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Portsmouth

Portsmouth, city and unitary authority (2011 pop. 205,056), S England, on Spithead Channel. The city includes Portsea (naval station), Southsea (residential district and resort), and the old town of Portsmouth proper. Since Henry VII had stone fortifications and docks built there, Portsmouth city has almost continuously been Britain's foremost naval base. There are also aircraft-engineering and other industries, and tourism is important. The Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury dates partly from the 12th cent. Southsea Castle was built under Henry VIII. The 1st duke of Buckingham was assassinated in Buckingham House (then the Spotted Dog Inn) in Portsmouth in 1628. The house in which Charles Dickens was born has been converted into a museum, and the H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar in 1805, and other warships and museums are part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Charles II married Catherine of Braganza in Portsmouth, and George Meredith and Walter Besant were also born there. An 18th-century boys' school and a teacher-training college are in the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography


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