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Eastney started out as a small hamlet. In 1867 a barracks for the Royal Marines was built in the hamlet. The small hamlet and surrounding farmland were developed and absorbed into Portsmouth in the period 1890-1905, with a network of streets built to house Marines and their families which spread west from the barracks site. The streets were mostly named after famous military and naval engagements in which the Royal Marines had taken part. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was and still remains a concentration of pubs in the area, two actually opposite the former barracks gate, one named the Royal Marines Artillery Tavern (since removed the "s" from its name). Other pubs in the area include the music venue "The Cellars At Eastney", The Eastney Tavern, The Sirloin of Beef, The Alma Arms and The Three Marines.
Due to the heavy bombing suffered by Portsmouth during the Second World War many displaced people found refuge along the north shore of Eastney Lake, living in makeshift houseboats, converted railway carriages and fisherman huts. Many of these homes lacked the basic amenities of electricity and plumbed water supplies. The community survived into the mid and late 1960s when the City Council finally began to relocate families to its newly built housing estates in Leigh Park and Paulsgrove.
The area is home to the Royal Marines Museum and Eastney Beam Engine House,as well as a council swimming pool, a camping and caravan site, and an estate of homes occupied my personnel of the UK Armed Forces and their families.
Eastney is also home to an unofficial Naturist Beach, which may be under threat from property development.
- Eastney Beach website - http://www.eastneybeach.org.uk
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