Paulsgrove is located at
the northern end of Portsmouth Harbour, and occupies a good deal of the southern
slopes of Portsdown. It is sometimes said that Paulsgrove got its name because
St Paul landed there long ago: Paul's-Grove, but it was in fact named after a
Saxon called Palla: Palla's Grove. Due to its favourable
location it was probably used as farm land since Man first occupied the area.
This was its use, apart from the Paulsgrove
Racecourse, until just after World War Two when the owner, George Cooper (see
the Cooper Shelter), sold the land
to Portsmouth City Council who built a Council Estate on it mainly to accommodate
those who had lost their homes during the Portsmouth Blitz. Ironically the main
road through the estate - Allaway Avenue named after a former Lord Mayor - was largely built during the last
part of WWII by Italian Prisoners Of War who were billeted next to Queen
Alexandra Hospital in Hutments.
The local newspaper
"The Evening News" - now imaginatively called "The News" has
never done the residents of Paulsgrove any favours. Almost as soon as the Estate
was occupied articles appeared referring to 'delinquent youths' causing trouble
near the shops. Whilst this may well have been true it also set the tone of
reference to Paulsgrove for the next half Century. Although a slating in the
press still occasionally occurs things have moved on. By the year 2000 more than
half the houses in Paulsgrove were owner occupied so the term 'Council Estate'
is now obsolete. I have lived in Paulsgrove since 1988 and there is nowhere else
I'd rather be, except perhaps Acapulco.
To the east of Paulsgrove
is a similar (Council) Housing Estate called Wymering. When talking of the area
in general I tend to refer to these two locations as the single entity of
Paulsgrove since there is no obvious boundary between them.