infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 50.79
longitude= -1.09
official_name= Southsea
unitary_england= Portsmouth
lieutenancy_england= Hampshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Portsmouth South
post_town= SOUTHSEA
postcode_district = PO4 - PO5
postcode_area= PO
dial_code= 023
os_grid_reference= SZ6499

Southsea is a seaside resort located in Portsmouth at the southern tip of Portsea Island in the county of Hampshire in England. The built up areas of Portsmouth and Southsea run into one another, and the centre of Southsea is less than a mile from Portsmouth city centre.


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 Centre 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, Grove Road South, Clarendon Road, Osbourne Road and Portland Terrace.

By the 1860s 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 US President Bill 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 that 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 unsympathetically 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.

outhsea Common

Southsea Common is a large expanse of mown grassland parallel to the shore from Clarence Pier to Southsea Castle. The Common owes its existence to the demands of the military in the early nineteenth century for a clear range of fire from the harbour defences at any enemy ships which dared to approach Portsmouth and its dockyard. The site is also home to a remarkable collection of mature elm trees that have escaped Dutch elm disease owing to their isolation. The majority of the larger trees are Huntingdon Elms, but nearer the entrance to the Skate Park there is a fine example of the 'Den Haag' hybrid elm, one of only two known in the UK. The Huntingdon Elms once lined the Ladies' Mile avenue through the centre of the Common, but many were lost to the Great Storm of 1987 and replaced by the Dutch cultivar 'Lobel'.

The Common hosts a number of annual events including the Southsea Show, Para Spectacular, Military Vehicle Show and Kite Festival and a variety of circuses that travel down to twice a year.

Tourist attractions

; both house amusement arcades; 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. The route is marked on the pavement, and is lined by distinctive blue street lanterns.

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 situated on the seafront.

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

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 children fishing 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, little Grebe and occasionally a lone black swan. In summer pedalos can be rented on the lake.

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

The Kings Theatre, situated in Albert Road, is a venue that hosts a variety of performances.

Southsea Town Council

Southsea Parish Council was created in 1999 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. In a poll of local residents in February 2005, 56% voted to abolish it. Southsea Town Council continues to operate although its future is uncertain.

The town council has limited powers and a small budget funded by the local precept. 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. Until 2007 it had a small office open to the public in Southsea town centre, but this has now closed.

Transport links

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

In 1898 a railway branch called the Southsea Railway was opened from Fratton Station, terminating at East Southsea Station (near to The Strand). Two unstaffed halts were added at Albert Road and Jessie 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.


*University of Portsmouth
*Portsmouth Grammar School
*Portsmouth High School
*Mayville High School
*St John's College (Portsmouth)
*Priory School
*City Girls
*City of Portsmouth Boys School (formerly Portsmouth Technical High School for Boys)
*Southern Grammar School
*St Swithun's RC Primary School
*Owen Street Primary School

Famous residents

* Arthur Conan Doyle
* Rudyard Kipling
* Peter Sellers
* H.G. Wells
* Charles Dickens
* Robert Gittings

External links

* Clarence Pier Southsea
* University of Portsmouth
* D Day Museum
* Southsea Town Council
* Thomas Ellis Owen
* Southsea Village
* Southsea Business and Community Directory

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Southsea — (spr. ßauth ßī), Vorstadt von Portsmouth (s. d., S. 178), der Insel Wight gegenüber, mit Fort, Blindenanstalt, Erholungsanstalten für beide Geschlechter, einem Soldatenheim, Kasino, Landungsbrücke, Esplanade etc., wird als Seebad viel besucht …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Southsea — 50° 47′ N 1° 05′ W / 50.79, 1.09 Southsea est une station balnéaire localisée à Por …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Southsea — Original name in latin Southsea Name in other language nan hai cheng State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 50.79205 latitude 1.08593 altitude 6 Population 18514 Date 2012 03 29 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Southsea — noun a town in southern England, widely considered a suburb of Portsmouth …   Wiktionary

  • Southsea Castle — (early in its history also known as Chaderton castle[1] ) is one of Henry VIII s Device Forts, also known as Henrician Castles, built in 1544 on the waterfront at the southern end of Portsea Island (an a …   Wikipedia

  • Southsea Hoverport — is adjacent to Clarence Pier in the Southsea area of Portsmouth in southern England. From here frequent hovercraft services leave for Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The journey time is quicker than the conventional boats that sail from Gunwharf Quay …   Wikipedia

  • Southsea, Wrexham — Southsea ( cy. Glanrafon) is a small formerly industrial village on the Gwenfro river in the county borough of Wrexham, Wales.It came into being at the site of the Broughton Hall Brickworks and the Plas Power Colliery. Its Welsh language… …   Wikipedia

  • Southsea Railway — The Southsea Railway was a branch of the Portsmouth Direct Line.It was opened in 1885 from Fratton Station, terminating at East Southsea Station (near to a road junction called The Strand). It was 1.25 miles long [ [http://www.portsmouth …   Wikipedia

  • SouthSea Islander — See South Sea Islands. * * * …   Universalium

  • SouthSea Islands — South Sea Islands The islands of the southern Pacific Ocean, roughly coextensive with Oceania.   South Sea Islander n. * * * …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.