the others as well.

This is a view of the temple folly at Leigh Park looking north towards the house. The contemporary caption reads:

'This view is taken from a part of the grounds belonging to Leigh Park looking northward, shewing the Redhill School, Church and parsonage house; Sir Jervoise C. Jervoise's, and the clump of trees on Chalton downs. This distant trees on the right are in Stansted Park'.

Although the museum is still closed we are working to stay in touch with you. A few weeks ago we had loads of great sugg...
21/05/2020

Although the museum is still closed we are working to stay in touch with you. A few weeks ago we had loads of great suggestions for what you would like to see and we are back again to find out what you want.

Do you have a favourite exhibit you are really missing? Or perhaps a favourite painting in the collection you'd like to explore in more detail? Let us know!

Bees! Completely missed that it was World Bee Day so making up for it now, at least our colleagues over Cumberland House...
20/05/2020

Bees! Completely missed that it was World Bee Day so making up for it now, at least our colleagues over Cumberland House Natural History Museum are on the ball.

Happy #WorldBeeDay everyone! We've been cataloguing and identifying our bee specimens recently. The majority are over 100 years old and each one labelled with valuable data!
Below is a drawer of mining bees (Andrena sp.) and the gorgeous tawny mining bee which you may have spotted this spring!

Our thoughts have returned to ....the Dowling collection! Yes, still images to identify and we need your brains.This is ...
20/05/2020

Our thoughts have returned to ....the Dowling collection! Yes, still images to identify and we need your brains.

This is a great image, is this Fratton Road? Taken in 1961.

We also have this interior view of the Savoy ballroom filled with staff of Airspeed having their annual dinner in 1938, ...
20/05/2020

We also have this interior view of the Savoy ballroom filled with staff of Airspeed having their annual dinner in 1938, looks like social distancing was definitely not on the cards!

Noticed that our colleagues @PortsmouthHER are doing a piece about St Peter and St Paul Wymering today and it reminded u...
19/05/2020

Noticed that our colleagues @PortsmouthHER are doing a piece about St Peter and St Paul Wymering today and it reminded us of this lovely drawing by Harry Coish of the church with Fort Widley in the background.

Coish was a local artist that lived at 153 Fratton Road and we have several sketch books by him in the collection.

We have searched the collection for images of the Savoy Cafe and ballroom on South Parade as requested and came up with ...
19/05/2020

We have searched the collection for images of the Savoy Cafe and ballroom on South Parade as requested and came up with this one, which just captures the cafe on the left with South Parade pier on the right.

This photograph comes from a larger album of photographs of the area which were taken in August 1939.

A few weeks ago someone asked about either Kimbells or the Savoy ballroom and whether we had any images, apologies that ...
18/05/2020

A few weeks ago someone asked about either Kimbells or the Savoy ballroom and whether we had any images, apologies that we cannot remember exactly who asked!

To start with we picked this photograph of a dinner for the Canoe Lake Bowling Association at Kimbells taken on 3 November 1958 to mark the occasion of their winning of the District Shield.

Happy International Museums Day! Although museums across the world and in Portsmouth have had to shut their doors, there...
18/05/2020

Happy International Museums Day! Although museums across the world and in Portsmouth have had to shut their doors, there is still lots happening online. Check out our new websites if you have not seen them already https://portsmouthmuseums.co.uk/

We are really looking forward to when we can welcome everyone back to our buildings too.

Sadly it is the last day of Museum Week and we are ending on an opportunity to think about what the future might look li...
17/05/2020

Sadly it is the last day of Museum Week and we are ending on an opportunity to think about what the future might look like with #DreamMW

One particular painting in the collection has always prompted a bit of dreaming, Portsmouth Future by John Barker, a vision of what Portsmouth might be like in the future from the 1950s.

What does everyone want our future to look like? What would your dream be?

Do you enjoy drawing, painting, photography or any other sort of art? Good! We are launching our first online exhibition...
15/05/2020

Do you enjoy drawing, painting, photography or any other sort of art? Good! We are launching our first online exhibition The People's Gallery on our new website.

