The Saxons settled on Portsea Island in the 6th century including one called Coppa who is believed to have owned a stretch of shoreline, in the Saxon language an ora. with the combination creating Coppan ora, with the ''n' added in place of an apostrophe. By the time the Domesday Book was published in 1086, it had changed to Copenore before being later known as Copnor. Nearby Baffins was farmland which included Baffins Pond, Baffins Farm, and Tangier Farm with those place names retained and reused for the names of the area and the roads. In the late 19th, and early 20th century the rapid expansion of Portsmouth saw the areas engulfed by the growing city. Pictured: Copnor Bridge in Copnor Road in July 1936.
The city's Old English Anglo-Saxon name, ‘Portesmuða’, is derived from port (a haven) and muða (the mouth of a large river or estuary) and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a warrior named Port and his two sons killed a noble Briton in Portsmouth in 501.
The names of a number of areas within the city owe their origin to the Saxons – we take a tour of the city as it is now to see how the names have changed over the years and when many of the areas which were once-villages and then became part of Portsmouth.
Hilsea was a small hamlet on the Portsmouth to London road with its name believed to mean 'holly island'. The boundaries of Portsmouth were not extended to encompass the hamlet until 1832. The last working farm in Portsmouth, Green Farm, was located in the area up to the 1990s - with the area's pub retaining its name.Pictured: Sunset views from the Hilsea Shore Path, next to the Mountbatten Centre taken by Alex Yorke The name Stamshaw was originally made up of two Saxon words, stam meaning post and shaw, which was an old way of spelling shore, while Tipner was Tippanora, named after a Saxon called Tippa who owned a stretch of shore - with an 'n' added to a person's name rather than an apostrophe to create Tippan ora meant Tippa’s ora.Stamshaw was farmland for centuries, although there was a magazine at Tipner in the 19th century where gunpowder was stored but it became populated as terraced housing was built during the late 19th century and early 20th century for dockyard workers and their families.Pictured: News boys standing on the road, corner of Twyford Avenue and Newcomen Road, Stamshaw in 1905. Like much of Portsmouth Milton has Saxon origins, known originally as Middletūn meaning "middle settlement" as it was a small village located between the larger village of Froddington (now known as Fratton) and Eastney. In the post-1066 Norman era, Milton was known as Middleton and it is likely that Middleton's name has been shortened by local dialects to "Milton" over centuries. In 1904, Portsmouth's boundaries were expanded to cover all of Portsea Island, with Milton becoming part of Portsmouth. One of a number of villages founded by the Saxons, Fratton was originally known as Frodda ing tun, means the tun (farm or village) belonging to a person called Frodda. Over time the name changed to Froddington, then to Frodtone, to Frotton and finally to Fratton. Goldsmith's Farm was part of the original small rural village, the only visible evidence of this being the presence of a public house bearing its name. Froddington was one of the three small settlements on Portsea Island mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1847 a railway was built by the village and a railway station opened in Fratton, with more of the surrounding land was absorbed into Portsmouth in the 1870s and 1880s as a result. The area is home to Portsmouth Football Club's stadium Fratton Park. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) Southsea began life as a fashionable 19th-century Victorian seaside resort which was named Croxton Town, after a Mr Croxton who owned the land and starting building houses bought by many of the skilled workers of the expanding dockyard. Over time the southern part of Portsea Island became known as Southsea, adopting the name from Southsea Castle, the Croxton Town name becoming used less and less. Southsea was incorporated into the boundaries of Portsmouth in 1904.Picture: Sarah Standing (191022-4984) Cosham started as a Saxon village in the 6th century called Cossa's ham, which meant Cossa's village or estate. However until the 19th century it was only a small village. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 England was divided into areas called manors and Cosham was part of the manor of Wymering. At that time Wymering was a larger village.Wymering was once called Wygmaer ingas, which means the people of Wygmaer in Saxon, but the name slowly changed to Wymering. In 1920 the boundaries of Portsmouth were extended to include the areas, and in 1932 to include Drayton and Farlington to the northeast. (Photo: Google Streetview) Landport derives its name from Landport Gate which was built in 1760 as a new main entry point to Portsmouth from the Dockyard. Unlike the majority of Portsmouth's defences, the gate is still in its original position and can be seen today. The settlement took the designation of Landport (Town) from 1831.Pictured: Landport Gate in St George's Road in November 1975. Somerstown, or Somers Town as it was also known was developed during the 1820s, on land owned by Mr Somers. It was heavily bombed during the Second World War, after which the majority of what remained of the area was demolished to make way for social housing.Pictured: Somers Road in the 1960s - Barry Cox. Farlington was a small rural community being part of the manor of Drayton, known as Dreton. The land changed hands several times before being divided for individual dwellings in the 19th and 20th centuries. The area became incorporated into Portsmouth in 1920 (Photo: Google Streetview) Many believed Paulsgrove was named for St Paul who landed at the site at the start of his visit to Britain when it was part of the Roman empire. However old maps have shown that the area was called Pals Grave and is believed to be a reference to the last resting place of a local chief, most likely a Saxon with the Saxons naming most of the settlements in the area. The area was incorporated into the city of Portsmouth in 1920. (Photo: Google Streetview) In the Middle Ages a village existed at the end of Kingston Crescent. It was called King’s tun, which meant king’s estate. By the 17th century houses were built north of the village to create a new area was called ‘the north end of Kingston’. Later it was called ‘the North End’ then just ‘North End’. The name The North End of Kingston was first recorded in 1699. From the mid-18th century well-off people such as naval officers built houses at Kingston and the area grew. In the 1920s and 1930s, North End became a prominent shopping centre while Kingston's major landmark was its prison which opened in 1877.Pictured: The Old Portsmouth Gaol at the former HMP Kingston. Buckland, then known as Bocheland was one of the three settlements on Portsea Island mentioned in the Domesday Book. It takes its name from the Saxons with who called any written document a book (Boche). The Manor of Bocheland was purchased by Jean de Gisors. De Gisors, a Norman lord who then founded Portsmouth on land at the southern end of the manor, in 1180. In time the name changed to Buckland. The area was extensively bombed during the Second World War and rebuilt.