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Portsmouth is also the birthplace of author Charles Dickens and engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
He granted the town a royal charter on 2 May, giving permission for an annual fifteen-day free market fair, weekly markets, and a local court to deal with minor matters, and exempted its inhabitants from paying an annual tax of £18.
Portsmouth is among the few British cities with two cathedrals: the Anglican Cathedral of St Thomas and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist.
The waterfront and Portsmouth Harbour are dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, one of the United Kingdom's tallest structures at 560 feet (170 m).
In 1982, a large proportion of the task force dispatched to liberate the Falkland Islands deployed from the city's naval base.
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia left the city to oversee the transfer of Hong Kong in 1997, which marked for many the end of the empire. HMNB Portsmouth is considered to be the home of the Royal Navy and is home to two-thirds of the UK's surface fleet.
The former HMS Vernon naval shore establishment has been redeveloped as a retail park known as Gunwharf Quays.Richard granted the town the arms of Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus, whom he had defeated during the Third Crusade in 1191, reflecting a significant involvement of local soldiers, sailors, and vessels in the holy war.II was crowned, and the French landed in Portsmouth in the same year.Nearby Southsea is a seaside resort with a pier amusement park and medieval castle. C., the city's professional football club, play their home games at Fratton Park.The city has several mainline railway stations that connect to London Waterloo amongst other lines in southern England.The town was plundered and burnt, but its inhabitants fought back and defeated them, which led the French to retreat and raid towns in the West Country instead.Henry V built the first permanent fortifications of Portsmouth.Under the Commonwealth of England, Robert Blake used the harbour as his base during the First Anglo-Dutch War in 1652 and the Anglo Spanish War of 1654.He died within sight of the town returning from Cádiz.Parliamentarian troops were sent to raid it by land in the Siege of Portsmouth; the guns of Southsea Castle were fired at the royalist garrison in the town.Across the harbour, parliamentarians in Gosport joined in the assault, with their guns damaging St Thomas's Church.