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Cosham (//)is a northern suburb of Portsmouth lying within the city boundary but off Portsea Island. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 along with Drayton and Wymering (mainland) and Bocheland (Buckland), Frodington (Fratton) and Copenore (Copnor) on the island.
The name is of Saxon origin (shown by the -ham suffix) and means "Cossa's homestead". Although correctly pronounced //, the latter half of the 20th century saw the incorrect variant // become more widely used. Until the 1920s it was a separate small village surrounded by fields (including on the north end of Portsea Island).
Extensive suburban growth then expanded around the village and both east and west along the slopes of Portsdown Hill. It has been for many years a local route centre; Cosham railway station was also the terminus for City trams and trolleybuses from the south and Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway trams to the north (until 1935). The High Street is a significant local shopping centre. Few traces of the original village now remain; the oldest houses (Chalk Cottage of 1777 and Mile Stone Cottages of 1793) were demolished in the 1960s and replaced by a car park, but the old milepost showing mileage to London, Petersfield and Portsmouth remains. The interior of St Philip's Church (1938) in Highbury is cited as a fine example of Ninian Comper's work.
Cosham is also home to the UK headquarters of IBM UK Ltd. The site known as 'North Harbour' was built in the 1970s, the location being selected due to the job cuts by the Royal Navy during the time.
- BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names
- Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names
- Howse, Christopher (14 October 2006). "On the altar of function and beauty". The Daily Telegraph.
- Lever, Jill; Richardson, Margaret (1984). The architect as artist. Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-0568-9.