Portsmouth City Museum

Portsmouth City Museum Portsmouth's leading Museum.Come along and enjoy a brilliant day out...FREE of charge!

This has just been given to us, gorgeous! A big thank you to all our donors as you help make the city's collection amazi...
12/07/2019

This has just been given to us, gorgeous! A big thank you to all our donors as you help make the city's collection amazing.

The return of the mystery photographs is here! Great photograph of the backs of a lot of buildings by Mr Dowling but not...
11/07/2019

The return of the mystery photographs is here! Great photograph of the backs of a lot of buildings by Mr Dowling but not clearly identified. We think the building on the top left must be a cinema, but which one?

10/07/2019

Someone asked for a complete translation of the original charter text...so here it is 😊 Once the copy has returned to the Bodleian our charter display will continue, details to follow.

Translation kindly supplied by our resident knight who will be doing a couple of lovely events on the 8th and 15th of August talking about the clothing and armour of a knight in the 12th century.

"Ricardus, Dei gracia rex Anglie, dux Normannie, Aquitanie, comes Andegauie, archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, iusiticariis, uicecomitibus, balliuis, ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis tocius terre sue, salutem.

(English Trans - Richard, by the Grace of God King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justices, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Ministers and all faithful men of his land, greetings.)

Sciatis nos retinuisse in manum nostram burgum nostrum de Portesmues, cm omnibus ad eum pertinentibus, et in eo stabilisse, et dedisse et concessisse nundinas duraturas semel in anno, per quindecim dies ad Vincula Sancti Petri scilicet. Concessimus eciam quod omnes homines nostri Anglie , Normannie, Aquitanie, Andegauie, Pictauie, Wallie, Scocie, et omnium terrarum nostrarum et aliarum, ueniant ad predictas nundinas, et eant et redeant, bene et in pace, et haabeant omnes quietancias et liberates quas habent ad nundias Wyntonie, uel Hoiland, uel alibi in terram nostram. Concessimus eciam quod burgenses nostri in eodem burgo habeant singulis ebdomadis anni una die septimane, die Iouis scilicet, mercatum, cm omnibus liberatatibus et libris consuetudinibus quas ciues nostri Wyntonie, uel Oxenford, uel alii terrarum nostrarum habent, uel habere debeant. Concessimus eciam quod predicta uilla de Portesmues, et omnes burgenses nostri in ea, et de ea tenentes, quieti sint et liberi theoloneo, et pontagio, et passagio, et pedagio, paagio, et stallagio, et talliagio, et de schiris et hundredis, de sectis schirarum et hundredorum, et de summonicionibus et auxiliis uicecomitum et seruientium, et placitis et querelis omnibus, et de blodwita, et de fithwita, et leerwyta, et de wapentacio, et de placito foreste, et guardo et regardo foreste, et de omnibus aliis secularibus exactionibus, tam per mare quam per terram, ubicumque uenerint in totam terram nostram.

(English Trans - Know that we have retained our Borough of Portsmouth in our hands, with everything pertaining to it, and have established therein, and given, a fair which shall last for fifteen days every year, namely at the feast of St Peter in Chains. We have also granted that all our men of England, Normandy, Anjou, Poitou, Wales, Scotland and all our lands, as well of others, may attend the said fair, and come and go, safely and in peace, and that they may have all the acquitannces and liberties they have at the fairs of Winchester, Holland, or elsewhere in our land.We have also granted that our Burgesses in the same Borough may have a market on one weekday every week, namely on Thursday, with all the liberties and free customs which our Citizens of Winchester, or Oxford, or others of our land have, or ought to have. We have also granted that the said town of Portsmouth, and all our Burgesses therein, and holding thereof, shall be quit and free of toll, and pontage, and passage, and pedage, and payage, and stallage, and tallage, and of shires and hundreds, and of suits of shires and hundred, and of Sheriffs' and sergeants' summones and aids, and all the pleas and plaints, and of *bloodwite, and *fightwite, and *leirwite, and of *wapentakes, and of please of the forest, and of forest guard and regard, and of all secular extractions by sea and by land, wheresoever they may come, in all our lands.)

Quare uolumus et firmiter precipimus quod predicta uilla de Portesmues, et burgeneses nostri in ea tenentes, mansiones suas et posssessiones habeant et teneant, cm thol et theam, et infangenteof et utfangenetheof, et cm omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus, ita bene et in pace, libere et quiete, sicut ciues nostri Wyntonie et Oxenford, uel alii de terra nostra, melius, et liberius et quiecius possessiones suas et liberates habent et tenent, et prohibemus ne ponantur in placitum de aliquo tenemento eiusdem uille nisi coram nobis, et prohibemus ne quis eos disturbet in aliquo, super forisfacturam nostram.

