Historic Inn | Old Portsmouth

@sallyportinn

Home of the legendary mystery of Buster Crabb, the birthplace of James Bond, and a historical pub within the heart of Old Portsmouth.

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A drink in the Sally Port Inn will be an experience to remember...

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Where are we located?

Situated only a few yards from the sea-wall, and extension of the Southsea Promenade, right in the midst of Old Portsmouth's High street, with the Round Tower, Hot Walls and the Camber Quay all close by sits the Sally Port Inn, created in 1947 from a war damaged residence, dating back to the 1600's. The inn stands directly opposite the Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury, close to the 'sally port' - the gate in the sea-wall (the old fortified section) - from which the hotel takes its name. The Old High Street has, over the past 400 years, seen many historical events and great names such as Nelson and Keppel. To those interested in historical fact, a drink in the Sally Port Inn will be an experience to remember.

"Special architectural and historical interest"

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About the building...

The Hotel is scheduled as a building of Special Architectural or Historical Interest under the Town and Country Planning Act. The building is 'frame built' using oaken timbers of its period, as well as more 'modern' timbers from the old wooden-wall ships of the early 19th century. The walls have a fair share of these timbers, as well as a sloping floor into the bargain along with a door that us not quite rectangular. In it's early life a conversion took place, perhaps the main alteration being the introduction of a handsome cantilever staircase, the hub around which the present inn lives. This staircase is a truly Georgian masterpiece - with the backbone of the stairwell being a ship's top-spar, a mast some 40 feet in length, parts of which can still be seen in various floors of the inn. This mast is said to come from a 1798 HMN frigate knows as "Penelope", discovered by builders during renovations in 1947.

The home of the legendary mystery of Buster Crabb, the birthpace of James Bond, a historical inn within the heart of Old Portsmouth...

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Stories from the Sally Port

A selection of stories from the long history of the inn...

A Spy Mystery

The Mystery of 'Buster' Crabb

In 1956 the inn came briefly into the international news spotlight when the disappearance of one of the guests, Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb, led to a huge political row and one of the all-time great spy / mystery stories.

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The disappearance of one of the guests, Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb, a huge political row and one of the all-time great spy / mystery stories...

Setting the scene

The Early Years of Portsmouth

In 1189 Richard I landed at Portsmouth and the strategical advantages of the island probably induced him to build a town there. Judging by the number of conveyances of houses in the town, by early in the thirteenth century it seems to have grown to a fair size...

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The Early Years of Portsmouth, the home of the current Sally Port Inn for nearly 100 years...

Setting the Scene

The Old Portsmouth High Street

Today the High Street is a fairly sedentary place largely residential in nature. In the mid 20th century, though, the son of a previous owner of the Sally Port Inn remembers it as fairly industrial with soot belching from the nearby ship building stations...

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The Sally Port Inn sits in the heart of Old Portsmouth High Street - 'the bustling hub of commercial and social activity'...