PORTO SANTO

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PORTO SANTO. (See Madeira.) PORT ROYAL. (See page 268.) PORTS, CINQUE. (See Cinque Ports.) PORTSMOUTH; a noted seaport in the English channel, being the principal rendezvous of the British navy. It is situated on the western side of the island of Portsea, at the mouth of the bay termed Portsmouth harbor, and consists of the old town of Portsmouth, included within its fortified walls, and the new towns of Portsea and Southsea, which were only begun about a century ago, on commons to the north ana south of the town, but have already outgrown in size, population and importance the parent town itself. Portsmouth harbor excels, decidedly, every other in Great Britain for its capaciousness, depth and security. At its entrance, the harbor is very narrow, but it soon expands to a great width. Every where the anchorage is good, the depth sufficient for ships of any size, the shelter complete, and the extent sufficient to contain almost the whole navy of England. The famous roadstead of Spithead, between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, can contain 1000 sail of vessels in the greatest security. Portsmouth harbor is well protected from assaults by the number and strength of its batteries. The fortifications were begun by Edward IV. The dockyard, being the grand naval arsenal of England and the general rendezvous of the British fleet, is by far the largest in the kingdom, including an area of 100 acres. In the naval college, the number of scholars is limited to 100 in time of war, and seventy in time of peace, of whom thirty, the sons of officers of the navy, are maintained and educated free of expense. On the anchorwharf, hundreds of anchors are piled up ready for immediate service. The ropery is three stories high, fiftyfour feet broad, and 1094 feet long. In the vast building called the smithery, anchors are wrought weighing from seventy to ninety cwts. each. The gunwharf is an immense arsenal, consisting of various ranges of buildings for the reception of naval and military stores, artillery, &c. The small armoiy is capable of containing 25,000 stand of arms. Near Portsmouth is Haslar hospital, for the navy. The church of Portsmouth is a spacious structure, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket. The tower, which is the most modern part, forms a good mark to seamen. There are various charitable, literary and scientific institutions. The theatre is the principal amusement. The shore from Portsmouth to Southsea castle presents one of the finest bathing places in the kingdom. Portsmouth received its first charter from Richard Coeur de Lion. The earliest mention of this place occurs in the Saxon Chronicle, A. D. 501. Population of Portsmouth, 7269; Portsea and Southsea, 34,785 ; seventytwo miles southwest of London; Ion. 1° & W.; lat. 50° 47' N.