Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘southsea’

Other stuff around Portsmouth: Southsea

The day after we went to the Royal Marines Museum we returned to Southsea as there were other things that we (or I at least) wanted to go back and see…

Dad and I visited the D-Day Museum

A couple of tanks are displayed on the roadside out front – quite the head turner as you drive past

First some lunch in the cafe before mum left us to it

Flags outside the museum

The old defences blend in with seaside life today

A waterfront walkway is one of the best assets a city can have I reckon

Sea wall. Not sure if the many rows of steel ‘rungs’ were used back in the day to assist transiting between water and land, or perhaps they’re just reinforcing

One of four sea forts built in the Solent, the strait between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight. They were never used for their designed purpose. Three are now owned by a company which is developing two as luxury accommodation and one a museum

A seaside rotunda

Southsea Castle is a fortress built in the 1500s cos King Henry VIII wanted it

The castle’s dry moat

The lighthouse is a relatively recent addition

Southsea Beach, a pebbly affair, with the pier in the background

The South Parade Pier, still going strong despite three big fires over the years. It became a er ‘pleasure pier’ (as the website calls it) in the early 1900s

Further along beside Clarence Pier is this plaque and also the depot for the Isle of Wight hovercraft, though naturally none obliged to hover in onto the beach while I stood around

Swans on Canoe Lake, real ones and your classic pedal boat variety

I do love a good line up of changing sheds

We visited the Royal Marines Museum the day before but this time the Yomper was wearing a flag. Love this statue

A family connection with the Royal Marines Museum

My great grandfather was a Royal Marine. I only learned of this on the trip and have to say I did a double take. I am proud that my father is an ex-serviceman and I may well have joined the army myself if not for my asthma. So to learn that there is another family association with the defence forces was a great surprise.

Frederick Grace, my dad’s dad’s dad, was based at the Royal Marines Barracks at Eastney in Portsmouth.

With the way of the world and the inevitable rationalisation of military installations, this site no longer serves its original purpose. But it does house the Royal Marines Museum which we visited.

It’s an interesting drive along the coastal road to get there, a few miles away from downtown Portsmouth. About half way there you also find the D-Day Museum which we saved for another day.

If you turn off the coastal road you go around the back where the original entry to the barracks was.

But coming in from the Esplanade to the museum entry you get an impression of the impressively large grounds where much of the original site seems to remain. The accommodation buildings have been converted into private dwellings and the museum is located in the officers’ mess.

As you’d expect, there are several outdoor exhibits but the most time was spent inside the museum (where photos weren’t allowed). I found the old film clips especially interesting.

I really enjoyed this visit. We finished off with lunch in the Quartermaster’s Kitchen cafe and then had to get cracking – the Historic Dockyards beckoned.

A hurried snap out the car window… this was the main gate to Eastney Barracks

The Eastney Barracks in 1902 (photo of a photo)

This chap stands at the museum entry

Across the road is Southsea Beach and the English Channel

Royal Marine Corps colours

The old Eastney Barracks and grounds

The museum is located in the old officers’ mess

Me, dad and cannon

The barracks have been converted to private apartments

Parade ground in front of the museum and the old barracks

%d bloggers like this: