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PORTSMOUTH TOWN DEFENCES

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The defences for Portsmouth were under construction between 1421 and 1424 but by 1539 they were so decayed that new ramparts had to be thrown up. These had fallen down two years later but were rebuilt in the late 16th century. During the Civil War Portsmouth was one of the most important and heavily defended south coast ports. The Royalist garrison was secure behind the medieval earth ramparts and stone walls until Portsmouth surrendered in September 1642. The fortifications were remodelled by Sir Bernard de Gomme between 1665-8 and a map by de Gomme shows that these defences were practically identical with those shown on the OS 25'' of 1867. By 1800 the town had become a military fortress. The town walls were demolished between 1871 and 1878.

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