In Grand Parade, adjacent to the slope leading up to the Saluting Platform.
The statue stands on a plinth approx. 1570mms square.
The Original Lectern Plaque
The Lectern & Statue
(on the steps)
HERE SERVED HORATIO NELSON
YOU WHO TREAD HIS FOOTSTEPS
REMEMBER HIS GLORY.
MAY THE GREAT GOD WHOM
I WORSHIP GRANT TO MY COUNTRY
AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF EUROPE IN
GENERAL A GREAT AND GLORIOUS
VICTORY AND MAY NO MISCONDUCT
IN ANY ONE TARNISH IT-AND MAY
HUMANITY AFTER VICTORY BE THE
PREDOMINANT FEATURE IN THE
BRITISH FLEET. FOR MYSELF INDIVIDUALLY
I COMMIT MY LIFE TO HIM THAT MADE
ME AND MAY HIS BLESSING ALIGHT
ON MY ENDEAVOURS FOR SERVING
MY COUNTRY FAITHFULLY. TO HIM
I RESIGN MYSELF AND THE JUST CAUSE
WHICH IT IS ENTRUSTED TO ME
HERBERT J.ALDOUS LRCS., L.S.A.
FROM WHOSE DESIGNS
THIS SCULPTOR WORKED
F.BROOK HITCH F.R.B.S.
DUKE OF BRONTE IN SICILY
VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE
HIS LAST HOURS IN ENGLAND
BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE BATTLE OF
TRAFALGAR WERE SPENT AT THE
GEORGE HOTEL HIGH ST PORTSMOUTH
WHICH HOTEL WAS DESTROYED WITH
A GREAT PART OF PORTSMOUTH IN
A GERMAN AIR RAID ON THIS CITY
ON JANUARY 10th-11th 1941
HIS REMAINS WERE BROUGHT TO
SPITHEAD DECEMBER 4th 1805 ON
BOARD H.M.S.VICTORY WHICH SHIP
WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN THE FOREFOOT
BY A BOMB IN A RAID ON THE 10th MARCH 1941
Original Inscription on Lectern
LORD NELSON IS IN THE UNDRESS UNIFORM
HE WORE WHEN LEAVING PORTSMOUTH
FOR TRAFALGAR. THE COAT WHICH HE
WAS WEARING WHEN MORTALLY WOUNDED
HAS BEEN CAREFULLY COPIED. HE PASSED
OVER THE SPOT WHERE THE STATUE
STANDS 14TH SEPT 1805 IT FACES THE PLACE
ON THE BEACH WHERE HE EMBARKED FOR
H.M.S. VICTORY. HE WAS SHORT AND THIN
BUT THIS CANNOT BE SHOWN IN A SINGLE
STATUE FOR IF MADE THIN HE APPEARS TALL
THE UNIFORM IS CORRECT TO THE
SMALLEST DETAIL. THE SWORD IS A COPY
OF THE ONE HE ALWAYS WORE
PORTSMOUTH WAS THE LAST ENGLISH
TOWN HE EVER SAW
The siting of the statue of Lord Nelson has been the subject of some controversy for many years. He was originally placed in Pembroke Gardens (see photo 3) so that he looked towards that part of Southsea Beach where it is believed that he embarked for his flagship HMS Victory in September 1805. Unfortunately he was placed some 200yds from the beach and over the years his "view" of it became increasingly obstructed by the construction of a funfair. Eventually he just seemed isolated and it was proposed to move the statue to a more appropriate position.
Many locations were suggested but the City Council settled for a site in Grand Parade, a few yards from the sloping path leading up to the Saluting Platform (see photos 1 & 2). This decision has satisfied few people as Nelson is now in such a position that he could only "see" the sea if he stood on tiptoes, thereby defeating the very object of moving the statue.
Whilst discussing the new location for the statue, it is said that regard was had for the route that Nelson took from the George Hotel, where he had breakfasted that September morning in 1805, to the beach from where he was ferried to the Victory. The route itself had been the subject of much debate over the years but it is now broadly agreed that it began when he left from the rear of the George Hotel onto Penny Street and turned right. He then turned left and walked along what is now Pembroke Road until he reached the fortifications; at that point he turned right and followed the line of the earthworks to a tunnel under the Long Curtain. The tunnel led out onto a drawbridge across the moat, the far end of which was Spur Redoubt. A narrow passage on the Redoubt led onto the beach where his barge and several hundred well-wishers were waiting.
The new location for the statue is several hundred yards from any point on Nelson's last walk.
It should also be noted that when in its original position, a lectern supporting a plaque (see photo) had been sited a hundred feet in front of the statue. This has also been moved to Grand Parade, though sited somewhat closer to the statue (see photo). The text on the plaque has been altered such that the sentence "HE PASSED OVER THE SPOT WHERE THE STATUE STANDS 14TH SEPT 1805 IT FACES THE PLACE ON THE BEACH WHERE HE EMBARKED FOR H.M.S. VICTORY." has been omitted and a further paragraph added. It reads "THE STATUE WAS ORIGINALLY LOCATED AT PEMBROKE GARDENS IN SOUTHSEA. IT WAS MOVED TO THIS MORE PROMINENT AND HISTORIC LOCATION IN OCTONER 2005 TO MARK THE BICENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR."
Nelson's Column on Portsdown Hill
The Lord Nelson Web Site
Lord Nelson on the BBC