954 – A walk down the High Street.

What I would really like to do is to walk down Gosport’s High Street, but the key thing is – with a historian. Now this is the awkward bit, I’d like it to be someone quite well known, perhaps Prof. Alice Roberts (ok, not really a historian, but she is good), Lucy Worsley or Simon Schama.

What would it be all about? Well at the bottom end of the town, a time linne has been laid;

  • 948 First reference to Alverstoke & Rowner
  • 1204 Manor of Gosport created by the Bishop of Westminster
  • 1348 The Plague devastates Gosport
  • 1417 First fortifications built at Blockhouse
  • 1540 Gosport described as a little village
  • 1642 Roundhead bombardment of Portsmouth
  • 1678 Gosport fortifications and ramparts started
  • 1683 Charles II visits & tours unfinished fortifications
  • 1696 Water piped to town from Forton
  •  1717 Gosport granted two market days a week
  • 1746-1762 Haslar Hospital constructed.
  • 1776 Grand Magazine Priddy’s hard completed
  • 1802 Ferry Service from Gosport to Le Havre
  • 1840 Floating Bridge chain ferry to Portsmouth
  • 1844 King Louis Philippe of France visited
  • 1844 Queen Victorias railway station opens
  • 1850’s Construction of Palmerston Forts
  • 1917 Seaplane training established at future HMS Daedalus(TBC)
  • 1922 Gosport Borough created
  • 1944 D-Day embarkations from beach Stokes Bay(TBC?)

Some these would be interesting, because Gosport itself didn’t exist for a good part of the time line, so what would my historian be doing?

I’d have them describing what life was like here at that time. What was happening in history? How was Gosport established what was here before. And then, as God’s Port became a garrison town, with defences all around, what was life like inside the walls, and I’m willing to bet it was a bit salacious, I can imagine Lucy describing those times with relish. Where was the Mary Rose launched from? And what happened in the town when she went down?

I think I’d like Alice and Simon to be talking about life in the high street during the 18th & 19th century, whenn the navy really was at its height, the press gangs were in action, but there would also have been a fair bit of culture in town as well, having as it it did a renowned theatre. Then there were the pubs, The Indian Star I believe where you can read reports of auctions where ships were sold, quite openly to brigands, and for that purpose.

The construction of the Palmerston Forts was taking place well outside the towns bounndary of hte day, but I can’t imagine that the workforce didn’t come in to town to swell the population. Whgat was life like?

I’d like to think that it would be quite interesting.

Published by Bill

I just want to write, but I prefer to stay away from controversial topics like politics. I am happy to confess that at the moment, I am writing for me. If you enjoy my writings, and I hope you do then that is all the better.

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