The Cabman’s Rest
1 Plymouth Street, Southsea
The Cabman’s Rest stands isolated as a remnant of the terraced housing that once stood here prior to wartime bombing, post-war slum clearance and the subsequent building of the ill-conceived Somerstown estate. A true locals’ pub, the present structure dates from 1922 and was designed by A E Cogswell for Brickwood’s Brewery. Its glazed green brickwork is an attractive feature. Following a lengthy period of closure, the pub reopened under the charge of a new licensee in October 2009. Sadly, trading didn’t last for long and within a year the house was once again closed. The property was later sold by then-owner Punch Taverns to a private individual and planning applications in 2015 and 2016 to convert the building to housing were thankfully refused by the city council. The building now stands empty, with an uncertain future.
Photographs, left to right: 4th February 2007; 13th July 2008; 18th February 1990; April 1999 (by Ray Scarfe).
The Cambridge (The Town House)
2 Portland Road, Southsea
Dating from 1953, the Cambridge Hotel occupied a large plot on the corner of Portland Road and Serpentine Road, Southsea. By the 1980s the hotel had ceased trading and the building became a large two-level pub, owned by Whitbread and popular with shoppers by day and clubbers in the evening. In 1995 a major refit saw the pub reopen as the Town House. This sadly marked the start of the hostelry’s decline and by 2005 the building had been purchased by Ascott Leisure, an owner of bars in both the UK and abroad, but also a property developer, who’s main aim was to demolish the pub and build apartments on the site.
A three year battle between Ascott Leisure, T Ware Developments and Portsmouth City Council ensued, concerning the redevelopment of the site (which stands in a conservation area) and specifically the proposal to build nine houses on the plot. A breakthrough seemingly came in May 2008, when permission was given by the council to demolish the structure after revised plans were submitted. For reasons unknown, the redevelopment failed to materialise and it wasn’t until 2012 that the derelict site was eventually levelled. The site is now home to a large apartment block.
Photographs, left to right: 6th August 2005; June 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989.
1 Camden Buildings, Queen Street, Portsea
Originally the Hat In Hand and rebuilt in 1904 by A E Cogswell for the Pike Spicer brewery, the Camden stands on Queen Street at its junction with Havant Street and still sports its distinctive brewers tudor timbering at second floor level. The pub survived as such until 1976, when it was converted to a Royal Navy hostel. Sadly, this attractive building has stood empty for many years and has been allowed to deteriorate. In February 2017 a planning application was submitted to the city council to demolish the Camden and construct a seven storey Premier Inn hotel on the island site.
Colour photograph 14th August 2005.
The Castle Bannerman
108 St Mary’s Road, Fratton
Still partially recognizable as a former public house to this day, the Castle Bannerman occupied the corner of St Mary’s Road and Samuel Road, opposite the Battle of Minden. Originally the May Flower, the renamed pub traded from the mid 1920s up until 1976, when the property was sold to Portsmouth Housing Association and converted to residential use.
Photographed 15th July 2007.
The Castle Brewery Inn
245/247 Somers Road, Southsea
Beginning life as the Sutlej Arms, this pub stood among a terrace of properties immediately south of Somers Road railway bridge, facing the Bridge Tavern. The photograph below shows the former pub on the left, second property from the camera, with the Lucknow Tavern clearly seen beyond the bridge. The Sutlej was renamed the Castle Brewery Inn during the 1890s and remained a pub until around 1928. The pub was owned by the Castle Brewery, located on nearby Mary Street and attached to the Castle Tavern, (which remains trading to this day). Brewing ceased in 1904 and the brewhouse survived until 1979.
Photographed 12th September 1946.
The Centaur Inn
66 Elm Road, Buckland
Once standing on the corner of Malins Road and Elm Road, the Centaur Inn was built in 1888 to a design by architect A H Bone (who was responsible for many of Portsmouth’s grand pub designs). As seen in the photograph, the pub was part of the vast Brickwood’s estate and featured a large sculpture of the mythical Centaur at first floor level. The terraced streets in this district of town were flattened in the 1960s and ’70s to make way for what has since become the run-down Buckland council estate. The pub hung on until 1972 when sadly it was demolished along with the road on which it stood.
