The Nelson Monument – Portsdown Hill

If you were not aware of the fact that I am a massive Horatio Nelson geek by now, then I refer you to every social media platform I am on, as well as this naval history section of my blog where you can see how it all began.

Long story short, I visited HMS Victory when I was about 7/8 years old, and that was it for me and ships. I grew up watching (and being in love with) Hornblower and from that point I was hooked on the Royal Navy and its history.

When I was 23 I was the youngest contestant on Mastermind, under current host John Humphries. My topic?

The Life and Career of Lord Nelson.

If there is a book on Nelson, I own it. If there was a documentary on Nelson, I’ve seen it. So I want to convey my love and passion for this subject on my blog as often as I can.

This evening after work I decided to go for a drive to Portsdown Hill, about 2 miles north of Portsmouth. It looks down over the harbour and some very shiny Type 45 Destroyers currently! Not to mention Horatio Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar, HMS Victory.

The view was just superb.

Looking down from Portsdown Hill across to Portsmouth Harbour. Spinnaker Tower in the middle of the shot.

Nelson’s Monument

Because everyone needs a Heart of Oak themed bench in their life.

History of the Monument


The Royal Navy paid for the monument as the initial funding had disappeared, but actually it makes it a much more interesting story. Captain Thomas Fremantle raised funding from those men who served with Nelson at Trafalgar and from all accounts they were more than willing to contribute.

​A perfect tribute.

The monument is still used as a fixing point for yachties and warships alike.

Fort Nelson (about 50m down the road) is a museum and part of the Royal Armouries, with free entry, so that will be a visit for another day!

Have you visited The Nelson Monument?

3 thoughts on “The Nelson Monument – Portsdown Hill”

  1. Very well written and thanks alot..Now this article made me feel to know more about him…Keep it going…

  2. Have I visited the Nelson Monument?

    Yes, hundreds of times. I used to live in Dore Avenue, Portchester about 50 years ago and it was one of the main places I would have walked and later cycled to to begin an adventure in the countryside. For some reason Nelson came up this evening in conversation and neither of my well-educated 20 and 21 year-old daughters really knew who he was. They didn’t know who was at the top of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, let alone where Nelson’s Monument was. I don’t blame them as the educational system seems to think the 18th and 19th century never existed. Even Wikipedia doesn’t mention it but, of course, I know full well it exists.

    A couple of things surprise me. It’s a lot more than 2 miles away from Portsmouth, even north Portsmouth, Cosham say, let alone the harbour. (And another website had the same thing as well.) By road it must be 7 or 8 miles from the harbour, say ‘The Victory’, where I went on a school trip. As the crow flies it must be 4 or 5. It was 1 and a bit from my house in north Portchester, the main port in the area until Portsmouth took over and I hope you have been to Portchester Castle when you were in the area, with its inscriptions of Napoleonic prisoners on the walls of the prison in the Norman keep. The road up there from my home was a tough climb for an 11-year-old on a three-speed bike!!

    The other is the beauty of the view the other way across to Southwick, North Boarhunt, probably Wickham and 100 acres and other places I can’t remember, unless I look on an OS map and I don’t have one of that area anymore I think, although it used to be my bible as a boy/teenager. For me it is one of the finest views in central Southern England. It is surpassed by many others in the South-West and many other parts of Britain, but for me it will always be a quintessential view of The South. It really takes you back in time as there are very few elements of modernity.

    I found your website after looking for information about the Monument and I’ll look at some of the rest later. I prefer cycling to hiking and haven’t even been up many mountains on a bike. The only near vertical climbing I’ve done is up the sides of the chalk pits that pockmark the coast along Portsdown Hill. I even have a painting of those in my house.

    Best of luck with all your activities! Long live the outdoors! 🙂

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