1-2 The Hard,
The Ship and Castle is located next to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard and on the Waterfront. With views across the harbour, and HMS Warrior prominently in view, you’re only a short walk away from the ever popular retail quarter of Gunwharf Quays.
“We are well renowned for our superb carvery which is served 6 days a week. The rest of our extensive menu is freshly cooked and includes many traditional home-made dishes, as well as other family favourites. We are able to cater for a large amount of people so we welcome small tables and coach parties alike.”
A Little History… For centuries, the importance of Portsmouth Harbour has been paramount to the continued success of the British Empire. Many monarchs built castles in the immediate vicinity to protect this national asset, at one time the largest industrial site in the world. The pub’s name, therefore, could not be more appropriate, being placed in between the ships and the castles.
The historic centre of operations for The Royal Navy, Portsmouth Harbour is home to three of the Navy’s most iconic ships in history, being Henry VIII’s Mary Rose, Vice-Admiral Nelson’s Victory and Queen Victoria’s Warrior.
Situated directly outside the Victory Gates, The Ship and Castle, with its imposing facade, would have been the first port of call for many a sailor when on leave.
Imagine the days when a glass bottomed tankard was developed as a way to refuse the King’s shilling. The drinker could see coin in the bottom of the tankard and refuse the drink, thereby avoiding the ruse often used to press-gang volunteers for the Navy. They were also useful to see what was going on around you as you drank in those not so peaceful times.
Such is the history of the waterfront that The Ship and Castle must have seen it all! Occupying No. 1 The Hard since 1745, this area was known as ‘Devil’s Acre’ due to it’s notorious reputation with sailors, alcohol, prostitution, press gangs and crime. The pub has survived many turbulent times, particularly during World War II when the area was heavily bombed due to it’s proximity to the Navy Base.
The Ship & Castle has been an independently owned, family business since 2002.