13 Cross Street, Portsea
Starting life as the Prince of Wales many years ago, this Lush Brewery pub stood at the junction of Cross Street and Prince George Street, close to the dockyard. One of dozens of pubs that traded in the immediate area, it was unsurprisingly popular with the Royal Navy and twice had its liquor licence objected to by the local constabulary, in 1915 and 1924. The house latterly become part of Portsmouth United Breweries’ estate and was renamed the Centurion in 1923 – the same year that the pub became linked to the infamous unsolved murder of local prostitute Mary Pelham, who was found dead at a tenement slum in nearby Blossom Alley on 26th January. The pub survived until 1953.
The Charles Dickens
55 Church Street, Buckland
Originally the Blacksmith’s Arms, this little Peters’ Brewery pub stood on the corner of Church Street and Wingfield Street, in what is now the southern extremity of Buckland’s council estate. The pub was renamed after the famous local author in 1896 and remained with Peters until 1934 – later becoming part of the Guildford-based Friary Meux Brewery’s estate until they in turn were swallowed up by Ind Coope of Burton-upon-Trent in the 1960s. The pub served its last customers later in that decade and the building was demolished to make way for redevelopment.
The Charles Dickens
52 Thomas Street, Landport
The Charles Dickens was once one of at least eight pubs which, at one time or another, stood on Thomas Street. Occupying the corner of Martha Street, the pub spent Victorian times trading as the Old Countryman under ownership of Young & Co. and also spent a couple of years named the Brewery Tap. The premises eventually ended up in the hands of Ind Coope following a series of takeovers and mergers and the pub was demolished in 1988 to make way for redevelopment.
The right-hand photograph shows the pub’s position to the right of the long-defunct Victory Brewery.
The Charles Dickens (Navy Arms)
15 Common Street, Landport
Surrounded by post war council flats to the east of Holbrook Road, where Landport meets Fratton, the Charles Dickens spent the large majority of its life trading as the Navy Arms (as depicted in the black & white photographs below).
It wasn’t until 1988 that the pub was dedicated to Portsmouth’s famous author, as shown in this charming inn sign to the left.
Owned by Allied Breweries at the time the right-hand colour photo was taken in 1990, the pub was put up for sale in 1994 and eventually reopened as Casey’s Bar [owners John & Gail Casey] in 1996, which is how it remained until 2006 when the house was demolished – the subject of a compulsory purchase to make way for more flats.
Photographs, left to right: 2nd July 2005; March 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); July 1992 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990; unknown date; c.1934 (courtesy of Adrian Cook-Radmore); 1930s (courtesy of Adrian Cook-Radmore).
The Charlotte Street Cellars
20 Charlotte Street, Landport
Situated at the junction of Charlotte Street and Landport View, this corner house started life as part of the local Young’s Brewery estate, as can be seen in the photograph below. In September of 1964 the pub was taken over by Guildford-based Friary Meux, who promptly closed the house. Within months it had been demolished along with much of the surrounding area, as clearance work started for the pending construction of the new Tricorn Centre.
The Cherry Tree
19 Queen Street, Portsea
One of a pair of pubs standing side by side at the junction of Queen Street and St James’s Street, the Cherry Tree was owned by the Young’s brewery of Portsmouth. The pub started life in 1887 as the London Stout House before being renamed in 1914. Sadly, the tavern lasted less than another twenty years and was closed way back in 1933. The building still stands, though it looks in need of renovation in the photograph below.
Photographed 14th August 2005.
The City Arms
10 Isambard Brunel Road, Landport
This rather unattractive detached building located on Isambard Brunel Road and adjacent to Guildhall Square was built in 1972 to replace the earlier Sussex Hotel. Its comparatively short history was a chequered one, and at times the pub suffered from attracting a shady clientele. The house was refurbished in 1994 and reopened as the Old Dog & Frigate, presumably to breathe new life into the pub and gain a better reputation. This guise was shortlived, and little more than a year later it became a pseudo-Irish bar (as was the trend at the time), trading as O’Hagan’s. It finally regained its original name (albeit with Arms being replaced with Bar) in the late nineties, but this further change was still not enough to make the pub viable and trading ceased in 2006.
The premises once again became home to a bar when, in 2009, Drift In The City was opened by the owner of Southsea’s Drift Bar (see the alphabetical pub listings for more information). This bar trding for roughly three years before also succumbing to financial pressure. The building now stands empty.
