The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 50.793051, -1.091626

11 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

From London to Portsmouth 73 Miles, thus reckoned.
To Wandsworth 6, to Kingston 6, to Cobham 7, to Guildford 10, to Godalmin 4, to Lippock 12, to Petersfield 8, to Harnden 5, to Portsey Bridge 6, to Postsmouth 4, a large well built Town in Hampshire, defended by 2 strong Castles, and other Works to secure the Haven; and into this well fortified Garrison and Seaport, which is the usual Station of the Royal Navy, you must enter over 4 Draw Bridges…

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The map thru baeres forest.Strip map, hand coloured copper plate engraving, road map, part of The Road From London to Portsmouth, scale about 1 to 63360, 1 inch to 1 mile, from the road book, Britannia, published by John Ogilby, White Friars, London, 1675.
Pl.30 from the centre of London, through Wandsworth, Kingston upon Thames, Cobham, Guildford, Godalming, Surrey, through Liphook, Petersfield, Horndean, to Portsmouth, Hampshire.

inscription:- printed -- title cartouche
The Road From / LONDON to PORTSMOUTH / in com: Southamp: / Actually Surveyd & Delineated / By IOHN OGILBY Esq: / His Maties. Cosmographer

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Roman name: Magnus Portus

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

high stree and penny street where Same doth drink:

Ports mouth of 1700"s at the tip opposite Gosport

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

errata the last go
then enter portsmouth penny
this lets you see the old portsmouth
and see the pubs of of at..... /wine.htm [above]

JWB  •  Link


Early in the 17th century Portsmouth was described as a poor and beggarly town. In 1625 there was another outbreak of plague. But under Charles I (1625-49) Portsmouth began to regain some of its former importance.

In 1628 one of the kings advisors, the Duke of Buckingham was assassinated in the town. He was stabbed to death by a sailor John Fenton in a house in High Street. Fenton was hanged for the crime and his body was hanged in chains on land east of the town until it decomposed as a warning to others.

Then in 1642 came civil war between king and parliament. Most of the people in Portsmouth, including the mayor supported parliament. But the military governor of the town, Colonel Goring supported the king and he commanded the soldiers in the town.

The navy sided with parliament and Portsmouth was blockaded by sea. Parliament sent men to besiege Portsmouth by land. Southsea castle was taken after only token resistance. The guns of Southsea castle were then used to fire at the town of Portsmouth. On the other side of Portsmouth the town of Gosport joined the parliamentary side. Here too, guns were set up and were fired at Portsmouth.

Besieged by land and sea and with no support in the town Goring realized the situation was hopeless. He decided to surrender but he obtained good terms. He threatened to explode a gunpowder magazine and wreck the town unless he was allowed to escape unharmed. He was duly allowed to escape with his few supporters.

Following the end of the civil war in 1646 Portsmouth prospered. In 1650 a ship called the Portsmouth was launched in the Dockyard. It was the first ship to be built in the town for over 100 years. Between 1650 and 1660 12 ships were built in Portsmouth and the town was very busy. Its population had probably grown to over 3,000.

In the late 17th century the dockyard (and the town) continued to grow. In 1663 a new wharf was built for the exclusive use of the navy and the dockyard. In 1665 a mast pond was dug (masts were soaked in it for years to season them). As the dockyard lay north of the town surrounded by fields it was easy for it to expand.

Then in 1667-85 the fortifications around Portsmouth were rebuilt. New walls were built with many bastions (triangular towers). Two moats were dug outside the walls separated by a strip of land. Afterwards Portsmouth was one of the most heavily fortified towns in Europe.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Portsmouth is on the Solent, protected by the Isle of Wight. One of the Navy's favorite roadsteads serving the port is called Spithead:

"In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Spithead like this:

"Spithead, roadstead, at the entrance of Portsmouth harbour, Hants, extending 2 miles NW. and SE. along the SW. side of the Spit Sand, with an average breadth of 1½ mile; its natural advantages for safe anchorage, and its vicinity to the great naval establishments of Portsmouth, have made it a favourite rendezvous of the British fleet, and the system of fortifications intended for the defence of Portsmouth harbour and dockyards is also designed as a protection for the roadstead at Spithead, a term which is often applied, in a more extended sense, to the whole of the channel which separates the NE. coast of the Isle of Wight from the mainland of Hants."…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

According to the Lost Rivers of London map, the road to Portsmouth crossed a tributary of the Neckinger going south from London bridge and/or the Effra, which flowed north from Brixton to the now Kennington Oval and then west into the Thames.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.