Nos. 106 - 108 High Street

Nos. 106-108 High Street
Nos. 106 - 108 High Street (Charpentier)

Nos. 106 to 108 sit slightly to the north of the main shopping area and yet should still be quite fashionable. They are almost opposite the best known and most photographed of all the hotels in Portsmouth, the George, but there is only one helpful image of them. Shown below, left, it is a detail from one of the many images of the George, but unusually, taken from the north. It dates from the the 1890s and although some 30 years after our target date it allows us to conclude that the buildings had not changed structurally since the time of the Charpentier drawing on the right.
As with so many buildings on High Street at this time these three would almost certainly have modernised their ground floor frontages. We can see only one of them (108) clearly enough to say that although it has been updated, the basic configuration does not appear to have been altered. There seems to be a door to the accommodation upstairs on the left and a shop entrance in the centre with windows either side. It is difficult to deduce anything about the ground floors of the other two buildings.

Nos. 106-108 High Street
Nos. 106-108 High Street

Using the Ordance Survey maps of 1861 the widths of Nos 106-108 are, respectively, 24'4", 14'3" and 22'3". The heights, which can only be derived by comparison to No. 105 are 33'6", 37'0" and 39'9". Using these figures we can deduce the heights of the windows as a proportion of the overall heights. For No. 106, they are 6'6" (first floor) and 4'0" (second floor). For No. 107, they are 6'0" (first and second floor) and 4'0" (third floor). For No. 108, they are 7'6" (first floor), 6'6" (second floor) and 4'6" (third floor). The heights of the windows above pavement level can be similarly calculated but the widths of the windows must be estimated. Based on High Street averages and taking the overall widths of the buildings into account, these are taken to be 3'6", 3'0" and 4'0" for Nos. 106-108.
Documentary Evidence
Post Office Directory (1859) - William Garraway, Grocer and Teadealer, 106 High Street; Frederick Russell, Hosier, 107 High Street; Chas. Woollven, Chemist & Druggist, 108 High Street;
Kelly's Directory (1859) - My. Ann Foster, Grocer, 106 High Street; Frederick Russell, Hosier, 107 High Street; Chas. Woollven, Chemist & Druggist, 108 High Street;
Simpson's Directory (1863) - William Garraway, Tea Dealer and Grocer, 106 High Street; Russell & Co. Naval and Military Outfitters, 107 High Street; Chas. Woollven, Chemist & Druggist, 108 High Street;
Harrod's (1865) Directory - William Horn, Grocer, Importer of Teas and Agent for the Commercial Union, 106 High Street; Russell & Co. Naval and Military Outfitters, 107 High Street; Woollven & Moorshead, Dispensing Chemists, 108 High Street.
The 1861 Census records:-
Schedule 96a: William Garraway (34, Tea Dealer and Grocer), his wife Marianne (40), daughter Mary (12), son William (10), son Philip (5), daughter Louisa (2), and Charles Collins (17, apprentice), Eliza Earl (30, cook), servant Emily Vincent (17),
Schedule 96b: Lumley Graham (33, lodger, 19th Foot), Augusta Graham (34, lodger), Martha Hunt (25, servant).
Schedule 97: Elizabeth Russell (33), her brother George Tibbetts (26, Outfitter, Hosier), her daughters Elizabeth (9), Eugenie (5), Bettina (2), cousins Elizabeth Boughton (26), Katie Tring (9) and Harry Tring (7), and servants Henrietta Gale (22) and Emma Apps (21).
Schedule 98a: Charles Moorshead (22, Chemist), Thomas Hil.... (19, Chemists Assistant), Mary Clarke (46, servant).
Schedule 98b: Edward Birr (62, ... receiver Royal Dockyard), daughter Eleanor (23) and servants Emma Linken (21) and Eliza Humby (16).
There appear to be some unconventional households in these buildings. William Garraway seems to have married his assistant (my.Ann Foster), or, she was using her maiden name for Kelly's whilst William was away, and maybe, the children are hers and adopted by him. The separately recorded lodgers are unusual in a street where there are many such. Presumably it means that they occupied self-contained accommodation.
In No.107 it would appear that Frederick Russell died or left the household in 1859/60 at which point his wife took over the business in conjunction with her brother and they renamed the business Russell & Co. They seem to have been rather better at it than Frederick as they became Military Outfitters rather than just hosiers and the business survived to appear in the photograph (above, left) and were still to be found in trade directories well into the 20C.
Another tradesman making progress was living at No. 108. There Charles Moorshead seems to have been assistant to Charles Woolven, who was living elsewhere, until 1865 when Moorshead was taken on as a partner. Again there is a separate entry for the lodgers.
The only feature of these three buildings that cannot be resolved at this time is the design of the shop fronts for Nos. 106 and 107. The model will therefore be largely based on the Charpentier drawing. It is noted however that the windows on the first floor to No. 106 had, in 1842, potentially interesting shutters, but as these had vanished by the time of the photograph above, they will be omitted, as will the balcony at No. 108.

Snapshots from the Model (Nos. 106 - 108 High Street)

All images are copyright © Tim Backhouse. Click on the thumbnails for full size versions.

Old Portsmouth Model Images