Photographs, left to right: 20th February 2011; 15th July 2007; May 1994 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
The Clacton Arms
Clacton Road, Paulgrove
This large post-war pub was one of five built on the Paulsgrove housing estate, to the north of the city, which have since been lost. Originally owned by the local Brickwood’s brewery, the pub became part of the national Whitbread portfolio in the early 1970s. Sporting both a lounge and public bar, the Clacton became infamous for its troublesome clientele in later years. This came to a head in 1991 when the pub was destoyed by fire. Demolition soon followed and the site is now home to a terrace of houses.
Left-hand photograph courtesy of Ray Scarfe.
The Claremont Tavern
100 Commercial Road, Landport
Once trading as the Bird In Hand in the 1860s, this pub became the Claremont Tavern in 1874 and spent a time in the mid 20th century known as the Claremont Hotel. A Brickwood’s house for much of its life, the pub was inherited by Whitbread following its takeover of the former company in 1971, sadly signalling its death knell. By September 1973 the pub had been demolished, prior to the widening of Station Street. The right-hand photograph shows the Claremont on the corner of Station Street, with the Criterion next door and the Station Hotel (Judd’s) opposite.
Left-hand photograph taken in the 1960s ©Richard Baker.
The Clarendon Arms
33 Hampshire Terrace, Southsea
The Clarendon Arms dates from the mid 19th century and spent a short time in the 1880s known as the Clarendon Hotel. The building stands on the corner of Landport Street, opposite the Wig & Pen, which has also since closed for business. Owned by various local brewers throughout its history, including Holland’s, Long’s, Brickwood’s and eventually Whitbread, the Clarendon closed its doors for the last time in 1981. The bracket for the inn sign is still in situ and now sports a sign depicting the building, with the wording Clarendon House below. The premises is now in a rather shabby condition and could well do with an external facelift by the present owners.
Colour photograph 15th July 2007.
The (New) Clarendon Tavern
80 Clarendon Road, Southsea
The Clarendon Tavern stood on this site since Victorian times, only once being subject to a full name change which came about in the 1990s, when it was known as Micawber’s (due to the rumour of Charles Dickens having once lived on the site). The pub has had many owners including the Jewell Brewery, Brickwood’s, Whitbread, Usher’s of Trowbridge and finally, Punch Taverns. In its final years of trading the pub was rechristened the New Clarendon and by 2007 had also received a second name, Quigley’s Bar, on the left-hand fascia board.
By October 2010 the house had served its last customers and the internal fittings were removed (in contravention of local planning laws). A year or so later and the building was converted to a convenience store.
Photographs, left to right: 15th July 2007; 30th September 2006; 19th September 2004; April 2002 (by Ray Scarfe);
11th May 1989.
The Coal Exchange
1 Bath Square, Old Portsmouth
see The Spice Island Inn (Current Pubs section)
The Coal Exchange
20 Sackville Street, Southsea
This Victorian tavern started life as the Corn Exchange and was set amidst the terraced houses that predominated in this part of Southsea. Originally owned by the local Hall & Co brewery, the pub changed its name to the Coal Exchange in about 1897 and was bought by Portsmouth United Breweries in 1934. Last orders were called in around 1956, when much of the immediate area was cleared for redevelopment.
The Coastguard Tavern
91 Clarendon Road, Southsea
This ugly 1962 building replaced an earlier pub of the same name that stood on the site since Victorian times.
The pub spent most of its modern day life under ownership of Allied Breweries (Ind Coope) before being sold off, initially to Inn Business, then to Punch Taverns in the late 1990s. After many years of neglect by its owners, the pub finally served its last pints in early October 2009. The premises is now home to an art gallery and studio.
Photographs (left to right): 13th July 2008; 30th September 2006; 11th May 1989.
The Cobourg Arms
39 Cobourg Street, Landport
Located on the street of the same name, close to its junction with Wimpole Street, this small Victorian tavern spent much of its life under the ownership of Blake’s of Gosport – later being leased by that company to Brickwood’s. The house stood in an area largely unrecognisable from how it is today, surviving until around 1967, when it was sold off and demolished to make way for the regeneration of the neighbourhood west of Fratton Road.
The Cobden Arms
66 Arundel Street, Landport
This pub was built as a toll house for the abandoned Arundel Canal and was sited on the corner of what was once Fratton Street and York Street. A former Pike’s Brewery house, the pub included members of the Brickwood family as its licensees during the mid 19th century. Later owned by the brewery of the same name, the pub was closed by Whitbread and demolished in 1974 as part of the redevelopment of Arundel Street.
