The Cormorant & Portchester’s Historical Past

  • Name derives partly from Roman origin, from Latin ‘Portus’ (a harbour) and Old English Saxon ‘Ceaster’ (Roman Fort).
  • The medieval Portchester Castle, with its magnificent keep, was built within the confines of a Roman Fort and is the Country’s only example of a Roman Fort whose walls still stand. Currently owned by English Heritage.
  • In addition to the castle, its Parish Church St Mary’s and the abundance of Historic houses in Castle Street, this suburb of Fareham is well placed for waterfront leisure activities, 10 minutes from the UK’s third largest Marina at Port Solent and 20 minutes from the Historic Naval City of Portsmouth.

Within yards of The Cormorant’s front door, the following happened in it’s rich history:

  • Late 3rd Century ~ Romans built the Fort
  • 407AD ~ Roman Army leave Portchester
  • c500AD ~ Saxons arrive and build village at Portchester
  • 9th Century ~ King Alfred the Great created network of forts to fight the Danes, Portchester being one of them
  • 10th Century ~ Saxons create network of Forts called ‘Burhs’. Portchester Castle was made a ‘burgh’
  • c1120 ~ King Henry I builds a Castle within the walls of the old Roman Fort
  • c1128 ~ A church dedicated to St Mary is also built within the walls of the Fort
  • 1294 ~ Portchester given the right to hold weekly markets and annual fair
  • 1396-1399 ~ Richard II’s Palace was built

During the Hundred Years War between England and France from the middle of the 14th Century to the middle of the 15th century, Portchester thrived. However Medieval Portchester only had a population of a few hundred.

The invention of gunpowder and cannons made Portchester Castle obsolete, although in the 16th Century, Henry VIII used Portchester Castle as an armoury and during the Civil War of 1642-1646 parliamentary soldiers stayed there.

An old photo of The Cormorant

Aerial view

Get in Touch

  • 181 Castle Street, Portchester, Fareham PO16 9QX

  • 023 9237 9374