(English Trans - Wherefore we do will, and firmly order, that the said town of Portsmouth, and our Burgesses holding thereof, shall have and hold their houses and possessions there, with toll and team, and *infangenthief and *outfangenthief, and with all liberties and free customs, as well and peacefully, and freely and quietly as our Citizens of Winchester, or Oxford, or others of our land well, and free, and quietly have and hold their possessions and liberties. And we forbid that they should be impleaded for any tenement of the same town except before us, and that anyone should disturb them, upon pain of forfeiture to us.)

Hiis testibus: Willelmo de Sancte Marie Ecclesia, magistro Philippo, Gaufridi filio Petri, Roberto filio Rogeri, Gaufrido de Say, Willelmo de Stagno, Willelmo Mallium. Data per manum Willelmi de Longocampo, Elyensis episcopi, cancellarii nostri, apud Portesmues, secundo die Maii, anno regni nostri quinto.

(English Trans - These being witnesses: William de Ste-Mere-Eglise, Master Philip, Geoffrey FitzPeter, Robert Son of Roger, Geoffrey de Say, William de Stagno, William Mauleon, Given by the hand of William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, our Chancellor, at Portsmouth, on the 2nd day of May in the 5th year of our reign.)" - Portsmouth's Royal Charter, 2nd of May 1194.

Portsmouth City Museum
10/07/2019

Portsmouth City Museum

The D-Day Story
10/07/2019

The D-Day Story

26-27 July: Join us for a packed programme of Q&A sessions, workshops and drop-in activities with some of the world’s leading specialists on D-Day and the Normandy campaign. Speakers include John C. McManus, Julie Summers, Richard B. Frank and David Kohnen. All sessions are included in our ticket price.

The Festival of Knowledge aims to make academic research and ideas accessible to all. Whatever you know (or don’t) about D-Day, you are welcome to come and take part.

Download the programme and booking information at: https://theddaystory.com/festival-of-knowledge/

Catch it before it goes! The 14th century copy of Portsmouth's first charter will be returning to Bodleian Libraries ver...
09/07/2019

Catch it before it goes! The 14th century copy of Portsmouth's first charter will be returning to Bodleian Libraries very soon. It will be on display until the 21st July, so pop over and see it while you still can.

Portsmouth City Museum's cover photo
19/06/2019

Portsmouth City Museum's cover photo

We are glad everyone is enjoying the Portraits of D-Day Veterans exhibition.Talking of portraits, this week is your last...
19/06/2019

We are glad everyone is enjoying the Portraits of D-Day Veterans exhibition.

Talking of portraits, this week is your last chance to take a look at the photographic portrait of Brunel on loan to us from the National Portrait Gallery. Sadly it will be on its way back to London on Monday. Catch it while you can!

Very excited to announce the opening of a new display 'Portraits of D-Day Veterans' here at Portsmouth Museum featuring ...
31/05/2019

Very excited to announce the opening of a new display 'Portraits of D-Day Veterans' here at Portsmouth Museum featuring 12 portraits on loan from the Royal Collection Trust. The exhibition runs from 1 June to 1 September 2019, admission free.

The portraits were commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales to pay tribute to some of the remarkable men who played a role in the Allied Invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, 75 years ago this year.

Also on display is work by local portrait artist Karl Rudziak and photographs of veterans by contemporary photographer Stuart Wood.

Everyone keeps asking where has Bunny gone, well, she is still here!Bunny says 'Feels like I have been here ages. They h...
15/05/2019

Everyone keeps asking where has Bunny gone, well, she is still here!

Bunny says 'Feels like I have been here ages. They have got me working now, I have been learning about how the computer has this big list of stuff that is in the museum and it tells you where it all is! I tested it out with one of my new friends, she looks after all the paintings here'

This week is your last chance to come and see the fabulous Royal Academy @ Portsmouth show in our first floor picture ga...
13/05/2019

This week is your last chance to come and see the fabulous Royal Academy @ Portsmouth show in our first floor picture gallery. The last day will be Sunday 19th May.

Image: Landscape by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder

Just in case you were wondering, yes, Bunny is still here.Bunny says 'The humans decided that I needed to get to know Po...
07/05/2019

Just in case you were wondering, yes, Bunny is still here.

