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|Around 1170, a prosperous Norman merchant
named Jean De Gisors bought the manor of Buckland from the De Port family.
He owned a fleet of ships, and decided that the Camber, a small inlet just
inside Portsmouth harbour would be an ideal place to berth ships too large
to make their way down to Portchester Castle, which had been favoured
since Roman times.
Jean was obviously a planner, and the sites for buildings were probably
marked out by his servants following a grid plan that can be clearly seen
in Old Portsmouth, as it can in other medieval towns such as Salisbury.
Jean started a market and attracted other merchants and artisans to join
him in his new settlement. Within 15 years he had built a Church which
occupied the site of the present Portsmouth Cathedral, and by 1194 the
King had presented Portsmouth with it's town charter.
|In John Taylor's book, The Honorable and
Memorable (1636), he describes Hampshire as. "A goodly rich county,
abounding in corn, wood, pasture, and much enriched with innumerable
commodities from the sea". Southampton which by a grant of Henry VI.
is a county by statute."...... a fair, sweet and pleasant town,
......... well, defended with walls". "......... it is rich in merchants
and inhabitants". Describing Portsmouth, "it is a strong town and
fortified, with a garrison; and it thrives better by war than by peace".
Taylor's book informs us that within the shire there are
eighteen market towns, two hundred and fifty-three parishes (divided into
forty hundreds) of which the four locally are Alverstoke and Gosport,
Titchfield, Portsdowne and Fareham. The Rowner parish forms part of the
Titchfield hundred. John Taylor lists seventy-three Hampshire Wine
The annual licence in 1625 to keep a Wine Tavern in East Retford,
Nottingham was sixty Shillings. In James' I reign (1603-25) a license for
an Alehouse cost its keeper annually one shilling and six pence paid to
the Clerk of the Peace and one shilling to the Justice's Clerk. Known to
be within Portsmouth in the year 1600 were the following Ale Houses, Inns,
or Wine Taverns. Four of the five, grouped together south east of Little
Penny Street near the pond, were The Rose, The Lion, The White Hart and
The Dragon. On the south side of the High street, north towards the Town
Gate, lay The Greyhound and in 1632 opposite the butcher's shambles in the
High street lay The White Horse.
● Without doubt one of Gosport's best
hotels that successfully combines style and elegance with a very
little recorded history exists relating to Portsmouth before the
twelfth century, we know Bronze Age man inhabited the island as
artefacts have been unearthed in the areas of St James' and St Mary's
Hospitals in the Milton area of the city.
about 300 AD the Romans started to build the shore fort at Portchester
and Roman coins have been excavated from St George's road near the
Hard, showing at the very least the Romans travelled across the
According to the 'Anglo-Saxon chronicle', in 501 AD Port and his two
sons, Bieda & Maegla came to Britain with two ships in the place
called "Portes Mutha", and killed a young, very noble British man.
This is the first historical reference to a port or river mouth and
the romantically minded could easily believe the origin of the name
The Saxons continued to inhabit the area for the next 500+ years,
fragments of Portchester ware dating from the late Saxon period have
been found at Kingston Crescent in the north of the city and the
book records three villages on the island in 1087