GOSPORT in Hampshire UK, is a town across the harbour to the City of Portsmouth.  Visually, it witnessed the comings and goings of British warships whilst in the large harbour just as well and often better than did Portsmouth people.  Although Portsmouth had the best possible vantage viewing point overlooking the harbour entrance and the navigable route to and from it, Gosport people could see the warships moored on their dockyard berths when Portsmouth people couldn't.  Additionally, they also had a generally better view of ships at buoys in the middle of the harbour and often these were the majestic ships, the battleships.

At the start of the 20th century, Gosport had a brand new submarine base, and in modern parlance, a whole host of SOFTWARE.  It could be said that Portsmouth, with the exception of submarine hardware, had the navy's HARDWARE. Each ware needs the other to form a system, and Gosport saw to it that the navy was fed, watered, clothed, grogged {!}, ammunitioned, fuelled  [coal, then oil], hospitalised [when necessary], buried in The Naval Cemetery when necessary - in addition, it is said that there are a further 20,000 buried in the grounds of Haslar Hospital which was called Royal Hospital for longer than it was called Royal Naval Hospital.  Later on, Gosport's buildings controlled the navy's personnel [pay, drafting, conditions of service]; the naval scientific processes medical and fuel, and had several other elements of SOFTWARE namely MANPOWER.  Manpower was evident in HMS Sultan; HMS Dolphin; HMS Hornet; Haslar Naval Barracks; St Georges Barracks; Clarence Barracks; HMS St Vincent formerly Forton Royal Marine Barracks; RNH Haslar; Browndown Barracks; HMS Ariel/HMS Daedelus with associated air assets backed up by Fleetlands all adding up to one hell of a punch.

Do you remember all those services/establishments ?

Good, but are you sure ?  What about Haslar Naval Barracks ?

Well this place was Gosport's RN Barracks which was on- stream long before Portsmouth RN Barracks and was purposely built for the navy on a virgin plot:  RNB Portsmouth [HMS Victory] was second-hand, the navy taking over the vacated Anglesea Barracks site from the army. Gosport's Naval Barracks was opened in 1864 and closed in 1953 and RNB Portsmouth was opened 39 years later in 1903. 

All buildings were ordered under the umbrella of ADM 140 which lasted for many years covering the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century.

The Gosport naval barracks lay empty and derelict after the closure in 1953 and by 1962, it had been refurbished and reopened as a Civilian Detention Centre.  In 1989, over the course of a couple of months, the building swapped hands and became a Home Office Holding Centre for Immigrants which I believe is ongoing to this day in February 2009. Now you all know where the Gosport Barracks were, in the back garden of the Haslar Hospital which had already been in business for 111 years being established as The Royal Hospital in 1753.

In 1901 there was a national census which required all in the country to be registered by name, occupation and address. This applied only if the person to be registered lived in a house or was accommodated by virtue of employment in a domestic premises like for example a hotel or a large house, employed as a maid. Servicemen living on terra firma were registered as living in Institutions, just the same as a person incarcerated in a lunatic asylum, but sailors living afloat [including the many hulks] so not just sea-going vessels, were registered by manifest, by other means. In my table below I have sourced all those 'institutions' in the Portsmouth and Gosport areas whose owners/controllers/administrators were responsible for recording all those souls in their care. 

HM Prison Kingston Portsmouth
St Mary's Road Workhouse Kingston Portsmouth
St Mary's Road Children's Home Kingston Portsmouth
St Mary's Road Workhouse Infirmary Kingston Portsmouth
Royal Marine Light Infantry Barracks Eastney Portsmouth
Lunatic Asylum Milton Portsmouth
Royal Sailors Rest Home Queens Street Portsmouth
Royal Sailors Rest Home Landport Portsmouth
Royal Hospital Portsmouth Landport Portsmouth
Coleworth Barracks Portsmouth
Royal Seamen and Marines Orphanage School Home Portsmouth
The Town Hall Portsmouth
Nazareth House, Home for the Aged, the poor and Orphans Portsmouth
Royal Artillery Spithead Forts Portsmouth
Cambridge Barracks Portsmouth
Victoria Barracks Portsmouth
Clarence Barracks Portsmouth
NOTE: Anglesea Barracks had closed and in its place, RNB Portsmouth was in-build n/a
RNH Haslar Gosport
Royal Marine Artillery Barracks Gosport
New Barracks [later called St George's Barracks North and South] Gosport
Brockhurst  Fort Gosport
Elson Fort and Married Quarters` Gosport
Fort Gomer Gosport
Rowner Fort and Married Quarters Gosport
House of Industry Workhouse Gosport
Monckton Fort and Married Quarters Gosport
Military Prison Forton Gosport
Military Hospital, also called Station Road Hospital Haslar Gosport
Royal Navy Barracks Haslar Gosport
Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum Knowle Fareham
Stubbington  House School Stubbington Fareham
Park House School Stubbington Fareham
Hillsea Barracks Portsmouth

To finish off my little story I thought it fitting to show you a recent inspection report of the now Immigration centre, formerly the Gosport RN Barracks.

Have a read of this page which mentions the old Navy Barracks.

Report of a Full Inspection of HM Holding Centre Haslar