Bunny says 'The humans decided that I needed to get to know Portsmouth if I was staying for a while. Someone called Hatch the Tudor dog at The Mary Rose Museum has already heard about me and asked me over. Had a really exciting time, met Hatch and saw Henry VIII's ship. Asked Hatch if he would like to come to Portsmouth Museum, although not sure how he will manage it!'

Hope everyone had a fabulous bank holiday weekend. Thinking about May holidays reminded us of this lovely image in the c...
07/05/2019

Hope everyone had a fabulous bank holiday weekend. Thinking about May holidays reminded us of this lovely image in the collection of one of Portsmouth's horse drawn fire engines decorated for a May Day procession in 1910.

Brand new donation came in yesterday from Aden Light, found under a floorboard in Shirley, Southampton! Lovely thing rel...
02/05/2019

Brand new donation came in yesterday from Aden Light, found under a floorboard in Shirley, Southampton! Lovely thing relating to a local brewer and great image of Southsea castle too.

Happy Birthday Leonardo!
02/05/2019

Happy Birthday Leonardo!

Today marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death.

The Italian Renaissance master made a number of sketches depicting the infant Christ playing with a rather reluctant-looking cat – these drawings were done on opposite sides of the same piece of paper 🐱🐾

What’s your favourite work by Leonardo?

This is a bit of a lucky dip, came across this from a group of slides.  Great view of Commercial Road but not date on it...
01/05/2019

This is a bit of a lucky dip, came across this from a group of slides. Great view of Commercial Road but not date on it. Late 70s maybe or early 80s?

Bunny says 'Felt like I needed to get some exercise today, tried to go upstairs but they are enormous! Someone helped an...
01/05/2019

Bunny says 'Felt like I needed to get some exercise today, tried to go upstairs but they are enormous! Someone helped and I got to see Isambard Kingdom Brunel's baptism in this big book. Is he someone famous?'

We have had a break from the fabulous Dowling collection but we are back to cataloguing. This one popped up as a bit of ...
30/04/2019

We have had a break from the fabulous Dowling collection but we are back to cataloguing. This one popped up as a bit of a mystery. Not entirely sure this is Portsmouth?

Bunny says 'Been here three days now, its not so bad and today I went to a talk all about how Portsmouth started. I enjo...
30/04/2019

Bunny says 'Been here three days now, its not so bad and today I went to a talk all about how Portsmouth started. I enjoyed the pictures and met some nice people. This man works with all the old documents that tell us about our history, wonder who else I will meet?'

Out today a new edition of Portsmouth Paper number 65.  Sarah Quail, the former City Archivist, provides an original, re...
30/04/2019

Out today a new edition of Portsmouth Paper number 65. Sarah Quail, the former City Archivist, provides an original, readable and thoroughly researched account of the foundation of Portsmouth and the granting of the city's first charter, 825 years ago. On sale in the museum shop!

This paper reveals a story of political intrigue, betrayal and war, the story of the founder of Portsmouth, Jean de Gisors, showing him to have been a wealthy Norman baron, from a family embroiled in the power politics of 12th century England and France.

Ultimately choosing the French side, de Gisors' English property was confiscated by Richard I. Richard, recognising the strategic value of Portsmouth, made the town a royal borough.

The paper fully explains the meaning of the charter, and explores how the town developed as a self-governing, independent community.

Great day with the warriors and followers from Historia Normanis, we hope to do it again!
28/04/2019

Great day with the warriors and followers from Historia Normanis, we hope to do it again!

Well, I am still here but thank you to everyone who has tried to reunite me with my family. I hung out with the knights ...
28/04/2019

Well, I am still here but thank you to everyone who has tried to reunite me with my family. I hung out with the knights a bit yesterday and now taking it easy on reception, keeping my eyes open just in case....

The knights are open for business, pop along and enjoy the shire court, weapons demonstrations and later on a fashion sh...
27/04/2019

The knights are open for business, pop along and enjoy the shire court, weapons demonstrations and later on a fashion show! The sun has even come out 😊

Morning! I got lost at Portsmouth Museum so would love my family to come and get me. The place is full of Medieval knigh...
27/04/2019

Morning! I got lost at Portsmouth Museum so would love my family to come and get me. The place is full of Medieval knights today which is a bit scary but they have been nice to me so far.

Don't miss this great opportunity to see the rest of Portsmouth's official charters which are on display near the Lord M...
24/04/2019

Don't miss this great opportunity to see the rest of Portsmouth's official charters which are on display near the Lord Mayor's parlour, book your place now!

