Experience the best of the best with this Top 8 list of things to do and see in Portsmouth.
Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
Plan for your visit and explore Portsmouth with the Visitor Directory.
Join the Portsmouth Heritage Initiative as they lay the last two historical markers for Orange Row and Cornwallis Square in Olde Towne Portsmouth at 2 pm on 2/12/21. Orange Row and Cornwallis Square are both located on Washington Street between Hampton Place and Crawford Parkway.
The dedication is an excellent opportunity for students of history to experience history in action and learn more about our community heritage. Take this time to connect school children and local history in a way that works with Tele-education. One local family purchased signed bricks to place beside the markers and to make a connection between the past and the present. Try building your own time capsule with your school children to let them participate in the fun.
An 1851 map denoting the original Olde Towne Squares was used to place granite markers throughout the historic district. They provide a glimpse of what the city looked like when it was founded in 1752. For example at High and Court Streets, Prison, Courthouse, Market and Church squares come together. The 1846 Courthouse, now the Art & Cultural Center, and Trinity Episcopal Church sit on two corners, reflecting their original uses.
Portsmouth’s Founder, Col. William Crawford, designed the town following instructions from English leaders who said he should designate 103 squares for specific uses. He laid out the City in English tradition having a very wide main street (High Street), and several narrower cross streets (for example Court & Washington Streets). King and Queen Streets run parallel to High Street, honoring English royalty.
The markers for the squares were placed by the Portsmouth Heritage Initiative, a local non-profit organization that helps illustrate and accentuate the rich history of Portsmouth in a fun way.