On Clarence Esplanade, Southsea close to the Hovercraft Terminal.
This consists of an anchor from HMS Victory on a stone plinth with a wooden cross piece. It is inscribed 'The Victory's Anchor Oct. 21st 1805'.
Memorial - 1854
From the Illustrated London News (18/3/1854)
THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR
THE BRITISH FLEET CONSISTED
OF 27 SAIL OF THE LINE: THAT OF THE ALLIES OF
FRANCE AND SPAIN 33, OF THESE 19 WERE
TAKEN OR DESTROYED BY LORD NELSON.
EVERY MAN TO DO HIS
Near this memorial on the
14th September 1805 Admiral Lord Nelson
Embarked for the last time, being killed
On the following 21st October at the
Victorious Battle of Trafalgar.
READY AYE READY
Victory's anchor was originally sited close to the point at which Nelson departed these shores on the 14th September 1805. The anchor would have been roughly where the car park to the north-west side of Clarence Pier is sited. It bore the inscription:-
"This tribute of respect is placed in humble admiration of the departed hero by Lord Frederick FitzClarence, Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth, 1852".
The next phase of the anchor's history is told in the "Reminiscences of a Municipal Engineer" by H. Percy Boulnois who was appointed Borough Engineer of Portsmouth on April 3rd 1883. In his book Boulnois says, "Amongst other improvements which I carried out along the seafront was the re-arrangement of the various monuments, trophies etc., which had previously been more or less scattered along the beach. Amongst them was discovered the large anchor of the Victory, and I designed and erected a granite base on which the anchor was placed. This base had four tablets with appropriate inscriptions of which I was the author.....
.......After placing the anchor on its base, it looked rather bare, so I obtained a length of very heavy anchor chain and wreathed it round the shaft and stock, which gave it a very pleasing effect, but it was not there many days, as (a) candid naval friend observed to me, 'Do you know that in the days of the Victory, anchor chains were unknown and only huge hawsers were used?' I at once knew I had been guilty of an anachronism..... and the chain was at once removed and the anchor has gone bare ever since"
The anchor itself is now all but a replica, after extensive repairs to the metal in 1973 when a new wooden stock was added.
In 2005, the bi-centennial year of the Battle of Trafalgar, the City Council proposed that the Anchor be removed from it's place on the seafront and return it to a place closer to it's original position on the Spur Redoubt. This was met with some indignation by local people who claimed that the anchor was not a memorial to Nelson but to all the men who served at Trafalgar and that it should not be removed. With the help of the Town Council a petition to prevent the removal was sent to the Deputy Prime Minister's office.
In September 2005, the City Council relented, not, it was said, from public pressure, but the escalating cost of removal which the Council were not prepared to bear.