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Portsmouth also known as Pompey, is home to three hugely important historic ships, HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar Built 1765, HMS Warrior the first iron hulled warship Built 1860, The Mary Rose, Henry VIII's warship that sank in the Solent off Southsea Castle in 1545. Portsmouth is also the birthplace of Charles Dickens, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Peter Sellers.
Portsmouth is a waterfront destination that offers a splendid combination of history and heritage, museums, and arts, coupled with modern waterfront restaurants, cafes and bars. Southsea castle, built in 1544, was part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII around England's coasts to protect the country from invaders. Barely was the work completed when Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank in front of the Castle. During the English Civil War, nearly a century later, the Castle was captured for the only time in its history, by Parliamentarian forces. Over the centuries, Southsea Castle's defences were strengthened so that it could continue to protect Portsmouth. In the 19th Century a tunnel was built to defend the Castle moat. Visitors are able to enter the tunnel and see how the Castle would have been defended against invaders. There are panoramic views from the top of the keep of the Isle of Wight and the Solent.
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