Portsdown Tunnels

by Bob Hunt


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Site created: 

Last update: 

25 August 2001

28 February  2023

Please note that, due to my ill heath, this website is now closed to all incoming emails and correspondence.

I hope this is only temporary and that normality can be resumed in the near future. I will keep the site running for as long as I can.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions and support.

Latest major updates 

(for minor updates click the button above)



This site & the author

Welcome to my Portsdown Tunnels website. I have lived in Portsmouth UK all my life, and have been interested in Portsdown and what lies underneath it since I was 8 years old. I was amazed to find that this subject had virtually no other presence on the internet - or the library - especially when you look at what has been documented for other UK cities. (See my links page). I am not an archaeologist, but it seemed odd to me that more was known about a long barrow from 2000BC than a World War II deep tunnel shelter, hence Portsdown Tunnels was born. The website is now into its 21st year and contains over 800 photos, 190 pages and has received over 1 million hits - the hit counter stopped working years ago, and I really can't be bothered to fix it.

Although this site is primarily concerned with underground Portsdown, it also includes above ground sites and events which have tended to be overlooked in the past, or which are poorly documented.

This is a one man show, I - Bob Hunt - do the lot, from research to web authoring. The site's annual budget is 0.00 (pounds sterling - (0)). I am now semi-retired but continue working for the Ministry of Defence, teaching mathematics and computing to the Royal Navy. I live in Paulsgrove on the southern slopes of Portsdown, Portsmouth, UK. more details


Information sources

Some of  the information presented here is from memory, both mine and others, along with research at the Portsmouth City Records Office, the Portsmouth Central Reference Library, and the National Archives at Kew. I have established many significant contacts through email who have provided tremendous help.


Get in touch

If you have any comments, contributions or questions, then please email me, even if it's just to give an opinion of this site. No matter how slim your contribution or experience of Portsdown may seem, get in touch with me. What may seem irrelevant to you, could be just the lead I'm looking for. All emails are guaranteed a reply, usually within 48 hours.


The future

This website is updated regularly, so come back now and again to check for new content. I try to produce a major addition (see the table at the top of this page) every year, whilst minor updates (see the button at the top of this page)  take place frequently.

About Portsdown

Portsdown (locally referred to as 'The Hill') is located to the north of Portsmouth UK. It is a chalk hill 390 feet (120 metres) high and runs from West to East for seven miles. Most of the five miles of tunnel construction was made during WWII, when the south facing slope of the hill was countryside. Since then residential housing  has been built on a large part of it, forming the housing estates of Wymering and Paulsgrove. See the site locations and the about Portsdown pages for more details. There are numerous chalk pits on the hill, all of them no longer worked. The two major ones were at Paulsgrove and Wymering.

On top of Portsdown are five Victorian forts and a redoubt, collectively known as the Palmerston Forts. These are quite often featured in this website, either as landmarks or as featured subjects. I have not included the communication and magazine tunnels originally built under these forts, unless they have been used for some other purpose at a later date. Details of them are already well documented.

Also on top of Portsdown are several underground water reservoirs, and although they have potentially interesting surface features, they are not included in this website along with telecomm, gas, electricity and water conduits unless they have some special significance.

About this site

This website was constructed using Microsoft FrontPage 2000/3 and is

 designed to be viewed at a resolution of 800 x 600 or above,

using any browser, but Firefox is recommended.

Active X and cookies are not used by this site.

It is best if JavaScript is enabled.


You can navigate using the menu on the left which will always be present.

Alternatively, click on the 'Site Index' on this menu and a

list of every topic will be available. 

All hypertext links are underlined, and will turn red if the cursor is passed over them.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

The content on this website may be reproduced for non-commercial and educational applications, but an acknowledgement and email would be appreciated.

Bob Hunt, 2001 - 2022


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