This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Gosport Historic Urban Characterisation Study

Front cover for Gosport - Historic Urban Characterisation Study

English Heritage project 6444

By Jill Hind, Jane Phimester

Oxford Archaeology carried out a Characterisation Study of Gosport, which was commissioned by English Heritage to provide improved information for the understanding of the significance of Gosport. The town has a high concentration of significant military installations of which individual studies have been undertaken, but this project considers the development of the town as a whole and its expansion into its rural hinterland. The characterisation project is specifically focused on assessing a number of research questions that consider the relationship between military complexes and the development of the civil town.

This report considers the historic development of Gosport from the prehistoric period to the 20th Century, with particular reference to the context of greater Portsmouth and character areas within the town. A total of 36 character areas were identified, which include residential areas, military complexes and landscape features. The report describes the character and archaeological potential of these areas, before addressing the research questions.

The project found that the overall character of Gosport has been formed by its landscape and strategic setting, it is surrounded by coastline and military installations which constrained the development of the town. Despite the influence of the defences on the topographic development of the town, the research shows that the settlement pattern of the town was not linked to particular military events, or to the construction of individual military establishments.

This work forms part of wider research into historic towns under the National Heritage Protection Plan.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Methodology and Sources
  • 3. Setting
  • 4. The Development of Gosport
  • 5. Historic Urban Character
  • 6. Research Framework
  • 7. Conclusion
  • Appendix 1: Bibliography and Sources Consulted
  • Appendix 2: The English Heritage Project Brief
  • Appendix 3: Glossary of Terms
  • Appendix 4: GIS (description of GIS data created)

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed

If you require an alternative accessible version of this document please contact: Oxford Archaeology, Janus House, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES

Was this page helpful?

Related publications

Next steps

Also of interest...