The Portsmouth Hall of Fame provide the details of some of Portsmouth's famous residents, some of who were born in Portsmouth and others who lived and worked in the City.

Portsmouth has a wealth of famous people both present and in the past, these include writers, politicians, sports personalties and muscians.

If you know of someone who you feel should be included on these pages, but is missing, then please send us an email to info@welcometoportsmouth.co.uk and let us know the details.

Thank you for your interest.

Picture of Isambard Kingdom Brunel who was born in Portsmouth


Isambard was born at 1 Briton Street, Portsea, educated at Hove, near Brighton and studied for two years at the College Henri Quatre, Paris, after which, in 1823, he rejoined his father in England. After his work on the Thames Tunnel, Isambard planned the Clifton Suspension Bridge, over the River Avon, which was completed posthumously in 1864 using chains from his own Hungerford Suspension Bridge. He was responsible for the design of several famous ships including The Great Western, launched in 1837, was the first steamship ever to engage in transatlantic service. The Great Britain, launched in 1843, was the world's first iron-hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner. The Great Eastern, launched in 1859, was designed in cooperation with John Scott Russell, and was by far the biggest ship ever built up to that time. Brunel was also responsible for the redesign and construction of many of Britain's major docks, including Bristol, Monkwearmouth, Cardiff and Milford Haven as well as numerous pioneering bridges.

Picture of Prime Minister James Callaghan from Portsmouth


Leonard James (Jim) Callaghan was born and brought up in poor circumstances in Portsmouth, the son of a naval chief petty officer of Irish descent. Leaving secondary school at 16, he became a tax clerk before serving in the Royal Navy. When Harold Wilson resigned as Labour leader and prime minister in 1976, Jim Callaghan took over, beating Michael Foot in a ballot of MPs. After losing the 1979 general election to Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives, he remained as Labour leader for another year, before handing over to Michael Foot.

Photo of Playboy Playmate Marilyn Cole


Born May 7th 1949 Portsmouth, Marilyn was Playboy magazine's January 1972 Playmate of the Month, as well as 1973s Playmate of the Year, the only Briton to hold that title. For some time she was involved with Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry and appears on the cover of Roxy Music's album, Stranded. In 1984, she married Victor Lownes, a Playboy executive and associate of Hugh Hefner owner of the Playboy business.

Photo of Houston Stewart Chamberlain.


Born 9th September 1855 in Southsea. His parents both died before he was a year old and he was brought up by his grandmother in France. In 1899 he published The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century describing two master races - Jews and Germans - the Jews however are described as a negative race standing between the Germans and their destiny of mastering the world. It is thought that this work was used by Adolf Hitler as the basis of the Third Reich anti-semitic philosophy. In 1908 he married Eva Wagner, the composer's daughter. Chamberlain died in 1927.


The brothers Charles and Jeremiah Chubb were born in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, Charles in 1779 and Jeremiah in 1793. Having been apprenticed as a blacksmith, Charles opened a business as a ships' ironmonger in Winchester before moving to Portsea in 1804. In February 1818 Jeremiah Chubb patented the "detector lock".

Photo of Archeologist Sir Barry Cunliffe.


Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, born December 10th 1939 known as Barry Cunliffe, was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2007. Barry attended Portsmouth Northern Grammar School and went on to read archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He made his name in the excavations at Fishbourne Roman Palace, but became an authority on the Iron Age through work on the Danebury hillfort. Sir Barry Cunliffe has served on a variety of public bodies in the Archaeology sector, the Ancient Monuments Board, Museum of London, British Museum, Mary Rose Trust and the Council for British Archaeology. He has published numerous books on archaeology and also presented the Radio 4 programme, 'Age to Age'. He was knighted in 2006.

Picture of Charles Dickens, born in Portsmouth


Charles Dickens, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens, was born in Landport, at 387, now 393 Commercial Road, on 7th February 1812. John Dickens worked as a clerk at the Navy pay office in Portsmouth. In 1833 Dickens had his first story published in the Monthly Magazine. Using the pen-name of 'Boz', Dickens also began contributing short stories to the Morning Chronicle and the Evening Chronicle. These stories were so popular that they were collected together and published as a book entitled Sketches by Boz (1836). The publisher, William Hall, now commissioned Dickens to write The Pickwick Papers in twenty monthly installments. This was followed by Oliver Twist, published in Bentley's Miscellany (1837-38) and Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), also published monthly. Read more here about Charles Dickens and the birthplace museum in Portsmouth.