As the name suggests, it is a port city.
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county Hampshire and the only island city in the United Kingdom.
This city is known for its British Royal Navy’s base, and as home to some famous ships as the HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Mary Rose and the oldest dry dock which is still in use.
“Do you know what adry dock is?
It’s equipment for the constructing, repairing and cleaning boats.” (this is not included in text)
Even before Roma times there had been some settlements in this area. Actually, no one knows exactly who found the city. Nevertheless, there are some theories – for example, one of them claims that it was found in 501 by a Saxon warrior named Port, while another sais that it was found in 1180 by the Anglo-Roman lord Jean de Gisors.
In 1194 King Richard the Lionheart set about summoning up a fleet and his army to Portsmouth. He introduced another reforms – gaving allowing for the borough to hold a fifteen-day annual “Free Market Fair”, later weekly markets, and also set up a local court to deal with minor cases, and freed people paying the annual tax – instead the money was used for local matters.
In 1200 King John established Portsmouth as a permanent naval base, and soon fist docks were constructed .
In the year 1338 a French fleet led by general Nicholas Béhuchet destroyed almost the whole town. This, howewer was not the only disaster – A few years later a plague spread – also called the Black Death.
The city was ‚restored‘ only in the times of the Tudors. Henry V built the first permanent fortification there and ordered to build a wooden Round Tower, which was later (by Henry VIII) rebuilded using stone (named Square Tower).
Henry VIII built Southsea Castle and decreed that Portsmouth be home of the Royal Navy, which he founded.
During the Second World War city was heavily bombarded. Although most of the town has since been rebuilt, occasionally people still find unexploded bombs.
Portsmouth played an important role in D-Day too, the port was used for vital military embarkation.
As I have already mentioned, the city is known for it’s boats.
Mary Rose, is a carrack-type warship of the Tudor Navy of King Henry VIII. It is one of the largest ships of English Navy. She served 33 years in various battles. Unfortunately, in 1545, the ship sank.
HMS Victory is a 104-gun ship of the Royal Navy. She is famous as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
HMS Warrior was the first armored iron warship. She was built in reaction to France’s first ocean-going warship.
=The birthplace of novelist and social critic Charles Dickens.
=Nickname derived from shipping entering in Portsmouth. People were maching an entry in their logs as Pom.P. – Portsmouth Point.
county – hrabství / kraj
navy – námořnictvo
settlement – osada
to set about doing sth. – pustit se do něčeho
fleet – flotila
borough – čtvrť
amored – obrněné court – soud
annual tax – roční daň
plague – mor
fortification – opevnění
decree – vyhláška
vital military embarkation – (životně) důležité vojenské nalodění