The gallery is open for submissions from the 18th May and the theme for the first exhibition is Pets from Home. Animals have always inspired artists to draw, sculpt and create. This lovely painting of Cato by George Cole is a great example from Portsmouth's collections.

So now it's your turn, we want to see your pets recreated in pencil, paint, collage, plasticine or however you want to show them off. Open to all abilities and ages.

Email your entries to [email protected] and the exhibition will open online at the beginning of June.

Today's theme for Museum Week is #ClimateChangeMW and what a relevant topic for Portsmouth since we live at or below sea...
15/05/2020

Today's theme for Museum Week is #ClimateChangeMW and what a relevant topic for Portsmouth since we live at or below sea level!

The city has lots of experience of being flooded and is one of our major concerns when thinking about climage change.

The image with the bus shows Copnor Road in Hilsea with a bit of a water issue some time in the 1930s. The other is Broad Street under water outside the offices of W. Fisher and Co. carriers, probably in the early 1900s.

Portsmouth has been flooded much more recently too, do you have any photographs of flooding that you could share?

Bet you thought we had forgotten all about those images of St George's Square? We haven't!This is from the Dowling colle...
14/05/2020

Bet you thought we had forgotten all about those images of St George's Square? We haven't!

This is from the Dowling collection and was taken in on 19 March 1963. There is a lot of construction activity on the left, possibly the building of Millgate House?

Yes, it's still #MuseumWeek! Today is #MuseumMomentsMW and what a great theme, chance for us to share some of our museum...
14/05/2020

Yes, it's still #MuseumWeek! Today is #MuseumMomentsMW and what a great theme, chance for us to share some of our museum memories and we would love to see any photographs you have of your visits to any of our museums.

So, time to share. First up is looking back to 2018 when Art UK came to photograph Portsmouth's sculpture collection. This was quite a challenge as we had to move every sculpture in the collection to the photographer and some are not small. This piece is 'Plumb Cannon' by Peter Startup, 1968 and was a bit tricky to handle! It is very heavy and had to be assembled in the right order.

As part of the #TogetherMW theme we also thought of how people can work together to oppose something that they feel is u...
13/05/2020

As part of the #TogetherMW theme we also thought of how people can work together to oppose something that they feel is unfair or infringes on their rights. That is the themem of this oil painting by E. Dugan titled 'The Battle of Southsea' which originally was fixed to the ceiling of the Barley Mow public house, Castle Road, Southsea.

The Battle of Southsea was a public protest in August 1874 when the company owning Clarence Pier closed the footpath between the pier and the adjacent assembly rooms, blocking the route along the seafront from Old Portsmouth. Local people burnt the barrier, but the following nights the pier was threatened and stones were thrown. On 7 August the mayor read the Riot Act and called in armed troops. While they stood by the police and special constables dispersed the crowd, afterwards being accused of excessive violence.

Today's theme for #MuseumsWeek is #TogetherMW, and it got us thinking about how long it is since the museum team have se...
13/05/2020

Today's theme for #MuseumsWeek is #TogetherMW, and it got us thinking about how long it is since the museum team have seen each other in the real world! Thank goodness for Zoom is all we can say. We can't wait until we can reopen the museums and our visitors can return and so can we!

Covid-19 is such a major event that has affected everyone in the city in many ways, whether you have suffered from the v...
12/05/2020

Covid-19 is such a major event that has affected everyone in the city in many ways, whether you have suffered from the virus, if you are a key worker in the NHS or a supermarket, if you are working from home or if you are finding ways to pass the time during lockdown.

We are thinking about how to tell this story in years to come. What do you think? What would you put in a museum collection for future generations to tell this story? We would love to hear from you, you can contact us on facebook or through our website https://portsmouthmuseum.co.uk/get-involved/collecting-covid/

Today we are celebrating the life of Florence Nightingale, who was born on this day 200 years ago.To mark the occasion w...
12/05/2020

Today we are celebrating the life of Florence Nightingale, who was born on this day 200 years ago.

