The Palmerston Arms
46 George Street, Buckland
This large Victorian corner pub could be found at the junction of George Street and South Road, in a residential district east of Fratton Road. Once owned by the Lush Brewery, the pub passed through the hands of Portsmouth United and Brickwood’s before ending up in the portfolio of national company Whitbread. The pub was demolished in 1975 and the site is now occupied by private housing.
The Parade Hotel
30 Clarence Parade, Southsea
This ornate former Brickwood’s pub stood on Clarence Parade, overlooking Southsea Common. Once a popular bar, its patronage declined in later years as new, modern bars opened in the more fashionable parts of town. The Parade was sold to developers in 2004 and was sadly demolished in July of that year. The building was one of the most architecturally significant premises facing the common and the council’s willingness to allow its demolition was nothing short of contemptuous. The pub’s inn sign, which stood on the opposite side of the street (left-hand photograph), remained in situ for many years after the building’s demise. It now lies in storage at the City of Portsmouth Museum depot in Hilsea. These days the plot is occupied by a block of flats.
Colour photographs, left to right: 6th August 2005; 11th May 1989; August 2001 (by Ray Scarfe).
186-188 Commercial Road, Landport
Starting life as the Foresters Arms under ownership of Murrell’s Brewery, this ornately-fronted tavern spent much of its life as a Peter’s Brewery house, who’s livery appears in the photograph below. Located in what is now the pedestrianised shopping area of Commercial Road, roughly where Burger King is situated, the pub’s name was changed to the Pelican in the 1890s. The house survived until the early 1950s, when it was demolished to make way for new shops.
7 Conway Street, Landport
A typical Victorian corner pub, originally stood at the junction of Conway Street and Duncan Street, a stone’s throw from the dockyard’s Unicorn Gate and busy Commercial Road, the Pelican was once run by the tiny Miles Brewery and was acquired by Portsmouth United Breweries in the late 1890s, presumably later coming under the ownership of Brickwood’s until its closure. It is unclear as to when the pub ceased trading, however these photos dating from 1965 show the pub looking rather forlorn and abandoned, being then located at the junction of Conway Street and the newly constructed Marketway. The left-hand image depicts the view from the end of Charlotte Street, looking south along Marketway, with the pub on the right. The right-hand photograph shows the Pelican in the background, as seen from further down Charlotte Street, with Robert Mack’s government surplus store dominating the foreground.
Photographed 1965 (by Brian Pearcey).
The Penhale Arms
101 Fratton Road, Fratton
Yet another pub that was lost at the start of the 1980s, the Penhale Arms on Fratton Road started life as the Artillery Arms in the mid 1800s. The original pub (see far right-hand photo) was acquired by the local Jewell Brewery at the end of the 19th century and rebuilt by A E Cogswell in familiar brewers tudor style in 1926 for Brickwood’s. The Penhale traded until 1982, at which time it was converted to retail premises. It is probable that the original Brickwood’s fascia still survives behind its ugly modern replacement.
Near left-hand photograph 14th August 2005.
The Plough & Barleycorn
27/29 Lake Road, Landport
One of at least seventeen pubs that once stood on Lake Road throughout the early 20th century, the Plough & Barleycorn dated from 1896 and occupied the north side of the road, on the corner of the long-gone Cosham Street. As can be seen in the photograph, the pub was part of the Dorchester-based Eldridge Pope brewery, that ran a small number of pubs in Portsmouth until as recently as the 1990s. The pub was lost in 1940 when it became the victim of enemy bombing.
The Plymouth Street Cellars
57 Plymouth Street, Southsea
This grand, landmark Victorian cornerhouse stood at Plymouth Street’s junction with Somerville Street and was part of Portsmouth’s Young Brewery estate. The pub survived the war years and trading until 1964, at which time it was sold for redevelopment of the Somerstown area. Its footprint now stands beneath what is now Winston Churchill Avenue.
