The Porter's Garden
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Heritage tour of the garden and the dockyardís oldest building

On Saturday 13th September 2008 visitors took a guided tour of the Porter's Garden and the Porterís Lodge, built in 1708, the dockyardís oldest surviving building. They learned about the life and times of the Porter who unlocked the gate, rang the muster bell - and kept a very good cellar! Dr Ann Coats was the guide.

The Porterís Lodge

The tour was part of Heritage Open Days which is a national, annual event that celebrates Englandís architecture and culture. The Porter's Lodge is not normally open to visitors.

Ann Coats welcoming the visitors in front of 19 College Road, built in 1907 for the Police Superintendent and now occupied by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust.

The garden

The party looked round the garden starting at the square lawn and Tudor style knot garden.

In the background, picnickers sit under walnut trees which were planted in 2000 when the garden was begun. Under the trees you can just see Boathouse number 6. The red brick building on the right of the road is occupied by the Mary Rose Trust. On the right is the dockyard wall. The road leads on to the old Naval Academy.

William III was sculpted by van Ost and presented by Richard Norton in 1718.

William's wars against Louis XIV led to the expansion of Portsmouth dockyard in the 1690s. William was also an enthusiastic gardener. The dockyard wall behind him was built in 1711 and forms the boundary of the garden. The wrought iron gates on the right lead into the original Porter's Garden site.

Going through the gates the party looks at the lawn bed, step-over apples and cardoons.

Morello cherry trees are trained up the wall and thrive in its shade.

The Porter's Lodge

The first floor landing

The top floor

A room on the top floor overlooking the harbour

Its fireplace

A view from the top floor of the Porter's Lodge.

Behind the dockyard gates are the old police cells. On the left is the Hard, Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth Harbour rail station. In the distance is Gosport on the other side of the harbour.

Looking further left is the Spinnaker Tower, 170 metres high, situated on the waterfront of Gunwharf Quays.

Looking further right

On the left are the police cells and on the right, over the roof of the visitor centre, is HMS Warrior 1860, Britain's first iron-hulled, armoured battleship

In the cellar of the Porter's Lodge

The window is at ground level and below it is a stone wall.

The Porter's wine cupboard

The Porter's apple store.

View of the Porter's Lodge beyond the walnut trees from Boathouse number 6

Pictures: John Scott

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Page last updated: 22 October 2008
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