1700 - Victualling the Fleet

Victualling also greatly added to the wealth of the town for much of the produce came from local industry and the table below gives some idea as to its importance:

Quantities of various good purchased by the Victualling Board at Portsmouth.
  • 1700 1720 1740 1760 1780 1800
  • Beef oxen (cwts.) 1900 6700 7900 28900 35500 26400
  • Pork Hogs ? 1000 1700 1200 ? ?
  • White Salt (56lbs Bushel) 1500 1500 12500 1900 ? 3000
  • Malt (cwts.) ? ? ? 16400 13800 14300

But by this time the town was choking with fortifications and Portsea was rivalling the old time in population. Relief came through the use of Gosport where land was more available and close to the Dockyard. In the early part of the 18th Century the Victualling Board established a brewery at Weevil Creek that by 1716 included a brew-house and cooperage. The good supply of pure fresh water was soon to earn a fine reputation in English Ales. The Board of Admiralty approved the construction of a windmill on 9th January 1760 to lift the fresh water into a cistern in the brew-house. On 19th May 1765 the Victualling yard at Gosport was established. It would not be until 1st July 1831 that the Weevil yard at Gosport would become the Royal Clarence Victualling Yard, Gosport. In 1766 the Board centralised all barrel making at Gosport and built a fine new Cooperage that was to last in a limited form until the abolition of the navy rum issue on 30th July 1970