To celebrate the 825th anniversary of Portsmouth's first Charter, Archivists from Portsmouth History Centre will be conducting tours of the City Charters at Portsmouth Guildhall. The original 1194 Charter no longer exists, but the surviving charters range in date from Edward II to Elizabeth II, and are among the earliest records in the City Archive.

See poster for dates and times. Places are limited so please book by telephoning 023 9268 8046 or at any Portsmouth Library.

Other than the fact he gave us our first charter, the reign of Richard I is full of fascinating stories, check this out ...
20/04/2019
8 facts about Richard the Lionheart

Other than the fact he gave us our first charter, the reign of Richard I is full of fascinating stories, check this out for starters https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/8-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-richard-the-lionheart/?utm_source=Twitter%20referral&utm_medium=t.co&utm_campaign=Bitly

Richard I (1157–99) – aka Richard the Lionheart – is remembered for being a chivalrous medieval king; for battling Saladin during the Crusades; and for rebelling against his father, Henry II (1133–89). His name has become an English legend, but how much do you know about him? Was he really b...

It has arrived! So excited to say that the gorgeous 14th century manuscript containing a copy of Portsmouth's first char...
19/04/2019

It has arrived! So excited to say that the gorgeous 14th century manuscript containing a copy of Portsmouth's first charter has arrived safely from the Bodleian Library and is on display in our first floor picture gallery.

Not only can you see the document but hear it being read in Latin and English, an experience not to be missed.

Don't miss our new display opening on the 19 April to mark the 825th anniversary of Portsmouth's first charter, granted ...
09/04/2019

Don't miss our new display opening on the 19 April to mark the 825th anniversary of Portsmouth's first charter, granted by Richard I.

Portsmouth's original charter was lost early in the town's history. Some copies survive and we are very excited to be displaying a rare 14th century copy on loan from the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to see and hear the words that created our city and gave us our earliest rights and freedoms. The display will also look at the fair that the charter created and use finds from the city's archaeology collection to glimpse everyday life in Portsmouth from the 12th century to the 16th century.

The display runs until 19 July 2019 and is free to visit.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, civil engineer, was born on this day in Britain Street, in Portsmouth in 1806. His father, Sir ...
09/04/2019

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, civil engineer, was born on this day in Britain Street, in Portsmouth in 1806. His father, Sir Marc Brunel, was the famous engineer who in 1801 had designed the block-making machinery in Portsmouth Dockyard, one of the early inventions which pioneered mass-production development. Isambard was educated
in London, Brighton and France and later became his father's chief assistant engineer on the ambitious project of constructing the first tunnel under the River Thames in London, which ran from Rotherhithe to Wapping. Throughout his professional career, Isambard Brunel was based in London. He went on to undertake railway construction and as a young man was appointed engineer to the Great Western Railway. Under his supervision railways were designed and constructed throughout the West of England and today there are viaducts, tunnels and bridges in a host of places which by their boldness of design and beauty of proportion are an eloquent expression of his genius. He is however best known for his work on ocean-going steam-ships; the SS Great Western, completed in 1838, was the largest steamship of it's day to be employed in a regular ocean-going service between Bristol and New York; the SS Great Britain, which was the first completely iron built, screw propelled steamship used as a transatlantic passenger ship; and the SS Great Eastern, which was the largest of the three and capable of carrying passengers to India and the Far East under steam. He is shown here standing by the launching chains of SS Great Eastern, from a photograph by Robert Howlett, currently on loan from the National Portrait Gallery and on display at the museum until 23rd June.

Portsmouth City Museum's cover photo
28/03/2019

Portsmouth City Museum's cover photo

Please note: The Picture Gallery will be closed to visitors this Thursday. We apologise for any inconvenience.
13/03/2019

Please note: The Picture Gallery will be closed to visitors this Thursday. We apologise for any inconvenience.

So, more on that upcoming treat. We are very pleased to be part of the National Portrait Gallery's 'Coming Home' project...
12/03/2019

So, more on that upcoming treat. We are very pleased to be part of the National Portrait Gallery's 'Coming Home' project. The project will see 50 portraits from the national collection travel to towns and cities across the UK from 2019 onward.

We are so excited to be among the first group of museums to receive their loan.

Next Monday we will be taking delivery of one of the iconic photographs by Robert Howlett of Isambard Kingdom Brunel leaning against the chains of the Great Eastern.

He will be on show from Tuesday 19th March until Sunday 23rd June. Come along and celebrate this national figure who was born in Portsmouth in 1806.

Address

3 Museum Rd
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 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

023 9283 4779

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