Our trip to Portsmouth, May 9, 2001.

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On May 9, 2001, the editors of this site and that of the H.D. website, Heather, visited Portsmouth to find RA's birthplace. We first went to the Records Office where we hoped to find some record of the Aldingtons around the time of RA's birth in 1892. A search through the city directories revealed that 50 High Street was registered to David Wandsworth Smith, Bookseller and Stationer, from 1890-1892. The directory for 1894 shows the address registered to David Seaton, Stationer and Bookseller (there was no directory for 1893). Some time later that address was occupied by Thomas Batchelor, the registrar who signed RA's birth certificate.

50 High Street, Portsmouth

In a trip to the local history department at the public library, we found out that 50 High Street had not been bombed in WWII (nor had the street been rerouted). We then walked down to High Street. The building currently at number 50 is obviously not the same one. The space in now occupied by small 1950's era apartment building, but directly across the street from his birthplace was (and is) the oldest building in town, the Old Cathedral.

Old Cathedral, Portsmouth

Map of the neighborhood

Revised December 10, 2001.