Portsmouth City Museum

Portsmouth City Museum
Museum Road







023 9282 7261


023 9287 5276

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Recreation of a Victorian parlour
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The City is the museum of and for the people of Portsmouth. There are temporary exhibition galleries, which have a frequently changing parade of fascinating shows on a wide range of subjects.

The City Museum is dedicated to local history and fine and decorative art. 'The Story of Portsmouth' displays room settings showing life in Portsmouth from the 17th century to the 1950s using modern audio-visual techniques. Experience the different lifestyles of the Victorian working poor in the 'Dockyard Workers Cottage' and the affluent 'Victorian Parlour'. A 1930s kitchen with everything including the kitchen sink! A 1930s 'Art Deco' dining room and a 1950s front room complete with flying ducks on the wall and early television showing "Listen With Mother".

The 'Portsmouth at Play' exhibition looks at all aspects of leisure pursuits from the Victorian period to the 1970s. "What the Butler Saw" machines on the pier, a "Pennyfarthing" cycle and film archives from the 1930s and 1960s.

Our special exhibition ‘A Study in Sherlock’ looks at the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the context of Victorian and Edwardian England, his strong relationship with Portsmouth (where he wrote the first 2 Sherlock Holmes stories) and the creation and phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes.

Narrated by Stephen Fry, the exhibition includes the opportunity to watch a new Sherlock Holmes mystery, become one of the Bakers Street Irregulars, listen to some of the stories and act them out using hand-puppets.

'Football in the City: A space in the heart of Portsmouth’ is a permanent new and exciting interactive gallery space devoted to the 'beautiful game'. Currently on display are rare items such as both footballs from the 1939 and 2008 FA Cup Finals.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Open Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays

Closed 24-26 December and 1 January

April - October 10.00am - 5.30pm
November - March 10.00am - 5.00pm

Admission charges

Free admission


  • Museums Association

Local History, Arthur Conan Doyle, Story of Portsmouth, Portsmouth at Play, No Place Like Pompey

Collection details

Archaeology, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Social History, Maritime, Literature

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

No Place Like Pompey

  • 26 August 2011 — 31 December 2015 *on now

What makes Portsmouth unique?
Is it one particular place, the city’s geography, its past or its people? A new exhibition at the City Museum looks at some of the things that make "Pompey” special. These include the fact that most of Portsmouth lies on an island, the city’s links with the dockyard and the Royal Navy, and the fortifications that made Portsmouth one of the most heavily defended areas in the country.

“Pompey” is a local name for the city of Portsmouth. There are many stories about where the name came from, but the true origin is not certain.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Portsmouth City Museum