Portchester is a suburb of Portsmouth, four miles from the City. In medieval times, it was a small village of only a few hundred inhabitants, but is now part of the expanding conurbation along the main A27 road between Portsmouth and Southampton, with over 17,000 residents. The name is derived from the Roman Portus (harbour) and Saxon Ceaster (fort), which describes its location and history.
Castle Street, which is a conservation area, retains a village atmosphere and has many attractive historical buildings. At the top of Castle Street, in an area known as Castle End, is the Cormorant Pub, a traditional British pub and restaurant, providing food from local suppliers. Dogs are welcome in the bars. A few minutes walk away is Portchester Castle and the shoreline, with lovely views across Portsmouth Harbour to Portsmouth, Gunwharf Quays and the Spinnaker Tower.
Portchester Castle is set within the walls of a Roman Fort, which are the most complete in Europe and stand almost to their full height for their entire length, enclosing a nine acre area. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Castle was built within the defensive Roman walls. Opposite the medieval Castle is St. Mary’s Church, which is Grade I Listed and is all that remains of a monastery established here around 1128. Portchester Castle is now under the protection of English Heritage.