The East Plaza at Gunwharf Quays
|Location||Portsmouth, Hampshire, England|
|No. of stores and services||93 plus a cinema, 25 bars and restaurants|
|No. of floors||2|
Gunwharf Quays is an outlet retail destination with 90 outlet stores and 30 restaurants, bars and cafés located in Portsmouth, UK. Gunwharf Quays plays host to a 14-screen Vue cinema, 26-lane Bowlplex Bowling Alley, Aspex art gallery, Grovenor casino, a Holiday Inn Express and a Tiger Tiger nightclub.
The waterfront overlooks Gunwharf Quays Marina which can accommodate all types of craft including luxury yachts up to 80 metres and has often played host to national and international sailing events. The Berkeley Group plc was responsible for the development of Gunwharf Quays, which is now owned by Land Securities. The area has also become a residential area of Portsmouth, and houses many apartment buildings. In 2012, the penthouse at no 1 Gunwharf Quays was on sale for £2.5 million
Gunwharf was established as an Ordnance Yard for Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in the early eighteenth century. In the days of sail, warships required periodic checking and maintenance (and often repair after a naval battle). This often necessitated the ship being placed into a dry dock; however, a ship could not be placed in dry dock with its guns on board as the weight would severely damage the wooden structure once the support of the sea water was lost and the keel took all the weight of the ship and its contents. The ship would therefore offload all of its guns at one of the Gunwharf Quays before being dry docked. (Prior to 1855, a ship's guns, as well as its small arms etc., belonged not to the Admiralty or the Navy Board, but to the Board of Ordnance, whose Ordnance Yards were therefore constructed alongside, but independent from, the Royal Dockyards.)
As ships and armaments developed, the requirement to offload the armament diminished, and the Gunwharf fell into disuse. The site was re-established as the Royal Navy shore establishment HMS Vernon in 1923.
Following several naval restructures and mergers, HMS Vernon ceased to be an independent command and was renamed HMS Nelson (Vernon site) on 31 March 1986. In 1987 it was renamed again to HMS Nelson (GunWharf) although locally it continued to be known as HMS Vernon. Following many more reorganisations and mergers, all of HMS Nelson (Gunwharf)'s operations were deployed elsewhere, and it ceased operations in 1995. The site was subsequently sold for redevelopment.
The development opened as Gunwharf Quays on 28 February 2001. The concept for the redevelopment was by the local firm HGP Architects.
Gallery of historic structures
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