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fort, are Haslar barracks for infantry; and still further eastward, at the extremity of the neck of land which bounds the entrance of the harbour on this side, is the Block-House, a very strong fort, defended by a tremendous battery. From this place to the opposite shore, à ponderous chain extends, placed there for the purpose of obstructing any hostile fleet that might attempt to enter the harbour: but, happily for the country, there never has been occasion to draw it to the surface of the water.


Proceeding from Gosport to the water's edge, to take boat for Portsmouth or Portsea, we obtain our first view of the magnificent spectacle of Portsmouth harbour, crowded with every thing that can render a view of this sort, dignified, impressive, and interesting. The bustle on the beach, especially on market days, and in time of the clamour and hurry of the watermen at the ferry; the vessels entering and quitting the harbour; the floating bulwarks of the British navy, either at anchor or dismantled, or as yet unprepared for sea, or laid up in ordinary after having visited almost every shore; the hulks, the remnants of a former navy, connecting the present with the past, and chronicling the long story of naval enterprise; the spacious and noble display of the opposite dockyard, stored with all that triumphant art can assemble; crowd together on the eye, and associate themselves in the mind with all the terrific and all the tender images that deeds of hardihood, and feelings of pity, have connected with war, and absence, and return from distant climates to a never-forgotten home.

During the late war, upwards of a thousand watermen received constant employment in conveying passengers

from Gosport to Portsmouth, Portsea, and the isle of Wight, and to and from ships in the harbour, at Spithead, and St. Helen's; but since the peace they have been reduced to half that nu.nber. Their fares are regulated by an act of parliament, under which an officer is appointed, who, as occasion requires, hoists different flags on the top of the Gosport market-house, to denote the state of the weather, and the consequent rate of fares to be allowed to the watermen.

Portsmouth harbour is eminently safe as well as capacious. Land-locked from the fury of the winds, free from all bars and impediments, constantly scoured by the strength of the ebb tide, and affording every where good anchorage, it possesses natural advantages of the most important kind; while the various forts and batteries that defend the approach, almost level with the water's edge, secure it from hostile assault by sea.

The dockyard is a most gratifying scene, both as containing within its ample precincts every article of which the navy can be in want, and as affording some of the grandest exemplifications that the whole world can offer, of the wonders that genius, skill, and industry, can effect. The spacious docks in which the largest vessels are received and repaired with as much facility as if they were mere skiffs, and the elegant ingenuity of the machinery for preparing blocks, particularly challenge admiration, and amply repay curiosity.

The buildings of the dockyard consist of vast storehouses; handsome residences for the principal officers; the mansion of the commissioner; two colleges, one for the instruction of young men in naval tactics, and the other

for instruction in naval architecture; a neat chapel; a guard-house; extensive workshops, rigging-houses, masthouses, &c.

The rope-house, a building three stories high, is 1094 feet in length, and fifty-four in breadth. The cables are twisted in the lower story; the hemp is prepared and spun in the upper stories.

The anchor forge affords a spectacle unique in its kind. Anchors from forty to ninety tons in weight are manufactured in this place. The perpetual and regulated din of the enormous hammers that shape the stubborn metal; the smoky canopy that envelopes the workmen; their sooty figures partially or occasionally enlightened by gleaming fires, present one of those pictures, which, once beheld, fix themselves indelibly on the imagination.

The shops containing the machinery for the formation of blocks for the navy, by a process originally invented by Messrs. Walter Taylor of Southampton, and fitted up in this place with uncommon elegance of contrivance by Mr. Brunel, now of Chelsea, merit peculiar attention. The complete precision with which every part of these blocks is formed, is among their chief merits; a quality that can best be estimated by those who have been most acquainted with the inconvenience and danger arising from the imperfect formation of this important article of naval equipment.*

The gun-wharf includes several ranges of building for the reception of the naval and military artillery, stores, &c. and a repository for 25,000 stands of small arms.

The tremendous engines of destruction assembled in * Refer to page 204 of this work.

this place, where the very ornaments are balls, and shells, and mortars,* with the wreck of past devastation, displayed in the gun carriages taken in pieces, and, in time of war, the preparation for future havoc, busily proceeding in shipping off balls and shells for immediate service, strongly impress the reflecting visiter, to whom this scene is new.t

The principal buildings dependent on this grand naval emporium, on the Portsmouth side, are, the government house, the houses of the lieutenant-governor and port admiral, the marine and military barracks, the victuallingoffice, and the king's mill, in which the grain for the supply of the navy is ground.

Portsmouth church is a spacious building, erected at different periods: the tower, which is the most modern part, is 120 feet in height, and it forms a useful sea-mark. At the eastern end is a cenotaph, in memory of George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham, who was assassinated by Felton, in a house in the High Street, in August, 1628. The marble urn is said to contain Buckingham's heart : his body was buried in Westminster abbey. The powerful favourite of two sovereigns, whom he swayed to his own will, lofty, arrogant, and brave, he added another to the multiplied exemplifications of the vanity of human wishes; perishing, in the thirty-sixth year of his age, loaded with titles and honours, beneath the dagger of a discontented subaltern.

* “ Plurima mortis imago."

+ Some foreign guns were lying on this wharf, in July, 1815, with the inscription,-PRO FIDE. Alas! alas! how has Christianity been wounded in the house of her pretended friends!

The parish church of Portsea is situated at Kingston, a hamlet about two miles distant. This inconvenient circumstance, and the augmented population of the town, have occasioned two chapels to be built, those of St. George and St. John, the latter of which is a very elegant structure; and another is about to be erected, just without the ramparts of Portsmouth, under the act for building new churches. The Independent dissenters, the Baptists, and the Methodists have spacious places of worship; the Roman Catholics have a chapel, and the Jews have a synagogue.

A public library has been established here many years, which is conducted with great spirit and success.

The towns of Portsmouth and Portsea are supplied with excellent water by two companies authorized by act of parliament.

Two institutions have been formed among the workmen in the dockyard, for supplying their families with bread. The companies buy and grind their own flour at mills erected by subscription; and a brewery has been established on the same plan.

In the returns made under the act of 1801, the number of inhabitants of Portsmouth, Portsea, and the guildable part or vicinity of Portsea, is stated to have been 33,226; under the act of 1811, 40,567.

The annual fair, or free mart, as it is called, originally granted by Richard the First, is held in the High-street, and it still lasts during its original term of fifteen days, commencing on the 10th of July. This fair is then succeeded by the annual fair on Portsdown.

Portsmouth is governed by a corporation, consisting

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