From Academic Kids

Template:GBdot Southsea is a seaside resort located in Portsmouth at the southern tip of Portsea Island in the County of Hampshire in the United Kingdom.



In 1544 Henry VIII built the fort which became known as Southsea Castle. Although it would not have been called that at the time it is recorded as ‘Southsea Castle' in a map of 1724.

In 1809 a new suburb began to grow. It became known as Southsea after the castle. The first houses were built for skilled workers in the 'mineral' streets (Silver Street, Nickel Street etc).

Around 1810 Hampshire Terrace, Landport Terrace, King’s Terrace, Jubilee Terrace and Bellevue Terrace were built adjacent to the town walls. Nowadays they form an almost continuous road between the City Center and the beach.

Southsea remained small until 1835. The area between Castle Road and Victoria Road South was built up between 1835 and 1860 as housing for middle class families. A prominent architect during this period was Thomas Ellis Owen who built properties in Kent Road, Queen’s Terrace, Sussex Terrace and Portland Terrace.

By the 1860's the suburb of Southsea had grown along Clarendon Road as far as Granada Road. In 1857 Southsea gained its own Improvement Commissioners responsible for paving, cleaning and lighting the streets.

After the 1870s, east of Victoria Road, there was new building in the Campbell Road / Outram Road area.

As building proceeded most was put up in the cramped manner typical of much of Portsmouth, a city where space is at a premium.

Recent History

On June 5 1994 a drumhead service attended by President Clinton and HM Queen Elizabeth II was held on Southsea Common in front of the War Memorial. The event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day was also attended by over 100,000 members of the public. Historically, a blessing before battle was offered during a drumhead service which is conducted in the field with the drums forming the altar and the colours serving as the altar cloth.

In September 2000 parts of southsea were flooded when the pumping station which normally pumps surface water out to sea was itself flooded during a particularly heavy storm.


Much of southsea was designed by the architect Thomas Ellis Owen. Although some of his buildings were destroyed in World War 2 and some have since been unsympathtically modernised his work still shapes the architecture of modern Southsea. The majority of Owen's Southsea is now protected by a number of Conservation Areas or by being Listed Buildings.

Tourist Attractions

The Southsea beachfront is stony and has two piers: South Parade Pier and Clarence Pier; both house amusement arcades and South Parade Pier also contains a ballroom and a bar area. Clarence pier is adjacent to a permanent funfair.

To commemorate the millennium a scenic walk was created which runs to Gunwharf Quays from Southsea seafront. There is a pavement route or you can just follow the blue street lamps!

There are a number of miniature golf courses, a skateboard park and public grass and clay tennis courts.

The D-Day museum (which holds the Overlord embroidery) is located on the seafront in Southsea, very close to Southsea castle.

Cumberland House is a natural history museum, butterfly house and aquarium.

The Blue Reef Aquarium is also sitated on the seafront.

Throughout the summer there are regular open air concerts and events at the bandstand and on Castle Field.

Southsea Common is host to a number of annual events each year including the Southsea Show, Para Spectacular, Military Vehicle Show and Kite Festival.

Just off the seafront is Southsea Model Village which is a 1/12th scale model village with forty miniature buildings, houses, forts, castles and a miniature railway. It was opened in 1956 on the site of a Victorian fort. Another part of the fort has been converted into Southsea Rose Garden.

Canoe Lake is the last remnant of an area of marsh and open water known as the Great Morass, drained in 1886, which much of Southsea now sits on. The lake is topped up from the sea by opening a sluice at high tide. Crabs and fish find their way in, and attract fisherkids equipped with a piece of bacon on a string. When undisturbed there are regularly Swan and Mallard, with less frequent visits from Tufted Duck, Mediterranean Gull, Cormorant and Little Grebe. In summer pedalos can be rented on the Lake and Portsmouth Model Boat Display Team meet there regularly at weekends renact dramatic sea battles.

Towards the eastern end of the seafront is the Royal Marines Museum.

Southsea Town Council

Southsea Parish Council was created in September 1998 following a successful submission to the UK Government under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997. The parish council later became the Southsea Town Council.

The existence of the town council has been controversial from the outset. The initial creation of the town council was opposed by Portsmouth city council there has been a long standing campaign to disband the town council.

The town council has limited powers and a small budget funded by the local precpit. It campaigns on local issues, seeking to influence the unitary authority Portsmouth City Council, it makes awards of funds to local causes and funds infrastructure improvements in the local area. It has an office in Southsea.

Transport Links

Hovertravel operate a regular hovercraft service to Ryde on the Isle of Wight which runs from Southsea seafront.

In 1898 a branch line into Southsea was opened from Fratton Station, terminating at East Southsea Station (near to The Strand). Two unstaffed halts were added at Albert Road and Jesse Road/Devonshire Avenue. The line was not able to compete with the Portsmouth corporation tram services. It was closed in 1914 and never re-opened. The line itself and the station have since been demolished and replaced with houses however it is possible to walk the approximate route. Southsea is now served by stations at Fratton and Portsmouth and Southsea station and on to Portsmouth Harbour (also called The Hard), with regular trains to London Waterloo.


Famous Residents

External links


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