To mark the occasion we are choosing a painting from the collection that not only commemorates her life but connects her to Portsmouth.

The party scene here shows a dinner given to welcome Portsmouth troops home from the Crimean War, where Florence Nightingale played a key role. She was originally intended to be guest of honour at this banquet but she and her team of nurses had been re-deployed to continue their war efforts elsewhere.

Even though she is not physically present in the picture, she would have certainly treated and have been responsible for the care and health of many of the troops shown here. The large decorative banner at the end of the marquee is testament to her exceptional courage and devotion to the sick and injured, and gives her pride of place in the history of Portsmouth.

A British social reformer, statistician, writer and the founder of modern day nursing, we raise a toast to you Florence Nightingale OM RRC DStJ

Our Museum Week theme continues, today everyone is being challenged to recreate works of art at home with whatever you h...
12/05/2020

Our Museum Week theme continues, today everyone is being challenged to recreate works of art at home with whatever you have to hand.

Christine, our curator of natural history was inspired to recreate our painting by H.C. Bryant of the market trader.

Why don't you have a go? If you need inspiration all our oil paintings can be see on the Art UK website https://artuk.org/ along with literally thousands of others, take your pick!

Today is #NursesDay as well as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale so we wanted to mark the occas...
12/05/2020

Today is #NursesDay as well as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale so we wanted to mark the occasion.

Portsmouth has been home to literally thousands of nurses over the years who have lived, trained and worked here. The two World Wars saw women volunteering to support the professional nurses like Mrs Buckley V.A.D. (Volunteer Aid Detachment) shown here from the First World War. She was mentioned in dispatches. This means that her name appeared in an official report written by a superior officer and was sent to the high command, her gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy would have been described.

A big thank you from all of us here to our nurses today working tirelessly to care for everyone suffering at this time.

Address

Museum Road
Portsmouth
PO1 2LJ

10 min walk from the City Centre and Portsmouth and Southsea train station.Free Parking in the Museum grounds, 6 days a week.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

Telephone

023 9283 4779

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Comments

There's two objects have been in the family a long time. They're only brass but always found them interesting. One looks a bit like the 'Free mart Fair' Hand but I now know would have once had a glass tube to hold a flower coming out of it. The other is a bell in the form of a Elizabethan woman, what made it fun was to make the noise she has two brass legs. Would you think Georgian as they liked brass? Neither valuable but old and loved.
In my job as archivist at the Kings theatre I have been doing some research on the Bluebell music hall which was situated in Gunwharf Road. It started life at the Bluebell inn in St Mary's Street Old Portsmouth. In 1878 it was destroyed when the soap works next door caught light but was rebuilt & became the South of England music hall. I wonder if there are any photographs of it as I have never seen one?
Tell them of us..the forgotton soldiers
Very interesting and staff just great .
https://vimeo.com/295274591 Might be of interest to the museum?
just had a thought , i remember someone saying there was a police station on the corner of lake road. some where along where the Pub used to be . next to the old portsmouth building school / radio victory and the undertakers Barrells ? .... them lampposts look like Police ones to me maybe 🤔
This is a real treasure for Portsmouth not only does it have a highly significant collection.but has put on some Excellent Exhibitions, will definitely visit this one
Hi does anyone know where the archaeological finds are kept these days? Especially finds from the past at Portsdowh Hill and Portchester Castle. Regards, Pam Gran
Morning all! Having recently moved into 1 Clarence Parade, Park House we're keen to find out more about it's history. Can anyone point us in the right direction? We've been to the city library and they're doing some digging for us. In Particular we're keen to find out more about the basement being filled in or covered over and about works that have taken place in the property since it was built. A build date would also be amazing to find! Also what was on the land before it was built. Thanks in advance.
R u open today and r u doing the Easter hunt?