Amongst the high-rise buildings and main roads of Portsmouth, one suddenly comes into a quiet, secluded and peaceful area of victorian and regency buildings, Old Commercial Road. Charles Dickens was born here 7th February 1812.
When Charles was born, Britain's Navy was still at war with Napoleonic France and Charles's father, John Dickens worked as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office.
This was his parents first home and they were to remain in Portsmouth until the winter of 1814 when his father was recalled to London. Charles later remembered that when they left the town it was covered in snow. Charles Dickens returned several times to Portsmouth during his lifetime, he also spent time here doing research for his book Nicholas Nickleby.
The furnishings have been re-created in a style which Charles's parents would have favoured, their actual possessions have long since been dispersed.
There are three furnished rooms: the parlour, the dining room and the bedroom where Charles was born. There is a small collection of memorabilia including the couch on which he died at his house in Kent, also his snuff box, inkwell and paper knife.