Lost Pubs – U

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
48 Havant Road, Cosham

Named after the famous novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, this large early 1960s pub, set back from the roadside, replaced an older tavern of the same name (see gallery below). The replacement pub originally consisted of a public bar and a lounge, though in the late 1980s owner George Gale & Co gave the house a major facelift and reinvented the pub as an open plan, single-roomed bar and eaterie. Its clientele consisted of businessmen and shoppers during the daytime and attracted a younger crowd throughout the evenings, when local bands would sometimes play and quiz nights were held. Unfortunately, the pub began to attract a small number of undesirables on a regular basis and this probably contributed to the pub’s eventual closure in the late 1990s. The building still stands and has now been absorbed into the adjacent Cosham Baptist Church.

A number of the photos below show the original Uncle Tom’s Cabin, together with another pub, the East Cosham Tavern immediately to the east (see elsewhere for that pub’s entry on this site). The colour photos on the bottom row depict the East Cosham Tavern undergoing demolition in the early 1960s, with the replacement Uncle Tom’s Cabin stood immediately behind.

Inn sign photographs kindly supplied by Ray Scarfe (dates of images unknown).
Top left-hand photograph by Peter Keat. Bottom row colour photographs ©Peter Barlow.


The Unicorn
158 Fratton Road, Fratton

Located on Fratton Road, at the junction with Sheffield Road, the Unicorn was typical of post war pub architecture in Portsmouth, built cheaply and quickly in a similar design to the Salutation on New Road (see elsewhere on this website). The pub was the second on this site to bear the Unicorn name and a previous tavern called the Old Red House could once be found here. The Unicorn survived far longer than the Webmaster expected – presumably kept in business by a small but faithful band of regulars. The pub finally closed in early 2003 and was demolished late in the same year to make way for new apartments.

Photographs, left to right: 18th February 1990; November 1998 (by Ray Scarfe).


The Unicorn
1 Unicorn Road, Landport

Situated a stone’s throw from the dockyard’s Unicorn Gate, this hostelry would doubtless have been a popular haunt of sailors in bygone years. The house underwent alterations for owners PUB when that company acquired the premises from previous owners Isherwood & Williams. Prior to I&W’s tenure, the Unicorn was part of the Lush Brewery estate. The tavern survived until around 1956, when this part of Landport was absorbed into the naval dockyard and most of the buildings were demolished.


The Union
366 Fratton Road, Buckland

Located at the northern extremity of Fratton Road, opposite the former Tramway Arms (see above), the Union was built in 1911 to a design by architect J J Cotton, replacing another pub of the same name. Standing mid-terrace on a narrow plot, it served its last customers in 1962, when the pub was closed for the final time. Following closure the premises was converted to a shop before later undergoing further alterations to residential accommodation.

Photographed 22nd July 2007.


The Union
25 Union Street, Portsea

Situated in a small road behind Queen Street, the Union traded since at least the late 18th century. Known variously as the Old Union, Union Tavern and Union Tap, the pub was part of the Pike Brewery in the mid 19th century and later became part of the Long’s Brewery estate. The pub ceased trading in the 1950s.

The right-hand photograph depicts what is claimed to be an image of the pub, though looking very different from the image on the left. It is known that Long’s had the premises either refronted or rebuilt in around 1911, so this could explain the visual difference, although the webmaster is not entirely convinced that these are indeed the same house. No evidence has been found to suggest that Brickwood’s were ever owners of the Union Street pub – though this name can clearly be seen in the right-hand photo, which would therefore have to date from pre-1911. Any help in solving this mystery would be most welcome.


The Union Jack
2 Bonfire Corner, Portsea

This old Biden’s Brewery pub stood on Bonfire Corner, at its junction with Daniel Street, in an area that was blanketed with public houses frequented by sailors. Indeed, this particular area was synonymous with drunkeness and prostitution – with the Union Jack likely to be one of the houses that saw much of both. For this reason the pub’s licence renewel was twice objected to by the local constabulary in 1915 and 1924. It would appear that the second objection was successful, as the Union Jack appears to have ceased trading the same year.


The Union Tavern
65 Broad Street, Old Portsmouth

see The Spice Island Inn (Current Pubs section)


The United Britons
53 Charlotte Street, Landport

One of many taverns that could once be found along the length of Portsmouth’s famous market street, the United Britons was originally a Biden’s Brewery pub which later became part of the large Portsmouth United estate. The pub survived until 1956, after which much of Charlotte Street saw vast change.



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