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The history of the British Navy at Portsmouth dates back 1,200 years to its earliest days under King Alfred the Great in the 860s. The wide natural inlet in the coastline is a flooded river valley protected by a deep narrow entrance on two sides of the dockyard, in both Portsmouth and at Gosport, which makes an ideal natural harbour.
During your voyage you will see the Roman and Saxon strongholds, constructed on the northern shore to defend against Viking attacks and to protect trade. Also the harbour’s first permanent fort, Portchester Castle, which was built after the Norman conquest in 1066.
The historic Portsea Island, at the entrance to Portsmouth harbour, was used as a mustering station for armies during the wars with France, and by the late 12th century a small town had grown on the south-western corner of the Island to accommodate workers and to service troops. In 1194 King Richard I granted this town, known as Portsmouth, a Royal Charter to construct a dockyard, and in 1212 King John protected the new dockyard with a great wall.
During this interesting and informative voyage you will see many of the fortifications that were built to protect Portsmouth over the centuries, in particular the Round Tower at the harbour entrance and the Solent forts which formed the centre of a string of fortifications along the coast during the Napoleonic Wars.
Crewing our unique Tall Ship along with our experienced crew will help you to experience the history and sights of this unique harbour, steeped in naval tradition.
Book today to enjoy this unique adventure…
*Your voyage price is inclusive of berth accommodation and all meals. Please note: We are at the mercy of the wind and weather – all arranged anchorages and visits will be dependent upon safe conditions