The Cock & Bottle
20 Queen Street, Portsea
Located next door to the Cherry Tree [see above] on Queen Street, the Cock & Bottle also originally started life in the 19th century as the London Stout House before metamorphosing from the Cock & Battle through the Cork & Bottle to the Cock & Bottle in 1887! Owned by the nearby Brickwood’s brewery, the pub closed its doors way back in 1914, when the Great War was getting underway. Until recently the building was in a rather sorry state (see left) but has since been refurbished as a small apartment block.
Left-hand photograph 14th August 2005.
The Colliers Arms
Pipers Alley, North Quay, Old Portsmouth
This old beerhouse was owned by the Stannard brewery of Warblington Street and stood on the Camber Dock in the 1880s. As can be seen in this ancient photograph, the pub soon fell into dereliction and was demolished soon after.
The Connaught Arms
119 Guildford Road, Fratton
Constructed in 1891 as the Connaught Hotel, this pub was unusual in having retained the same name throughout its entire life. The pub spent its early years with Portsmouth United Breweries before transferring to Brickwoods in the mid 20th century. It was latterly bought by Whitbread before being sold on in the 1990s and was latterly owned by national pubco Enterprise Inns. A major refit in 1993 saw its three former bars knocked into one – as was the trend in the late 20th century.
In 1998 the pub was awarded Portsmouth CAMRA’s Pub of the Year award, but in subsequent years the Connaught sadly fell on harder times following the departure of the previous licensees to run the Cormorant pub in nearby Portchester. The pub remained trading into early 2015 and was placed on the market as a going concern, but gained little attention from potential buyers wishing to breathe new life into the business.
The premises was sold on in the summer of 2015 for conversion to private residences on the upper storeys, with a convenience store on the ground floor. Work on the proposed shop has however, stalled due to planning refusals and objections by neighbours. A sorry end for what was once the centre of the local community.
Colour photographs (left to right): 13th July 2008; 14th August 2005; July 1990.
The Contented Pig (Landmark/Museum Gardens)
249 Fratton Road, Fratton
Originally the Shipwright’s Arms and later the Museum Gardens (as seen in the right-hand photograph), this well-known pub on Fratton Road received a partial rebuild courtesy of pub architect A E Cogswell in 1932. In 1986 its name changed to the Frog & Frigate and it began serving its own ale – it being the sister pub to one of the same name on Canute Road, Southampton (which is rumoured to be reopening in 2015). By the late 1980s it had received a further name change and became the Landmark – retaining its basic interior with an emphasis on real ales and live music. Yet another change came in 1992 when the pub was rechristened the Contented Pig.
A further refurbishment in 2005 saw the heart ripped out of of the old pub when an ill-advised attempt, by an independent pub company, to reinvent the house as a modern wine bar style pub failed disastrously. This ultimately proved to be its downfall as the previous clientele turned their backs on the pub and the main reasons for coming here – the good choice of real ale and the quality live music – were both lost. The pub ceased trading in late 2007. A sad loss of a once-characterful pub. In early 2008, the site was rumoured to be the subject of redevelopment plans, though it wasn’t until September of 2015 that the pub finally succumbed to the demolition men.
Colour photographs, left to right: 14th August 2005; October 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
The Coppersmiths Arms
141/143 Lake Road, Landport
Another of the many licensed premises that could once be found along the length of Lake Road, the Coppersmiths Arms was a Long’s Brewery house situated on the corner of Church Street. The name derived from the former smithy that was once owned by licensee John Jago, who ran the pub from 1863 to ’65. The pub became part of Brickwood’s extensive estate when the Portsea Brewery took over the Southsea Brewery in the 1930s. The pub itself continued to trade until 1960, when it was demolished for redevelopment.
Photographed 3rd October 1946.
The Country House
342 Commercial Road, Landport
Located on Commercial Road, at its junction with Church Street, this large Victorian pub was owned by Blake’s of Gosport and leased to Brickwood’s Brewery. It later became part of the Brickwood’s estate following the demise of Blake’s and in 1971 was absorbed by Whitbread. The pub served its last beer in 1982 and was demolished in September of that year. The plot has long since been redeveloped and the road layout altered beyond recognition. Note the former ABC cinema on the opposite side of the Commercial Road in the photograph.
26 Little Charlotte Street, Landport
Starting life as the Queen’s Head (and Queen Charlotte’s Head), this once-popular pub took its later name from former owners Cox & Fry. Trading as Cox’s Hotel from 1928, the pub became part of Horndean brewer George Gale’s estate, under which it remained until its closure and demolition at the start of the 1980s to make way for the new Cascades Shopping Centre. The Webmaster recalls the pub from childhood visits to Charlotte Street market. Sadly, it was one of a number of pubs in the immediate area that were lost to the developers at the time.