The Polar Star
45 London Road, North End
Located in the heart of North End’s shopping centre, the Polar Star was built in 1908, in typical half-timbered brewers tudor style, replacing an earlier pub by the name of the Queen’s Head. Surprisingly, the pub served its last ale as long ago as the 1950s and by 1958 it had been converted to retail use. These days it is divided into two separate shop units.
44 Frogmore Road, Fratton
Another pub designed by prolific Portsmouth architect A E Cogswell, the Pompey opened its doors in 1900. Situated on Frogmore Road, the building guards the main entrance to Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club. This former Brickwood’s pub sadly called last orders for the final time around 1990 and was soonafter converted into the football club’s Pompey Shop, where staff sold soccer kits from behind the same bar that once served pints! It building now houses the club’s media centre.
Photographs, left to right: 28th April 1991, March 1991 (by Ray Scarfe).
The Portland Hotel (Havana Café Bar)
38/40 Kent Road, Southsea
Originally the Portland Hotel, this imposing end-of-terrace pub boasted a lively public bar, full of music memorabilia and even a red telephone box. It was a regular venue for live bands and had a good atmosphere. Unfortunately the bar acquired a poor reputation for drug use and in 1989 was refurbished and renamed Norma Jean’s. Further interim name changes followed, including the One-Eyed Dog and the Dog.
It’s last incarnation was as the Havana Café Bar, by which time the venue had seen better days. The Portland’s original characterful bar sadly became a thing of the past and by 2007 the building was looking rather jaded, with some windows boarded up. The premises continued to trade until at least 2009. The upper floors of the building were damaged by fire in July 2010 and the premises now stand empty.
Photographs: 15th July 2007; 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989.
The Portsea Arms
26 Bishop Street, Portsea
Very much an example of a basic traditional corner pub, the Portsea Arms was tucked away on Bishop Street, off Queen Street. Originally a Pike Spicer house named the Butchers Arms, it was later renamed the Crown (see right-hand photograph) before assuming its last name in the 1980s. The pub served its last pints in 2002, shortly before the bulldozers moved in. A small block of flats now occupies the site.
Colour photographs, left to right: 11th May 1989; March 1999 (by Ray Scarfe).
The Princess Alexandra
1 Castle Road, Southsea
Located in what is now a conservation area, the Princess Alexandra is one of four former pubs that can be found within a few hundred yards. Sporting an attractive half-timbered design, the pub survived into the 1970s but later fell into disuse before being renovated as a private house in 1980. It stands on the corner of Regent Place, close to the former Wheelbarrow pub (now Seller’s coffee house).
Photographed 15th July 2007.
The Princess Royal
521 (formerly 489) Commercial Road, Rudmore
This mid-terraced pub stood towards the northern extremity of Commercial Road, in Rudmore, roughly opposite where the Air Balloon can still be found. Originally a Young’s Brewery pub, the house was purchased by Brickwood’s in 1934 and continued trading until 1970, being demolished in May of that year.
The Priory Inn
107A Victoria Road North, Southsea
Situated on Victoria Road North, close to Bradford Junction, the Priory Inn was rebuilt to an ugly 1950s design after the original pub was bombed out during the war. This small Whitbread-owned house surprisingly managed to delay its death knell by some years before finally succumbing in 2003, when it was demolished. The plot is now occupied by housing.
Photographs, left to right: 18th February 1990; March 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); unknown date (by Ray Scarfe).
The Pure Drop Inn
21 Sackville Street, Southsea
Located in what is now the Somerstown housing estate, the Pure Drop was a Portsmouth United Breweries tavern that stood on the corner of Sackville and Middle Streets. Once owned the small Biden’s Brewery, it eventually became part of Brickwood’s portfolio following that company’s purchase of PUB in the 1950s. The pub survived until 1961, when a compulsory purchase order was placed upon it by the city council for the redevelopment of the Somerstown area.