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Hms Nelson: Gymnasium (Building Number 81)

A Grade II Listed Building in Portsmouth, City of Portsmouth

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Latitude: 50.8009 / 50°48'3"N

Longitude: -1.0946 / 1°5'40"W

OS Eastings: 463902

OS Northings: 100544

OS Grid: SU639005

Mapcode National: GBR VQG.MK

Mapcode Global: FRA 86LZ.9DT

Plus Code: 9C2WRW24+95

Entry Name: Hms Nelson: Gymnasium (Building Number 81)

Listing Date: 8 July 1998

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1387143

English Heritage Legacy ID: 475050

Location: Charles Dickens, Portsmouth, PO1

County: City of Portsmouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Charles Dickens

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Portsmouth

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Portsea St George

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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774-1/8/97 (North side)
08/07/98 HMS Nelson: Gymnasium (building


Formerly known as: HMS Victory QUEEN STREET.
Military drill hall, now naval gymnasium. Late C19, believed
to be 1893, Superintendent Engineer Colonel Sir Henry
Pilkington RE. North-west elevation probably c1900; wartime
damage of c1940 made good; further alterations late C20,
including rebuilding of part of south-east elevation 1992. Red
brick in English bond with ashlar dressings. Welsh slate roofs
with continuous roof lights over hall and tall, corniced,
PLAN/EXTERIOR: large rectangular block of 2 storeys, parts
with attic, with 6-stage clock tower at north-west corner.
Plinth with ashlar offset; ashlar sill and lintel bands to
windows which have tripartite keystones, brick apron panels,
12-pane sashes, and are segmental-arched on ground floor of
north-west and south-east elevations. Ashlar architraves to
doorways and to tower and attic windows, the attic windows
having segmental ashlar pediments. Ashlar eaves cornice and
coping to pediments and towers.
North-west elevation: balanced 13-bay elevation, having
central door in corniced architrave; wide, projecting,
pedimented bays 4 and 10 each having a full-height
round-arched entrance, set back door, and blank cartouche to
tympanum. Projecting pyramidal-roofed tower of 2 storeys and
attic at left end. At right end, projecting clock tower with
angle pilasters; round-arched entrance; tripled slit windows
below clock on each side; dentilled cornice below upper stage
which has 3-bay round-arched ashlar arcade to each side; and
cornice below swept pyramidal metal roof with finial.
South-west elevation: at centre, projecting pedimented 3-bay
section of 2 storeys and attic has tripled round-arched
entrances with corniced architraves. Similar projecting
section at right end, apparently subsequently altered, has
entrance on left with console-bracketed hood and narrow
windows. North-east elevation similar, with 2 entrances in
central projection and 1st floor of 8 left-hand bays rebuilt
after 1940s bomb-damage.
South-east elevation: the 5 right-hand bays have been recessed
a short distance (1992). Projecting machicolated embattled
towers at ends and centre, the latter taller, all with

pyramidal roofs. Tripled windows to towers, otherwise paired,
all with brick pilaster jambs with ashlar plinths and capitals
supporting keyed archivolts. The towers have segmental-arched
windows, those of end towers with decorative tympana, on
ground floor dated 1885 (believed to be reused).
INTERIOR: the original 2 halls (drill hall and gymnasium) are
now all one space, with fluted palm-leaf cast-iron columns
supporting steel lattice beams to iron roof trusses. The
existing north-west elevation has been built across the
original end elevation.
HISTORY: the building was originally the drill hall for the
Duke of Connaught's Wessex Regiment, and one of the window
tympana of the south-east elevation bears a lamb, the device
of the Wessex Regiment. Covered drill halls were introduced in
the 1880s, for drill practice and manoeuvres in wet weather.
Part of the first naval barracks at Portsmouth, comparable
with the large drill halls at Chatham and Devonport.

Listing NGR: SU6373200461

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