Southsea Common, Portsmouth

SOUTHSEA COMMON

Southsea Common is a large open space, mainly grass, which is located parallel to the seafront at Southsea, stretching from Clarence Pier in the west across to Southsea skate park in the east.

The common is a popular spot for family picnics, barbeques, kite flying and other outdoor leisure activities.

Due to its large open nature, Southsea Common is regularly used for organised public events such as concerts, circuses and the annual kite festival. In 1994 the common was used in the commemorations of the D-Day 50th anniversary and in 2005 it was used as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.

It is largely due to it's military connections that the common survived the development of Southsea and still exists.

The area was owned by the military and throughout history it was used as a marshalling area for armies before boarding ship, notably before the battle of Crecy.

The Common was still owned by the military until it was bought by Portsmouth Corporation from the War Department in 1922.

Southsea Tennis Club

Reflecting it's history of military use, the common is home to many monuments to both army and navy engagements, mostly sited on the seafront promenade. The Royal Navy War Memorial, which lists the names of the many seamen, both RN and merchant, lost during the Second World War, is identical in design, to those in Chatham and Plymouth, both also being Royal Naval ports.

The Victory's anchor, sited beside the Hovercraft slipway near Clarence pier is an interesting relic. It was originally sited on the other side of the pier and marked the spot where Nelson left Portsmouth before the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Southsea Common area is also home to various attractions such as the Rock Gardens, the Pyramid Centre built on the former site of the Rock Gardens Pavilion, Southsea Castle, Southsea Skate Park, the D-Day Museum, Blue Reef Aquarium and other facilities such as Tennis Courts, Bowls and gardens.