The Cricketers Tavern
Southsea Common, Southsea
Stood on what is now the junction of Osborne Road and Western Parade, this pub can be traced back to at least the late 18th century. Spending the majority of its life known as the Five Cricketers, this old Pike Spicer pub closed in the early 1880s, later being replaced by the Grosvenor Hotel. In 1903 Pike Spicer commissioned a rebuild of the house, to a design by Portsmouth’s premier pub architect Arthur Cogswell. By the end of World War II the site was occupied by Barham Mansions, which still stands, having been converted to student accommodation for the University of Portsmouth.
102 Commercial Road, Landport
One of a large number of hostelries that could once be found on Commercial Road (which was once at least double the length of its existing route), the Criterion was built in the 1880s to replace another hostelry by the name of the Crimea. Originally owned by the Lush Brewery, and later transferring to Jewell’s, the premises survived until as recently as 1973, when it was demolished in October of that year to make way for the widening of Station Street. The right-hand photograph shows the Criterion stood next to the Claremont Hotel, with the Railway Hotel on the opposite corner of Station Street.
The Crown (1)
244 Commercial Road, Landport
Another Commercial Road hostelry, the Crown occupied the corner of Paradise Street, opposite the Emperor Of India. Dating from the mid 19th century, the pub was originally owned by Messrs. Garrett and later passed to Brickwood’s, as seen in this photograph. The house survived until 1962, when it was demolished for redevelopment of the city centre. A replacement pub, also named The Crown, was built opposite, on the corner of Charlotte Street, as seen in right-hand photograph (see also The Crown (2)).
The Crown (2)
203 Commercial Road, Landport
Built in 1961 to replace the pub by the same name which was due to close on the opposite corner, as seen in the centre photograph (see also The Crown (1), the tavern was sited at Commercial Road’s junction with Charlotte Street, on a plot once occupied by the Monarch Tavern, which itself survived until 1940. Owned by Brickwood’s, the pub survived just fifteen years before being converted to retail use. The premises remains a shop to this day, with few customers realising that they are shopping in a former public house.
Left-hand photograph kindly supplied by Rob Hall.
The Crown & Anchor
35 Bishop Street, Portsea
Located midway along the west side of Bishop Street, this narrow Portsmouth United Breweries’ pub was one of four taverns that could at one time be found on this street. The pub managed to survive the extensive bombing of the area during World War II, but only lasted another dozen years or so, when it was demolished as part of slum clearance.
The Crystal Palace
1 Fawcett Road, Southsea
This imposing three storey pub and hotel once occupied the northern extremity of Fawcett Road, opposite Fratton Bridge, and was designed by prolific pub architect A E Cogswell. Completed in 1888, the pub would have sourced much of its custom from travellers and railwaymen due to its proximity to Fratton railway station. The pub replaced a tavern of the same name on the same plot and the later building survived until 1972 – its last pints being served on 28th August of that year. Demolition soon followed to allow road improvements
The Cumberland Tavern
130 Eastney Road, Eastney
The Cumberland Tavern was an imposing Brickwood’s house, built in a pseudo-art deco style by famed Portsmouth pub architect A E Cogswell, dominating the corner of Eastney Road and Bransbury Road. Replacing a Blake’s pub by the name of the Fort Cumberland Tavern, its last pints were served in January of 1989, when it was closed and was converted to apartments.
Left-hand photograph 11th May 1989.
The Curzon Howe
142 Queen Street, Portsea
The Curzon Howe stood mid-terrace on the north side of Queen Street, between Cross Street and North Street. This smart-looking Long’s Brewery house was named after Admiral Sir Assheton Curzon-Howe (1850-1911) along with the nearby street of the same name, and was originally opened as a confectioners and refreshment rooms. It latterly became a licenced restaurant and by 1936 was listed as a public house. The pub traded until 1964 and was demolished in April the following year, as part of the Portsea regeneration plan.
The Cuthbert Arms
9 Cuthbert Road, Fratton
This small Victorian mid-terraced tavern stood amidst the tightly packed houses of Fratton’s backstreets. Trading since the 19th century, the pub remained open until at least the mid 1930s. The building today displays no obvious signs that it was ever a pub and is now divided into two flats.
Photographed 15th July 2007.