Nelson's Last Walk
Nelson said his final farewells to Emma Hamilton and their
daughter Horatio after dinner on Friday 13 September 1805, when he left his
beloved Merton Place for Portsmouth.
His route took him 5 miles west to
Kingston, where he joined the Portsmouth Road. After an uncomfortable night
with occasional stops to change horses, his post-chaise passed through the
Landport Gate in the fortifications around Portsmouth at about 6 am on Saturday
14 September, arriving at the George Hotel in the High Street shortly
Nelson rested at the George Hotel in Old Portsmouth and it was
from here he left on his last 'walk' through to the seashore before embarking
for his flagship HMS Victory off the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately the George
Hotel was destroyed by enemy action in 1941 and the site is now occupied by
housing appropriately called George Court.
By the time Nelson was ready
to leave on his famous 'last walk', the High Street was so crowded with people
that he could not get through. He left the George by a back door onto Penny
Street. After some 100 yards he turned left into Green Row (now Pembroke Road
and past the buildings now The Royal Naval Club *), until he reached the ramparts behind the King's
Ravelin, where he turned right.
Keeping the ramparts and the magazine
behind the King's Bastion on his left, he turned left into the narrow tunnel
under the Long Curtain. He emerged onto the footbridge over the moat to the
Spur Redoubt, where he turned left into a narow passage that led him through
the Redoubt wall and onto the beach, where his barge was waiting.
barge left the shore the spectators gave Nelson three cheers, which he returned
by waving his hat. Turning to his Flag Captain, Thomas Hardy, he said: 'I had
their huzzas before, I have their hearts now'.